Friday, January 11, 2008

Falling from Grace...

Sometimes I am sacred to open the Bible and read it because I am afraid that I find 'law' in there in the new testament. So I end up reading only other books of authors whom I know for sure emphasizing the fact of Grace.
Though most of the time I have the 'grace filter', sometimes I get in to the trap. I wish there was no statements in the Bible which looks as if we have to 'do' some stuff to keep up.
But the fact is that there are so many such verses. Books like Galatians comes to my rescue, but still...
The grace filter is affected by the clouds of law and blocking what the Spirit wants me to see...
The world around me contributes to this problem, church I attend can contribute to this, the stuff I read, the things I think, the people I listen to. It is as if everybody is against the beauty of of such grace and trying to adulterate it... It looks like people are struggling to put God back to the box where they like to see him and enjoy that little god.
Everybody like that 'god genie' and not the God of the universe who is beyond any of our comprehension but came merely as a man (so that we can know Him) , humbled himself to death, even to the death on the cross, finally crying out 'it's finished'. We, a bunch of idiots (sorry!) sitting here and trying to prove that He was wrong when He said it's finished.
How can I resist this spirit of law? How can I resist this spirit of 'works'? How can I dive (without diving suits, oxygen cylinders, goggles or anything) in to the sea of grace, fool around there enjoying the freedom. There is this assurance of Him being there as my life giving oxygen and the suit of righteousness.
Sometimes I feel that I have no strength to resist the powerful (at least it appears powerful) spirit of law. I want to stop stopping and start starting. I want to stop my focus on stopping, and put my focus back to start believing. I mean completely, stop trying to stop sinning and start walking by faith. When I try to stop, I fall into law.

7 comments:

Daelon said...

You said a mouth full! There are days when the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation are strapped on tight and there are others where I feel defenseless and vulnerable to the whole "work for God" thing thats everywhere. It can be depressing, worrying and can make you downright pissed off.

I too want to let go completely of self-examination and trying and live completely by faith. But it is the scariest thing in the world. What happens if I sin? What if I just get lazy and drift away from God?

Faith is so simple, yet so confusing!

I look forward to the day Jesus returns and we live in freedom, worshiping God rather than working for Him like cute little religious drones. I want to break free from work and enter fully into faith and adoration mode!!!

Joel Brueseke said...

Hi Bino,

Do you have the book "Grace Rules" by Steve McVey? Chapter 5 is called "Sin's Secret Weapon," and as you can probably guess, the chapter is talking about the law and other rules that Christians try to live by, and how that ends up being sin's secret weapon.

At the end of the chapter, Steve has a section called "What About the Commandments?," referring to the commandments of the New Testament. It's a really great read, and the full context is needed to get the fullness of what he's saying, but I'll just share a brief paragraph with you.

----------
"Thus the commandments of the New Testament do have a place in a life of grace. They present a beautiful blueprint that illustrates what a lifestyle looks like when it is empowered with the divine expression of the life of Jesus. When grace rules, we approach the Bible saying, "Lord, show me in Your Word all the ways that Jesus can express His life through me." Then when we come across commandments, we may exclaim with excitement, "Great! Here's a way that Christ can express His life through my lifestyle!" So the commandments are not a burden, but instead are a great blessing."

The next paragraph then begins like this:

"Grace causes our motivation toward obedience to be love and desire."
----------

I think that for so long, the church has preached obedience from a legalistic perspective, and that makes it hard for a grace-oriented person to want to hear the word "obedient" or "obedience." I've had a lot of overcoming to do in that area. :) But once my perspective changed from me trying to be obedient to God through law keeping and rules keeping, to obedience based upon Jesus Christ expressing Himself in and through me, my fear of the word obedient has vanished. I'm no longer "trying" to be obedient. I'm no longer worried if I'm not obedient. My focus is no longer on me, and whether or not I'm obedient, but rather my focus has shifted to a desire to have the Lord Jesus Christ live in and through me. As I focus more and more upon Him, I will become more naturally obedient because it will more and more of a joy and a desire that comes from knowing the love of my Father, rather than out of guilt or out of law.

lydia joy said...

Wow, Bino, I am in a similar place.....Joel thanks for your helpful post - I will have to check that chapter out!

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Matthew,
I was listening to Steve's video blogs where he was talking about 'over-analyzing'. I think that is part of the problem. But one good side of the 'over-analyzing' is that it shows a genuine interest in spirituality. When it comes to the daily life, it is bad.

I agree with you - faith is so simple, yet so confusing. Faith is supposed to be the most practical thing in the world. But one thing I can tell you, amidst of all the struggles, when I view from a 36,000 feet hight, I am often amazed by how much God has taught me since I began my grace walk!

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Joel,

You know what is funny is that just 2 days ago, I thought about buying 'Grace Rules' and now that you asking me if I have it. I have read his 'Grace Walk' which is a great book (in fact one of the book which helped me to set my direction towards Grace) and I have greatly enjoyed it. I won't wait to get 'Grace Rules' any longer.

The passage you quoted is great.

Then when we come across commandments, we may exclaim with excitement, "Great! Here's a way that Christ can express His life through my lifestyle!"

Thats a wonderful way of looking at the NT commandments. In fact I think that should be the way to look.

As I was responding to Matthew, I think part of the problem is 'over-analyzing', wondering each time whether I am walking by faith or not. Instead, I wish I could just rest and relax!

Thank you for taking time to encourage. I needed it!

Joel Brueseke said...

I can't remember where I first heard the phrase "analysis paralysis," but I know that when I first heard it, it was like a great light bulb going on. :) (I think it was Steve McVey but I'm not sure). I tend to spend too much time examining myself and over-thinking things, and I've never known it to bear any fruit, in fact quite the opposite!

This seems to be a theme in my life the past couple of days. I was talking to a cleaning lady at one of the clinics I go to for my job. In the past, she's shared with me lots of times about how much she worries about things and thinks too much about things. I've shared with her about my past panic attacks (many of them caused by too much thinking and worrying).

Anyway, a couple of days ago she was telling me that most of the time she'll just focus on one thing at a time, even a little thing, and it will bother her and worry her all day long! And occasionally it gets worse, as she begins to think about several different things at once, and she can't sort through it all, and she can become quite paralyzed by all these thoughts and worries!

Well, last night my 7 year old daughter opened up small Dove chocolate candy. The wrappers have sayings on the inside and I had to laugh because the saying on this wrapper hit so close to home with things I've been discussing with other people. It says simply, "Don't think about it so much." :) I'm saving the wrapper to give to my housekeeping friend.

To make it even funnier, my naive little daughter asked, "Don't think about what so much?" We had to explain that "it" means "anything that you may be thinking about too much."

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Thats was good one Joel :)

I liked "Analysis Paralysis" as well. That tells me a lot!