Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. (Ps. 40:6)

My husband is a classic achiever. He measures his day based on what he can accomplish. He’s always moving forward, checking off lists, mentally calculating what’s next and how he can get there. I love this about him. I tend to get stuck in my head, and he kick-starts me out of my stasis. But the thing I’ve observed about his achieving spirit, his desire to “do,” is that he can often base relationships in the framework of accomplishment. And failure is devastating.

When you apply that framework to spirituality, achievers often feel like they come up short. They can’t try harder or earn their way into God’s favor—and that can be terribly frustrating. But it can also be a place of freedom.

When we realize that God isn’t asking us to “do all the things” for his favor to rest on us, we can all take a collective sigh of relief. He loves us regardless of our doings. All that he requires is that we seek him (see Jer. 29:13), that we open our ears to what God’s already written on our hearts. God will not leave us wanting, but instead will empower us to do more and to give more, not because his mercy requires it, but because it is the natural outpouring of being in a relationship with the One who has already done it all.

Rest in knowing that God already achieved everything you need for salvation.

Sarah E. Westfall writes and speaks about seeing God in the beautiful, broken, and in-between places in life. She resides in Indiana with her husband, Ben, and their four boys.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.