..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Learning Grace

The more we walk in grace, and understand the ways of God, the less we will be rigid and legalistic. The Apostle Paul says that "The Law is a tutor that leads us to Christ." (Galatians 3:24). 

When we navigate by the letter of the Law, we are still learning that all of God's ways are steeped in a bath of grace. We have yet to learn that we could fulfill what God desires without unduly strict reinforcements. True authority is very gentle but very effective and powerful. Budding prophets can prophesy too harshly without the undergirding of grace. 

Budding evangelists can scare people with talk of hellfire rather than the love and grace of God. Budding teachers can give you lots of principles but not the seasoned life experience to show how that works out in real life. Budding leaders can see those they lead as a pack of wild stallions and pull back too hard on the reigns and hit too hard with the crop. They may focus on the task rather than the relational co-operation part that makes working as a team with a lot of strong members go forward as a joy rather than a job reminiscent of a chain gang!. We do not mature to a more detailed rulebook, but to the knowledge of who Jesus is. 

 As we move toward grace we begin to act out of deep patience and self-control, we see the ways of God and are not focused so much on the success or failure of the task at hand but on the relationship being built between us and God and between us and each other. Each of us, to mature in our callings, has to move from the legality of the rulebook to the grace of what is intended by the heart of God. Put down the rulebook today and ask God, "What are you trying to teach me?" Part of that will be greater grace and less rigidity.

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