Legalism is a taskmaster that imprisons us in the dungeon of failure and enslaves us to a guilt trip as a result. It tempts us, saying we have the capacity to do the will of God, but in actuality its attempt is to showcase our inability to do the will of God. Our deeper walk with God begins with the realization and daily practice that legalism is to be done with by the grace of God for good.
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
When legalism lures us into doing the right thing by appealing to our ability, we need to realize that it is just a deception. Because, even if we give it all we got, we can only sustain doing the right thing for a short period of time and failing is inevitable eventually. That is when the enemy comes in full vengeance through guilt and attempts to crush our spirit.
We are not meant to live such defeated life in Christ. Since we are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3), there must be no direct connection between the things we do and ourselves. Having such a direct link creates a lose–lose situation. For one, having a temporal success gives us a false confidence in ourselves. On the other hand, repeated unending failures will guarantee guilt and losing hope.
Therefore, a deeper walk with God demands a disconnection between the things we do and ourselves. In its place, it requires a connection between the things we do and the grace of God working through us. This lifestyle is a win–win situation; because, it alleviates the crushing burden from our shoulder while providing the grace that is sufficient to enable us to do the will of God in a sustainable manner. This undoubtedly produces an authentic praise for the glory of God.