Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Saturday, 17 May 2008
I have seen a blockage to the message of grace in my own life in recent weeks as it has been preached on - one time I felt really unwell mid sermon - I was fine before and even after but during the sermon my concentration was on not being ill.......another time the sermon was on 'no condemnation in Christ' and I just knew an overwhelming sense of condemnation and talking on the way home from Church realised that the message thrilled me for everyone else in the room but personally I felt it wasn't for me and that condemnation overwhelmed.
This morning in the last few pages of Virgo's book I read this:-
I just wonder if the blockage to Christians (me included) living in the fullness of the grace of God is some (or all) of these:-
- because the message of grace is so good as Terry puts it 'We who had nothing to commend us and everything to disqualify us are invited to enter in and participate in the consummation of the ages.' It's an awesome message - for us who are so undeserving to be given so much.
- because legalism has been drilled into us - do this and don't do this, you should be like this but this comes from a position of 'have to' rather than 'I want to, I am so grateful, passion etc'
- Law is much easier to accept than grace - we find it easier in this society to work towards something rather than just receive - we are a suspicious society of anything free (or even good)!
- Law is easier to teach than grace! In all the reading and teaching on grace it seems that without the question that Paul asks in Romans 6:1 arising 'What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?' - it seems that if true grace is taught then folks do ask the question 'does this give us license to continue sinning?' Of course the answer is No - we are given freedom not to sin but if we do then there is grace for that. It is a tricky one and would be far easier to teach that as born again believers we MUST do this and be like this and we must .......... rather than receive and live in the fullness.
- The enemy isn't happy about grace - he loves condemnation and law - if the enemy can keep us trapped in a state of condemnation and legalism then grace is nullified and passion is sapped - we end up weak, weary and on the treadmill of the christian life and sadly our witness, furvour and prayer life are compromised.
We have a dying world to reach - one full of pain, suffering, anger and sadness - we have a glorious news, an amazing hope, an awesome Saviour but we are trapped by the blockage of accepting grace completely and fully so we don't dance on the streets with the passion of one plucked from hell, we remain laiden with condemnation, battling, struggling to continue to keep going on a circuit of doing our best, failing again, condemnation and doing our best again. How we need the Holy Spirit to liberate us and to make the blockages melt in the light of His awesome power..............
Monday, 12 May 2008
This has been my repeated experience over the last month or so - really hit a low time and then God stretched out His hand and touched me afresh - precious tangible, awesome encounter and in that moment such a sense that everything was going to be alright, such a sense of the awesomeness of God. Then in the space of a week or so and things are really tough. My husband and I were supposed to go to an event on Sunday but for days before hand I felt so anxious over it - Sunday morning came and Malcolm and I talked for some time over it - when he told me that we didn't have to go I cried with relief. But in these days when so many things are a battle I receive e-mails from folks so helped by a book that I wrote 4 years ago - strange that in the struggles and the tears of today other folks on this planet has been encouraged by what we have been through. Yet I sit here and still weep.
I wonder if life will ever cease to be one extreme or another - is there a level of OK-ness that can be reached and then kept without mask or pretence? I wonder....................