Life-Giving Grace

8 01 2015

“Hello, my name is (Name Your Failure Here).”

Ever felt that way? Believed it deep down? This is how I secretly ‘defined’ myself for years.

There’s good news for us:

Grace is radical!

I don’t think we even begin to comprehend the freedom we have because of this marvelous characteristic of God.

This shackle-cutting truth escaped my understanding, for sure. Thus, most of my life, I’ve lived from a position of “because of my failures, I am unlovable” and worked hard to earn Father’s love.

However, grace is not something we earn. It is a gift, freely given by God. (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, the very faith by which we believe in Jesus is a gift, and not something we “worked up” in order to become His.

Where my ignorance nearly became my undoing is in the area of failure.

Sometimes these were unexpected outcomes. I never saw it coming. For these I can believe there is grace.

However, sometimes the failure came as a result of premeditated sin. I chose to do the wrong thing. The end result was failure on many levels.

God didn’t “owe” me grace for my eyes-wide-open sin. I messed up. There were consequences, and I just had to buck up and get through life as best I could.

Is this the kind of life Jesus died to give me??

Reality check: When Jesus died, all my sins were yet future. Even those I have yet to commit. (Yes, because I am still breathing, I will continue to sin…even if it is confined to my thoughts. Um, so will you!) See Romans 5:8.

NO!!

He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

While we were yet sinners!

What I discovered this last year is that I have been tolerating much in the name of “consequences” for my premeditated sin. There was no grace for this, in my mind. I did it. I deserved what I got as a result of my choices.

What did I do, then, with one of my cornerstone verses: I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope?

I had it figured out that, because of my poor choices, I would just have to “gut this out” for the rest of my life. My ‘hopeful future’ would now have to wait for heaven…and I longed for death so I could get there.

With enough effort on my part, once I arrived I wouldn’t be stuck as a shoe-shine girl on the corner of Celestial Avenue and Heavenly Way.

Underneath all of my “understanding” was seething hatred of a God who could be so harsh as to leave me where I was with a “Tut-tut! You should have chosen more wisely.”

I believed that God was withholding His promises from me because of my own stupidity.

I would tell you that God is good – but didn’t believe it for myself.  My private opinion of His character was that He was cruel and unloving.

How could He tell call Himself my loving Father – and yet demand that I live my life as a victim as a ‘consequence’?

I believed that due to my failures I was no longer worthy of anyone’s love. “This is your new normal. Deal with it.”

I believed that all I could expect from Him was ‘just enough’ to make it through life.

This, my friends, is what happens when we seek man’s concepts about God, grace, love, and all the rest – instead of asking God Himself. We can, and should, seek godly counsel; but don’t stop there. Take their words to the Lord and ask Him to reveal what is true and what is not (Acts 17:11).

Well-meaning spiritual counselors and advisers spoke Scripture into my situation…but I don’t think they stuck around to see how I processed what they said; what their words looked like after it went through my “God” filters.

I’ll bet they’d have been horrified.

Satan also used Scripture to try to derail Jesus. No doubt he continues this today. Since everything I ‘thought’ I heard turned out to be a lie…and the oldest lie in the Book (God is holding out on you), I know he was an active participant in how I understood what I was told.

Here’s what I know today:

My failure(s) did not create me; therefore, they cannot define me. Only God can tell me who I am…and He calls me “Beloved,” “Delightful,” and “Princess.” I am fully forgiven. {sigh of relief!}

Yesterday, I had to do a “Hard Thing.” (I’m loving Havilah’s study!) On the way back to my car, I sidestepped a large rock. When I glanced at it, I noticed that it was a heart!

(I have a mound of them. They are God’s special communique to me of His love.)

He was letting me know that I’d done well, and that He is proud of the steps I’m taking to walk in victory at last.

His grace is radically sufficient…for even me!

My Father loves me!

My Father loves me!

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12 responses

9 01 2015
blmaluso

Tami, may God continue to bless you through your journey. Always remember that even when you don’t “feel” it, the Holy Spirit resides in your whole being and loves you in a way you can’t even comprehend. Praise Jesus!!!

Love and blessings,
Bernadette

9 01 2015
lessonsbyheart

This is going to be an interesting year, I believe. So far, it’s been exciting – and I’m back in fellowship with the Lord after hiding for so long. He is very good to us, isn’t He?

\o/

9 01 2015
vesselsministry

Could feel the “heart” in the lesson ~ Our Identity is in Christ ~ Amen :Y

9 01 2015
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

8 01 2015
Pure Glory

it’s that nasty religious spirit that doesn’want you to know that Jesus took our punishment and his blood is enough. Religion doesn’t want you in relationship with Abba but wants you to think that its based on performance. Been there and gotten the rreligious badge. I prefer grace!

8 01 2015
lessonsbyheart

So true. This belief sure is hard to get rid of. I fight this the most. Any suggestions?

8 01 2015
Pure Glory

Speak to religious spirit and tell it to leave you. Ask Holy Spirit to fill the void and cry out for his help. Cry out to God to help you overcome. Identify the religious spirit planting performance and works based thoughts in your mind and take them captive through Christ. Don’t allow the thoughts to take root. Rely on God to do this and not yourself. My favorite prayer is: HELP! Then you don’t rely on yourself and doing it all but on God.

8 01 2015
Pure Glory

I forgot one thing. Out of heart, the mouth speaks. Cry out to God for a heart change in regards to this spirit and mindset. He will change your heart.

8 01 2015
lessonsbyheart

Thank you so much. I’ll take care of this now. I want to walk victorious this year – leave the victim behind. 💗

8 01 2015
Pure Glory

Hallelujah! God is working on all of us. It doesn’t matter where we have come from but where we are going! Run to Jesus!

8 01 2015
Teresa Oh

Amen, Amen and Amen!

8 01 2015
lessonsbyheart

😊

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