"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--...so no man can boast." Ephesians 2:9, 10.
Today I had an epiphany. We need grace in something, what ever it is. Whatever it is we aspire to do or accomplish, we need grace in it. I'm not talking about salvation here. That's a given. I'm talking about our everyday lives. We know there's grace when you don't feel completely ready for the whole thing. If you feel like you are completely ready because you've gained all of the knowledge and all of the experience, you may get the satisfaction that you did this on your own, but you'll feel empty, and that emptiness is there because there was no room left for God's grace.
You see, there is no need for God or his grace in the picture when it has all been done by you. And that is where most people tumble, because they've made themselves so perfect on their own and so confident in themselves, and made God whatever they wanted Him to be in their lives that there is no room left for the God of grace, and often God has taken his hand off, because 1. there is no room left for His glory because no glory would be or could be contributed to him in that case. Also 2. If someone asked you how you did it, notice that there is no place God could fit in the story, thus he or sh's left no room for his grace, which is where God shines in the story and 3. people are attracted to grace and in turn, no grace is people repelent, i e. people can not stand to be around places or people that don't make room for Grace. 4. God blesses those who work hard, but leave some room for the grace of God.
I find that all people love Grace. Probably because we all need it, but pride gets in the way (I'll talk about that later!) That's why people loved Jesus. That is why people will recognize and love to be near us as well, when we practice the love of God, to lay down our lives for our brothers and show others God's grace. We need God's grace. God will not elevate or promote you if you depend on yourself, your own knowledge, your own experience to the point that you complete a task and leave no room for God in the story. If you feel you are not completely ready for a task GO and DO IT! Do it because that is a sign of how you know that God can get the glory out of it. Of course, I'm not saying to do NOTHING on your part! I'm saying don't get lost in analysis paralysis. Don't wait that way! That kind of "waiting" is 100% your pride telling you you have to wait until everything is all perfect in your own eyes and understanding because you know that (a) you will not look like a fool and, secretly, (b) you don't want to share a grace testimony because it's too scary and you would rather get all the glory and tell everyone the story of how "you knew this all along." No. No. No! That may be comfortable, but God can not grace complete peace and really elevate you to accomplish more for His glory if you do it that way!
This is why going and needing God's grace will lift you up high. Ever wondered why you've seen so many people who are so talented and so good looking and God was not using them; for some reason they never made it or wasn't successful..well..that is exactly why! Because they're perfect! There's no room for an amazing story! Who wants to hear a story about how you were always right!? We all love to hear the story about that one thing we all need! But no one wants to hear your story because there's no room for His grace in it. This is also why some are successful but miserable.
It's a beautiful thing to learn this phenomenon, but not if you are the one who's trying so hard to be perfect and not willing to let grace take over in areas of your life. And you suffer and suffer and it's all because you refuse to release and let God take control of some of it (or how about ALL of it?!?). I realize that if you ever wonder why in some areas of your life you aren't experiencing the victory that God wants to bring to you, it's usually in the same areas in which we are not willing to relinquish and give our complete control and hand it all the way over to God.
There is a big difference between faith in me and faith in God. I can have great faith, but it could be only great faith in me. Great faith in me, brings glory only to me, which is guaranteed to be destroyed over time or even instantaneously. Faith in God does a lot of things. Faith in God does not only save you but it can save many many others and bless many many others as well. But it takes us depending on the grace of God to take the leap and step forward. There is a big difference between faith in me and faith in God. It's up to us to learn the difference. The difference is in grace. Let's pray that we surrender those areas in our lives that we are trying so hard to get perfect and surrender them over to God today.
God bless your day today.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10
One extra note:
We often get so frustrated over the effects of things and never ever think about the causes, the very things that control the thing. Check this out.
Imagine someone in the shower getting upset because the mist from the warm shower that he has on if fogging up the mirror that he's trying to look into. Imagine him getting angry at the mist, frantically trying to wipe away the fog from the mirror only to find it reappear again. We do thing so many times with our own lives. We run out of funds or relationships don't work out and we get angry at the money or at the person. But what if the guy went over and turned the hot water down. He'd look at the mirror, which seems to not be related to the shower on the other side of the room, but he has understood some laws that if he adjust, the mist from the mirror would subside. Patience here is important too. Notice that if he turns the heat down and the cold higher, the fog doesn't subside immediately, but it is subsiding and after a few seconds it seems to multiple in speed and before you know it the mirror is completely clear and you didn't even have to touch the mirror! It's the same with all the areas of our lives. There are laws and principles that if we obey them we will find almost easy and effortless changes in our lives. Believe me. And so it works with the law of grace. Trust in God and His grace to lift you up when you don't feel like you've done it all correctly. Trust in His grace and He can lift you up higher and give you His peace. He can do more through you with His grace than you ever dreamed possible.
If you'd like to accept Jesus into your life today, pray this simple prayer of God's love and grace today: Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying for all my sin; now Lord I invite you into my heart. Come and be my everything today and forever. Forgive my sin as I make You and you alone Lord in my life. Amen. Now read the book of God's love in the Bible: The book of John chapters 1-21. God promises He will guide your life. Pray and ask God to bring the right people into your life. God will guide you to the right church full of people who love His words in the Bible. Our God is so faithful. God bless you today.