Saturday night- the kids are in bed… some R even sleeping… my wife is chillin with the PAXchix; Football on T.V. and my mind is furiously chewing over some “applied grace” thoughts [Things like- fighting against my own nasty behaviors by applying legalistic ‘do betterness’ or self motivated ‘I can handle this probl…em by myself you watch’ is still pride and self-righteousness… isn’t it true that if you fight sin with sin it’s still sin? And doesn’t the Bible say SIN brings death?) hmmmm only by leaning hard into grace can I find freedom- set -free -it -ness!
For all those who are so used to the terms- ‘grace’; ‘law’, ‘righteousness’ when referring to the place/actions/conversation/and work of salvation- I’m meaning something that happens in the life AFTER the glorious transaction of salvation.
For all those who have habitually struggled for years trying to make yourself sanctified, or good enough before God and others. STOP! We already know you aren’t going to do it- cause we can’t either. This is why we need and are offered grace from God.
Can I get specific for a minute: Men, we enter the ring against a wandering heart, drawing away by wandering eyes and the acts of self-worship we commonly call lust. So, if you are a Jesus follower, you know you have to ‘put to death’ this bit of nastiness- cause if you don’t it’ll put to death a bunch of stuff in your own life. [Believe me I see the underbelly of it everyday with the human traffic in my hood and the addictive, abusive, self effacing heart ache that comes along with it]. So you determine by pure legalism (rules/boundaries/and by doing the best you can in your self) to over come it! That’s weapon #1 we are often told will conquer lust in our lives. Secondly, we tell ourselves I can control this thing- weapon of pride. Both of which are dirty sins in themselves and soon like the Pharisees of old, who perfected pride and legalism we birth a self-righteousness. Here’s how it goes:: Yeah, I have fasted from this for like a year now (pride); I’m starving this habit (with internet blockers and accountability partners); I’m controlling my mind- “by bouncing my eyes”- Every Man’s Battle. I’m not saying these things are necessarily bad- NO boundaries are good, if we don’t have boundaries we have lawlessness- BUT what I am saying is that these self made rules and will power are NOT ENOUGH!! In fact if left to their own they twist into our thinking so that we actually stop confessing and start rewarding our ‘good behavior’ with just a taste of sinful compromise. Or when we are tired, or up late, or feel like our wives or girlfriends are not there for us than lust (which we have tried to hold down by our own strength) completely overcomes us- devours us and pushes us to a dark place from which we can hardly recover.
We need for the Grace of God to so totally sweep our hearts, minds, lives that we hate sin so deeply because of what it cost Jesus to secure our freedom. We need to be so constantly close to the cross that the love of God castes out what we think we need through the false assurance and temporary security driven by our self- worship displayed in lust -Come on, using someone else for our own glory, whether they participate or not is a horrendous act and misuse of the dignity, value and worth God has given them and a blatant act of self-worship- Only the discipline motivated by the grace of God will be the kind of discipline that keeps us quick to confess, able to truly repent and living in the freedom of forgiveness AND victory. Where sin is grace is able to super abound = victory!