Are You Living in the Grace of God?
"I really need to get right with God." Have you ever heard anyone say these words? Maybe you've even said them yourself. Maybe you've wandered away from a conscious awareness of your relationship with Him, made some poor decisions, or maybe you've simply allowed yourself to become preoccupied with life's busyness and distractions. Before you know it, God seems far.
Even if we do feel like our relationship with God is pretty good, sometimes when a hardship or trial comes into our life we wonder where we "missed it" or where we sinned. Isn't it funny how we are always programmed to look at our performance and what we have done (or failed to do) that brought a certain circumstance into our lives?
Today I'm going to give you some Good News that will absolutely transform your life and the way you think about your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Are you ready?
It's Not About You!
If you are thinking that you need to get right with God before you'll see His hand of blessing on your life, or if you are wondering where you may have "missed it" because of the situations you are currently facing, I want to tell you to stop right where you are!
Do you know what you are doing? You are looking at your performance. You are looking at what YOU did, what YOU failed to do, or what YOU can do in the future to make things right between you and God. Whichever way you want to slice it, you are looking at YOU. Funny thing is that God never wants you to look at yourself. This is not a works program. This is a grace program. It's never been about you. It's always been about Him.
God's grace is a finished work and if you're going to walk in the provision, the security, and the abundant blessing that God has for you, then you're going to have to do one very important thing. Turn away from the mirror and the conscious awareness of self. Instead, turn to the finished work of the cross and what has already been provided for you. Isn't that Good News? Let me explain further.
If you are saying to yourself, "Where have I missed it that my child is sick or that I lost that big client?" you are thinking backwards. You are thinking "works" and that's under the law. If you actually had the ability to do something, either good or bad, to make God treat you differently, then Grace would be nonexistent. Grace says that what has been done on the cross is a free gift and it's a finished work. That means you can't do anything to earn it. That's right! Reading your Bible more doesn't give you more favor with God. It may give YOU more of an awareness of the favor you already have, but it doesn't bring you up in the ranks of "deserving" to be blessed. We can never do anything to deserve what has been provided for us. So how do we receive it? By faith.
All we are required to do is to believe that God's provision is there for us. His healing is there, His mercy is there, His forgiveness is there, His abundant blessing and provision is there. Yes, it's there for you right now. Not after you've been "walking out your idea of religiosity" for two or three weeks and you FEEL more holy or FEEL more deserving. In fact, that's just the opposite of the truth. It's when we FEEL like we've done something to earn God's favor that we actually don't have it at all.
We can't earn what is free.
God's Not Your Employer
Let's say I am your employee and I worked for you all week long. I was on time every day. I even stayed a bit late on Tuesday to help a customer solve a problem. Well, when Friday rolls around it's time for my paycheck. When you give it to me, you are giving me something I've earned. You are giving me something you "owe me." In reality, you were in debt to me by Friday and by paying me, you paid your debt.
Okay, now let's flip this illustration over to the spiritual realm. God is a debtor to no man. In Romans 4:4-5 the Word tells us, "Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness."
God is not our employer and He doesn't owe us a wage. We don't work for the provision, the health, the favor and the blessing we receive. It is 100% unearned and unmerited. We receive it through faith. We believe and trust that Jesus Christ paid the price for us and there we are, standing before Him clothed in a robe of righteousness.
It's hard for our brains to comprehend, I know. Why do you think Paul said, "So, is there grace that sin may abound?" Romans 6:1. It's because our natural minds want to say, "Wait, hold on now! If we take the leash off and let everyone run free, they will just turn to evil and go crazy! Everyone will sin and laugh in God's face!" But that's where the beautiful mystery of the Bible comes into play. The Bible tells us it's His Goodness and Mercy that draw us to repentance, not rules and religion. So, the more FREEDOM we experience through his Grace, His Goodness, His Compassion, and His Mercy...the more OBEDIENT we become, not disobedient. It's the Grace that humbles us and brings us to our knees, not rules.
Obedience is not the root of Christianity, it is merely a fruit. When we are wrapped up in the Grace and Love of God, sin has no hold on us. We want nothing to do with it. Isn't that Good News today?
So, what's the bottom line here? If you are looking at your performance, you are living under the Law. God doesn't heal you because you deserve it. He doesn't provide for you because you deserve it. God responds to faith. His power is made manifest in those who trust His goodness, not in their good behavior.
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? --Galatians 3:5
You are God's Beloved and His delight. Whatever your needs are today, rely on His grace, believe in His finished work and abide in the security, freedom and blessings that are already yours in Christ!