This understanding then places a lot but not all of the burden of life still upon each of us to do our part. We quote James, "Faith without works is dead" interpreting that to mean that we have to do works along with our faith. This all reinforces the concept that God is our aide, supplement, and insurance of some kind to help us in life.
If God is helping us as in providing what is missing, then at some point in this team effort I can take some credit. We pray for help and expect God to make up what is missing; however, at the core of the work is our work. God is helping me!
This means that God is like our co-pilot...
All of this however, is looking at our relationship to Christ from human perspectives and the fall. We are understanding grace from a works mentality. We are understanding God's intention actually from a very self centered perspective. This, in my opinion is missing it and is wrong. It may help explain our powerlessness in the gospel.
Jesus said, "Without Me you can do nothing! (John 15:5)." The grace of God is not about a partial participation from God but a complete salvation and new creation (Heb. 7:25). Jesus didn't die on the cross for part of our life but for all of it (II Cor. 5:17). We aren't cleaning up the old nature by having the Lord fix what was failing; He is giving us a new nature with Him at the center. We are crucified with Christ and no longer live; the life we now live, we live through Him (Gal. 2:20). We are not being aided by God, we are giving our whole being over to God. He becomes our life, our peace, our faith, our strength, our joy, our love, and purpose (Col. 3:4).
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). This means He is the beginning of it, the middle and the end. There will be no boasting of the flesh before Him (Eph. 2:9). All is of God and He is the source and purpose of all things. This means we cannot take one ounce of credit. We are chosen vessels of His glory (I Pet. 2:9). We are channels of His love. Our lives are not some independent priority that crosses paths with God when we need Him.
Our lives are One in the Lord (I Cor. 6:17). Our existence is to see and know His glory. We are temples of the Holy Spirit to be filled to the top (Eph. 5:18). God wants us to be blessed by His presence in full.
Joh 1:16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
We were never meant to copy Jesus and do what He would do with as much power as we could then have God supply what was lacking. No, our existence is to be full of His glory and willingly let Jesus' life live through us. We have nothing to offer on our own. Everything was given to us by His created design. Everything we have, are, or ever will be, comes from God anyway (I Cor. 4:7). God is after willing vessels to allow Him to manifest His power and presence in us. We are to be like Jesus because Jesus is in us (II Cor. 3:18)!
God gives us faith; it is a gift (Gal. 5:22 AV). God gives us His grace (what He's already done for us). God makes us believe when we listen and pay attention to His Word--faith and believing come to us (Rom. 10:17). We are the ground in which His word (the seed) is planted, germinates, and sprouts into producing fruit (Mark 4). God gardens us as we allow Him to.
What is the point then? It is that how we see our relationship to God will limit what we believe about God's intention, willingness, and desire to participate in our lives. If we see God only helping us when we need it or after we've done our part, this leads us to believe He is waiting, holding back, and even reluctant to help. If we see God's intention as completely living in us directing our life, then we'll going to see Him as already deciding, already having given us all of Himself, ready, and eager to show in us His love and glory. We don't see a reluctant God; we see One whose desire from the beginning was for us to see all of His glory in us.
See the booklet "What Kind Of Relationship Do You See With God?"