Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Slavery to the Law- Falling Away from God's Grace

Lord, for so long I believed You loved me but with condition.  I thought that You waited impatiently to see when I'd slip up so you can flick me into hell.  I always saw you as a disapproving Savior who was always angry.  I thought I had to show through my works that I was saved and the more I did the more You approved of me.  If it's true in Your Word, that we are saved by grace and not by works, please plant this assurance in my heart.  I know, I know, I know it says it.  I am trying so hard to make my heart believe it.  I feel like this immature child asking You to teach me how to tie my shoes for the hundredth time.  I know it's so simple for others.  It's not simple to me when for so long I lived in fear I would displease people around me and displease you. 

"Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins." Ecclesiastes 7:20

Okay, I get that.  Everyone knows that's true.  How come it took me 34 years to find that scripture when I've been reading the bible ever since I could read?  Why is it that I try so hard to live for you yet I always feel like I'm looking over my shoulder?  That I'm about to get caught for doing something that I'm not doing wrong?  Feeling like I always have to be perfect or be kicked out?  When I have to stay home from church, the guilt eats me alive.  Don't we go to church to be taught and refreshed?  To learn more about You but not because we are trying to earn points with you?  Why is it that I feel like I've let you down when I can't do it all perfect?   Jesus, more than ever I need Your peace.  I pray for wisdom, discernment, and need to really, really know You.  Not what I thought I knew about You.  But to know Your heart.  I want to know You like never before.  Not as the punisher in the skies looking to see if I've earned enough points to maintain my salvation status.  I need to see clearly.
Recently a friend pointed out to me that the Christians are one body of Christ.  That we are not separated by fellowship of churches.  We are all ONE body of Christ.  Makes me sad when I hear Christians point the finger at each other and accuse the other church of not being as holy.  If a body attacks itself, won't there be less accomplished?  Won't there be injury to the body?  I wish we could work together and realize we have the same goals.  To make heaven our home and share the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  I'm going to leave the church judging of who is better and who is more righteous up to God.

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you.  I'll say it again.  If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.  For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ!  You have fallen away from God's grace.  But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.  For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised.  What is important is faith expressing itself in love." Galatians 5:1-6

I know this is talking a lot about earning our way.  I don't want to be a slave to the law.  I realize I am saved by God's grace.  Robert Morris said it really well in one of his sermons.  He said we don't earn our way to heaven but once we are saved by grace we do earn rewards in Heaven through our works.  Makes a lot of sense.  We sew seeds here and reap rewards in Heaven.  We are happy to do things for Christ, Jesus said to preach the gospel to the world.  That's important!  How selfish can I be to forget that at times?  I have heard God's message my whole life.  I need, need, need to spread the message.  But I know I wouldn't be doing it to KEEP my salvation.  I already am!  But how selfish would that be if I didn't? 

Jesus, please help me not to be a slave to the law.  Help me to enjoy life as you intended.  There is joy in living for you.  It shouldn't be this mind hassle I go through.  I pray that you would bring Your Word alive in me. Amen.
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