Some Christians think grace means God paid your entry fees and put you on the race course, but now it’s up to you to run the race. Other Christians think grace means that if you try really, really hard but complete only the 5k race, God will give you a marathoner’s medal anyway because he’s nice that way. Neither of those goes nearly far enough.
To run with the racing analogy, grace means you’re a quadriplegic who can’t afford a wheelchair, let alone the entry fee. Grace means that the only way you’ll get on the racetrack is if Jesus pays your fee and carries you onto the course. Grace means that the only way you’ll run the race is if Jesus carries you every step of the way. And grace means you’ll cross the finish line and receive the finisher’s crown solely because Jesus carried you across.
What’s your role in all this? Your biggest job is letting Jesus carry you through the race. Invariably, this proves too much for you and me, and we end up head butting Jesus until he lets us wallow in the mud of our sin.—Radically Normal, electronic edition
That's a great analogy, but it sounds a bit too monergistic (God does everything, we are just passive). Mind you, it is all Christ empowering us and enabling us. But, we have to get out of the boat, to change the metaphor to when Peter walked on water. It was faith in Christ that allowed Peter to do it, but he had to take the step. Mind you, it was all Christ, all the time—or I should say faith in Christ—but Peter's legs didn't just move monergistically! He had to move them. And that is where it is soooo easy to have it morph into works. And that is what he's really trying to prevent here. But, we need to remember that our response is real and it counts. It is in a very real way synergistic (working together), but the initiative is always (and I can't emphasize that enough!) God, and the power to even respond is from God.
Has that just muddied the waters? I hope not.