What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. Galatians 2:20 (MSG)
What a scripture! I was listening to a well-known Minister on television this morning. It was a very eye-opening message about reliance on our own ability and not on God’s. One statement He made really shook me; learn to dismiss your own ability and trust in God’s ability. I had to search my heart to see where I was in this. Am I really relying on myself? The answer was yes.
As I looked back over some of my recent failures, I could see that it was my “works” I was relying on more than the grace and power of God. As long as I do it in my strength and fail to rely on His power that has been made available to me, I fail every time.
Today’s lesson: stop nullifying the Grace of God that is readily available for you. It is not by our rule-keeping that we have the victory. It is not by us doing everything just right; instead it is because of the love and sacrifice of our Savior. We are righteous because of our place in Him.
Father, teach us to step back and realize we can’t do anything except by your grace, it is then that we will begin to see our way clear.
Grace and Peace,
© Mary Pinckney, revised December 2014