This is a bizarre title for a post but hang with me for a mo while I explain! Back in June I joined the gym that is literally a stones throw from my front door. I have been plucking away at going a number of times each week after the realisation that from 7am - 3.30pm every weekday I do a desk job with only a walk to the photocopier, toilets or a meeting as any exercise. I must confess having joined I want to go - I want my money's worth!!!! :-)
Anyway to get to the point I got up early this morning to get half an hour at the gym in, before a shower and an early start at Church with the praise team. Most days I plug my headphones into the piece of equipment I am working out on and watch the nice big plasma TV at the front. This morning I decided to take my trusty little ipod shuffle and spent half an hour blasting praise music while I had an 'in-head chat' with God. I spent some time praising Him, talking to Him about some of the things on my heart and also just listening to see what He had to say to me. Yet again I heard the same word that has been echoing in recent weeks - the word is 'perseverance' - this word was not only an encouragement to keep going on the treadmill this morning but also to keep going on the road of grace and to keep working through things that I have started to tackle recently. But the beauty of perseverance in grace is that all is given to me to persevere. God isn't going to make me journey this route without His touch and enabling the whole way!
I was thinking about legalism, grace and the gym this morning - I might be a member of the gym but if I don't actually put my kit on and walk out the door, round the corner and go in then being a member profits me nothing. If I go to the gym all the equipment that I want is there, all the good exercise is there to be had if I walk through the door, if I fancy a swim I can just go and do that - it's all there! Now think about this - what if I am a Christian and don't live in the grace given to me - it's all there - I just have to step in to it, there is a wealth of good things for me to enjoy and to revel in and to swim in! BUT I need to step in to grace to enjoy it, to realise it. The differences between my gym and the grace of God are multiple but - here are a few:- Grace is to be enjoyed not endured, Grace is never unavailable my gym has closing times! Grace is personal, a love relationship, the gym deals with strangers and there isn't a love for customers!
The point really is how struck I was this morning that I have to make the effort and go to the gym in order to receive the benefit of membership, I also have to make the effort to put myself in 'the line of fire' to learn about grace, to grow in grace, to be set free 100% to enjoy grace. So as my Sunday draws to a close I start another week with the word 'perseverance' ringing in my head, perseverance to be in the deluge of grace, but hand in hand with a knowledge that without being legalistic I need to step in the flow of grace and try to stay there..........................