When something happens that hurts me, I tend to feel betrayed, used, or taken advantage of. I internalize things, and can get stuck in a “paralysis of analysis,” where I try to make sense of things and figure it all out. My perfectionism and “need to please,” personality tries to trap me in consternation. Of course, control is always around, involving my need to surrender my will to God and what He wills.
I’m only able to find my way out by relaxing my demands on myself, and the dynamic, and limiting the value I place on the whole thing. Easier said than done, but possible by extending grace to myself, and choosing not to make it a catastrophe.
I try to consider it more as a “realignment” that God is making, in me and my relationships, and look to Him for the understanding and clarity He wishes to extend for the moment. It’s usually less than I want, but enough to find relief for the next step.
I have found in life that clear, situation resolving answers are not often provided by Him. Those answers are grown into as I co-operate with Him, surrender, and obey what He’s showing me the best I can.
Some of those answers are never provided. Look at God’s response to Job. He was given no explanations or answers to “why did this happen?” What he got was enough though.
I’ve found that there’s more grace available to me than I give myself permission to take.
The result is that I’m harder on myself than God is. He doesn’t create the legalistic prisons for me to languish in, I see to that myself, even if it kills me. Then Jesus shows up smiling, rattles the keys at me, opens the door and we laugh together.
By grace are you saved through faith…
The need for grace; how to receive it.
In order to enjoy the grace that’s ours, we must first break the lies that are blocking grace. The first lie being that there’s none available to you. The truth is that it is available to me, but my belief tries to keep me from accessing it.
Grace blocking lies, all based on performance & perfectionism, creating hopelessness & anxiety.
- Lie: You caused this, now it’s up to you to fix it. IE self redemption, mastery.
All these beliefs come out of a performance based belief system, having it’s roots in our family of origin, and the performance culture of the world and religious system we “live and move and have our being in.” This false belief feeds the world’s culture of self mastery and willfulness that does not evidence the fruits of surrender to God, nor humility, and is humanistic at it’s core.
This belief, transferred to the church, feeds legalism and the religious spirit, and can grow to persecute those who don’t “keep the rules,” and perform for the acceptance of the “culture.”
We can do nothing to redeem ourselves, we can surrender to His redemption. . “For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.” Rom. 5:6
- Lie; If you had only been more discerning, able to hear God, you could have made different choices, and you wouldn’t be in this mess now. In other words, it’s your fault, and now you have to pay for it, or fix it.
You can always discern whether the wisdom you are listening to is God or not, by the sound of the whip cracking, and the feel of the lash across your back. The devil uses condemnation, shame, and performance pressure to get us working on futility.
Grace says even if you “missed God,” (and there may be no evidence you did,) God will redeem it. There is grace for our mistakes, and even at times our rebellion. Consider Jonah, who ran from the call of God. He went through some hard times, but grace was there, in the belly of the whale, then at Nineveh.
Later in Jonah’s story, grace was again demonstrated when Nineveh repented and God spared the city, exposing Jonah’s religious heart of “the sons of thunder” whom Jesus said “You know not what spirit you are of” when the disciples wanted fire and brimstone rained down on those resisting His ministry. Jonah wanted His “prophetic word” validated, rather than see a city spared by the mercy of God.
“Perfectionism is self abuse of the highest order.” Anne Wilson SchaeffHere is the false belief behind the discernment lie;
“If I have enough discernment, obey God enough, and seek Him with all my heart, then I will not get into situations that cost me, hurt me, or create stress.” “I can discern my way out of all badness.”
The bible doesn’t teach that. Godly characters were getting into trouble all the time, and it had nothing to do with “lack of discernment,” or “missing God.” In fact, being in the middle of God’s will, close to His heart can put you right in the middle of a trial.
Look at Daniel in the lion’s den, his three friends in the fiery furnace. Surrender to God in itself brings trials. Consider Paul, who was beaten and imprisoned for casting out the spirit of divination from the witch following them around. Read Hebrews 11 again, they were all “having faith.”
Then there’s Jesus in Matthew 13 telling the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed that fell in the “stony places this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; Yet he has no root in himself but endures only for awhile. For when tribulation & persecution come because of the word, immediately he stumbles.”
He stumbles for the false belief held, saying, “if I serve God and obey Him, life won’t hurt”. He doesn’t see pressure and trial as God’s instrument for growth & character, rather as something to be engineered around willfully. It doesn’t work, and only bears the fruit of stress and anxiety. There can be no endurance and fruit without surrender. We can’t be saved only by the “loaves & fishes.,” avoiding the trial of faith, or the cross.
It is a deception if we interpret trial and difficulty as God’s displeasure in us, or “lack of blessing” when we suffer in relationship, business, or just the difficulties of life. This is how God grows our faith. James 1:2-4 Psalm 105:19
What if it’s our pride and control that’s lying to us, telling us that we are responsible to engineer a trial free life? A “life without struggle, and love without pain?” What if the pride and control is saying, if it’s broke then by gosh you better get on to fix it!
We have access by faith into this grace in which we now stand… Rom. 5:2 XO
One Reply to “Interpreting offenses; Accessing Grace”
Your words are such a blessing Dan. Thank you for sharing.