"Not that we are adequate in ourselves". 2 Corinthians 3:5
Have you ever watched someone walking a dog on a lead, when the dog does not want to go where its owner is going? The owner is constantly tugging on the lead, pulling the dog from here and there, telling it to "stop that" and "come back here." That is the way a lot of us live. We are on a "law lead". Our lives consist of "Stop that; come back here; do not do that." Only it is in terms of "Read your Bible; pray; go to church; pay your tithes; witness." Now, there are certainly the things we should be doing, but God never meant us to do them at the end of a lead. What a difference when you see a dog and its owner that have a strong relationship. The dog does not need a lead to go for a walk. Its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. Now, we are not comparing ourselves to dogs, we are comparing performance-based Christian living to relationship-based Christian living. Big, big difference!
Paul writes: "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. "When God redeemed you, He wrote His law in your heart and mind [Hebrews 10:16]. That means He wants to relate to you from the inside. You should not need an external system rules to "keep you in line," because you have internalized God's Word and you have a desire to obey and please Him from your heart.