Living on Grace



Do you ever think about what it is we're doing in this Christian thing? I mean just stop and question your actions, your motives, what and why you are doing whatever it is you call Christianity and just what is faith? Have you ever felt like your just going through the motions with no real substance. Does all of this Christian activity ever feel kind of empty and meaningless to you? 

For those of you that have followed my writing this spring, you know that I have been asking a lot of questions about the church and Christianity and where is Jesus in all of this. In my quest for truth and answers,  Somehow I lost my way, His Way. Searching so hard to find Him in the church, I got lost. I became very discouraged.


While looking for Jesus in the church, I stumbled and lost my footing. We must never take our eyes off of the Author and Finisher of our faith. When we look to the church to write our stories, Hell breaks loose on our lives. Let me tell you this, Only God is able to save us, and only Jesus is our Anchor. The church is fallible, broken and full of humanity. Broken hypocritical humanity. I am the first to admit my own hypocrisy. I pretend to be someone I'm not without even thinking about it. It comes natural, it is natural. The church is largely living naturally and carnally, and not living up to our calling. We are supposed to be living in the Spirit, but all too often we are living in our failing flesh. Lesson learned: Don't expect to find Jesus in the church. Really. Don't expect anything.

When I read about Jesus' life I want to change, but I feel like I'm stuck in a rut and the sides are so high that I can't climb out. I want to change and I don't know how to change. I write about Jesus and being like Him, but I'm not. I am finding it very hard to change patterns and thoughts. The 'the way we've always done it' attitude is so prevalent that I almost feel rebellious for wanting to change more into the image of Christ! Is that insane? Growing more Christ-like is going against the grain. I am beginning to see a new facet to dying to self.

Grace and Love,

Renee

A song and video to inspire you:



Comments

Tracy said…
So happy to see your post! I have missed reading them. I look forward to reading more. I know what you mean, I feel your frustration. Something God is teaching me more and more is the importance of prayer. When all seems well, pray. When all seems completely out of control, and there is literally nothing you can do about it, pray. I read and reposted an article yesterday called Prayerlessness is Selfishness after I watched Find Jerry's video of the family talking about the disappearance of their dad/husband a missionary pilot who never made it to his destination. The one daughter spoke of how typically her attitude was that God knows all things, knows where her dad is so she didn't feel that she had to pray about it but The Lord is teaching her that is not so! Prayer is exactly what He wants from us! We are SO human! How can we not get the simplest of things? If Jesus was in constant communication with the Father, how much more should we?
Aritha said…
Thank you for this intense post. Although I live on the other side of the world, I think we are sisters when we believe in Him as our Savior. I'll enjoy reading what you want to share.
Lisa said…
Awesome Renee! I love your honesty!

One thing I'm finding about myself is that if I am asking Him "what I must do to change?" "What I must do to become more like Him?" then I am revealing where my heart lives...I am revealing what I truly believe at a heart level. I am being self righteous instead of resting in His righteousness. I am a pharisee. The rules become more important than relationship with Him.

What I mean by that is... The church as a whole preaches what we must do to become like God, to appease God, to be accepted by God, but that's NOT the gospel. Religion says go and sin no more and we won’t condemn you. Jesus says go and sin no more BECAUSE I don’t condemn you!

The gospel doesn't focus on me and what I must do. It focuses on Jesus and what He DID already. All I have to do is accept it. That's it. Only believe.

Only believe that He is a good God...
Only believe that His thoughts (all good thoughts) towards me outnumber the grains of the sand on the seashore...
Only believe that His plans for me are ONLY good and not evil...
most importantly...
Only believe that what He did for me is enough without my having to add to it.

In years past, I've heard church members counseling new believers, "Well, now that you are saved, you have to be like Jesus and not do (make your sin list), you know... follow the 10 commandments!" That's not true.

That is the spirit of anti-Christ. The spirit of anti-Christ isn't when someone sins. The spirit of anti-Christ is when you have to add something to what Jesus did for Him to accept you.

What I am finding as I meditate and study on the real gospel, Paul's gospel, the one where people are confused and question him saying, "You mean it's OK to just go sin whenever I want?" is that as I understand that true gospel, that God's judgement of my sin is gone... FOREVER... I am free.

I really get what that means now. Jesus paid for it once and for ever,... I am free to NOT sin... I am free from fear because He loves me perfectly and will never, ever, ever, EVER condemn me... I am free of worrying about not pleasing Him.

I am becoming less and less conscious of my "sin" and more and more conscious of His goodness, His mercy, His compassion. The more I understand what He REALLY did for me and how I am SOO undeserving of it, the more easily I am seeing other people through the glasses of unconditional love.

I am changing, but not because I am willing myself to change. I am changing because He is changing me effortlessly.

Change isn't change unless it's effortless. I had to ponder that statement for quite awhile, but it's true. If it requires effort, then the change isn't occurring at a heart level, only an intellectual level and when placed under stress, we will revert to what we believe at a heart level.

That's why people get burned out and disillusioned with church. We may be conforming, "changing" outwardly and may even have convinced ourselves that we are changing, when all we are doing is behavior modification and our heart is still has self centered as ever.

We are frustrated, broken, and burned out. We feel like this "Jesus thing" is just too hard. Those feelings are a barometer of what we believe and who we believe Jesus to be... a hard taskmaster who demands that we toe the line.

The Word says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The more I learn of His true gospel, His amazing grace, the easier and lighter, and more delightful my time with Him gets and the less worry I have about my life in this world. He is my friend... I have relationship.

He tells us to hate evil... the spirit of anti-Christ. I hate it. It has nearly destroyed me and so many that I love. Praise God there is another way... the only way... only believe.

You are precious my friend! You are blessed!
Renee Pierce said…
Tracy

I've been thinking about prayer lately too. I desperately need to learn to be more dependent through prayer. I have a tendency to be very self reliant. I am a doer. This hinders me because I often just do and then pray. Or to be totally honest, I don't pray at all. I want to pray more, but I don't. Not enough. Never enough. I'm thinking of prayer like an on-going conversation all day long. Consulting Jesus, thanking Him, sharing my feelings with Him, just like He is sitting in a chair next to me, or riding in the car with me or going for a walk with me. Just to have the sense and awareness of His presence, all of the time. Of course, He is God, so I'm not saying in any way that I am thinking of Him less. I'm just trying to learn to pray without ceasing.

I love you sister! May God bless the work of your hands and heart as you faithfully serve Him in Haiti. May He bring abundant peace and love to your family.

Renee
Renee Pierce said…
Yes, we are sisters. So nice to see you here Jedidja. I hope you are encouraged to live your faith when you read here.

Love,
Renee
Renee Pierce said…
Yes Lisa,yes.

It sounds so easy to believe the Gospel, until you start doing it. Doing the Gospel means believing, "What must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." Acts 16:30 It sounds too easy, but try to do it and you find so many ways to work for God's salvation, and believing, just believing is really really hard.
The road is wide that will lead us to destruction, but the road is narrow that leads us to life. (Matthew 7:13) God help us! It is a transformation from with that leads us to live like Christ in this world. (Romans 12) And it is IMPERATIVE that we read God's Word to stay the course. Test all things and hold fast to that which is good my friend. (1Thes 5:21)

We should have lunch together some day soon. I so enjoy our conversations.

Love you!
Renee
Unknown said…
The righteous man shall live by faith

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