The Power of Grace to Free Us
I wrote earlier this week about how mixing grace and law can halt our quest for freedom. My personal experience confirmed this. As I continued to ponder this entanglement with law and how it has affected me personally, I realized something very dangerous about law. If you have struggled with people pleasing or perfectionism, as I have in the past, it becomes even more dangerous.
The law tells us that we can earn our way. We can essentially master the commandments and believe we have arrived. We begin to put so much power in our own ability to check the boxes. Pride begins to take root even though we may not see it. We begin to think we deserve or have earned our way. We may even look down on others, because they aren’t “pulling their weight.” Our list eventually gets longer as with any good Pharisee:
What are you wearing?
What are you watching?
Where are you going?
Who are you with?
The “don’t do” list becomes suffocating. However, the real danger here is that you can master the list without bearing any fruit to show you’ve ever met the Master Himself. The list becomes greater than the relationship.
Without a list of laws, we our forced, thank God, to begin to depend on the Holy Spirit.
What do I do in this place? Where do I go from here? Where do I step next? Teach me!
Then as our relationship with the Holy Spirit grows our questions change:
Can you use me here? How do I intercede for her? Be my comforter.
As our relationship with the Holy Spirit blooms we don’t only ask for Grace, but we begin living Grace. We become vessels of Grace that pour out living waters onto others.
Grace brings others to their Healer, Provider, Lover, and Comforter. Do you see how we can do more for the advancement for the Kingdom by allowing Grace to go viral instead releasing unrealistic expectations on already wounded people?
I missed this concept for so long, which is why I am so emphatic about sharing the freedom I have found in releasing law and returning to grace. (By the way, repent in Hebrew is Teshuva- Return to Grace!)
I remember a season of my life when I was frustrated by the words of John 14:21. It was a season I was not only following the law, but also passing it out. In part, this verse in John had intensified my legalism because Jesus is telling His disciples that if they love and obey Him that He would show Himself to them. He would reveal Himself to those that love and obey. I was exhausted and weary trying to live “perfect” thinking it was the key to unlock His presence in my life. I didn’t understand, because I was checking the boxes (obeying), loving the best I knew how, and still not seeing Him. I even asked,
Where are you? I am doing it “right,” so where are you? I want to see you!
I didn’t see Him in that season of my life marked by beautifully pictured Christmas cards declaring to all that I had it all together. I did see Him eventually, but as a result of my world falling in around me. I had to come to the end of me to the place where it felt like I had nothing left to lose. When I got to this place, it didn’t matter what people thought about me, because in my mind their thoughts were already horrid. I finally became obedient to His whisper. When I threw off the fear that enrobed me with people pleasing, and I began speaking into the lives of others, saying “No” when He said “No,” going when it was uncomfortable, I would begin to see Him.
It wasn’t as I expected, but His Presence was everywhere. I saw Him in the faces of others and the landscapes and sunsets. I felt Him in the wind and when I worshipped. The sounds at the beaches that I had always loved begin to speak His peace over me. I began to feel His presence on other people. You can tell when someone has been with the Father, and I was drawn to that presence.
The obedience that He was calling me to was not my list of “don’t do’s”, but the obedience to His voice that said do!
It would be a great tragedy, if in effort to please our Father, that we never meet Him. It would be a great tragedy to live life with out the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I’m sad to admit, I lived that tragedy for most of my life. While I was trying my best to attempt to free the captives, I had no idea that I was a captive.
I thank Him almost every day for the hardest season of my life, because it was when I couldn’t meet everyone’s expectations of me that I learned that I didn’t have to. There is so much freedom in knowing how He sees us, and allowing His view to become our reality.
We are enough just because we are His! Tetelesti! It is finished- we are free!
We come before you today asking for freedom. Free us from ourselves. Free us from people pleasing and unrealistic expectations and lists that keep us from leaning on Your Spirit. Free us from fear that binds us. Free us from insecurity that robs our jobs. Take captive the thoughts that imprison us, and makes us new! Where there is unbelief give us a double portion of faith. Where there is doubt make us brave. Where there is mourning bring joy. Where there is pain bring healing. Where there is loneliness birth love!
We thank you for loving us and never letting us go.
Oh, how we love you!
In the name of Jesus!
Touch us today!
In His Wings,