Tag Archives: moment of reckoning

Living Within God’s Grace

12 Dec

There are many voices ‘out there’ vying for our attention, hoping we’ll conform to their standards.  Those voices could be divided into 3 basic categories; God, the devil and ourselves.  Unless we’re teachable and have great mentors as sounding boards, or a possess a strong God-centered internal ‘plumbline’, we could be easily confused or duped.

And ‘old fashioned’ character is still a virtue.  It will help to hold a person from being 1)naively impetuous… or from being 2)fearfully indecisive when these voices present themselves.  Both unbridled actions can derail us.  

Many people, without a God-centered ‘plumbline’, find themselves chasing ‘the three G’s’ – girls, gold and glory.  

For all that is in the world, the 1)lust of the flesh and the 2)lust of the eyes and the 3)boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. – (I John 2:16)

This leads to dissipation or exhaustion.  Anything that is not supported by God’s grace will automatically deplete us, because it requires our own strength to attain it.  

Jesus learned this truth and He invites us to embrace it, also. 

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. – (John 5:19)

This truth and this lifestyle is sustainable.  For sure, ‘sabbaths’ are still needed, but you won’t ‘run out of gas’ doing Father’s business.  Listen to an insight from Jesus.

I receive My nourishment by serving the will of the Father who sent Me and completing His work. – (John 4:34 Voice version)

Our Grace level fluctuates throughout our lives. It’s imperative that we learn to live within God’s Grace.

Consider the scenario in this graphic.  We’re excited about the growth curve that’s happening in our lives.  God is blessing us with favor of many kinds.  We’re happy and life is rewarding.  

Getting more ‘things’ has become easily attainable and within our own power.  We want bigger and better positions, possessions and power.

So we ask for more favors, incur debt, burn the candle at both ends, experience anxiety and fatigue, and find that we have almost no time for personal sabbath-type refuelings.  Of course, everyone else is running hard, too, so it seems normal.  And besides, “We’ve got to keep up with the Jones.”

This reminds me of a Lily Tomlin quote:  “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.”   

Without question, this life mode is guaranteed to have a ‘moment of reckoning’.  Something will break; health, finances, relationships, etc.  Then we’ll be forced to reconsider and reevaluate what’s really important in our lives.

If you’ve hit a snag in life… something isn’t working anymore… and your patience and endurance is running thin, consider that you may have exceeded the grace of God in your life.  You may have to ‘reduce’ back to where the grace level is.

It usually takes a pretty strong force to change a mindset and lifestyle… imagine stopping a locomotive or turning a ship.  And this ‘reckoning’ usually requires some level of trauma to ‘encourage’ us let go of self-acquired things… especially, if our identity is wrapped up in them.

We’ll have to search for where we exceeded God’s grace.  Where did we grasp for something in our own strength?  Where did we exchange the unmerited favor of God, for sacrificing personal sweat?   Consider this:

godliness with contentment is great gain – (I Tim 6:6)

with food and covering, we shall be content. – (I Tim 6:8)

These two verses present values that serve as guardrails on our lives.  They show us the bottom-line.  We must coach our hearts into the ability to be happy even if these bare-bones conditions are present in our lives.  If we can be happy ‘here’, then everything else is icing on the cake.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not advocating poverty.  And this is certainly not a poverty mindset.  Rather, we’re getting back to living within the grace that God provides… whether that means to be abased or to abound.  (Phil 4:12)

This is how we stay out of the ‘sweat zone’.  Isn’t it amazing… God’s ways always prove to be better than our ways.

To listen to Mark speak on this topic, go to: https://youtu.be/BZrrMR4xKo4

— MLH