I thought this was nicely put:
Another destination that can be reached only by way of the river of grace is righteous obedience, which speaks of a life set apart. Often we try to reach this port through the backwaters of self-will and determination, but we get bogged down and never make it. Only the river of grace can carry us to obedience. That river swells and lifts us above our self-focus. When we are gripped with the truth that God has demonstrated His love for us through the appearing of Christ, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and swept into the safe harbor of obedience. Thus we are motivated, as Titus 2:12 says, to “live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” – Clyde Cranford, “Because We Love Him”
It’s true. I know I can not be holy or archive any holiness of my own. Yet, as I am carried along God’s “river of grace”, I start to think, or feel, like I am the one doing the swimming; when really, I’m just floating along. Then I find I get prideful and I try to swim. I quickly screw it up and start to drown in my own weakness.
There’s nothing like focusing on living a holy life, to show you how weak you really are.