Psalm 18:19 says, He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (NIV)
Grace is word everyone has heard, but very few, myself included has ever fully grasped. We know the definitions of grace, we say grace, we believe in grace, we accept grace, but do we grasp what grace really is? The challenge with grace is that there is nothing we can do to get it. We live in a work, earn wages world, so our system of thinking is based on receiving based on doing. I am not even sure we fully comprehend how deeply ingrained this works and rewards thing is in us. We breathe it everyday, we see it everywhere, we hear it in so many different places, it is so much a part of our cultural DNA, that we do not even recognize it anymore. This, I believe is why it is so difficult to grasp grace. However, there is a shift in the spirit, there are people speaking out, and as believers, we are gradually starting to engage with this reality of grace.
The Father has been revealing, by His spirit, that grace is not a cover up for our sin; not a license to act however we want; not a reason why we can just consume and expect to receive, just so we can consume some more. Grace is as we all have heard, unmerited favor, but what exactly does that mean and what does that look like in our daily lives. This is what I am learning. Grace is the cognitive realization, that God does not bless me; speak to me; deliver me; redeem me; teach me; train me; or equip me; because I am so wonderful. He does it because He delights in me. Grace is God’s character, it is rooted in His generosity, it is who He is. John 3:16 says, for God so loved (graced) the world, that He gave (graced) His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes (receives grace), shall not perish, but have eternal (grace) life.” We didn’t merit Christ coming to the earth to save us from our sin. We do not get eternal life, because we are able to believe on our own, it is all by grace. His grace (His nature, character, power) working in us is what gives us the want to, to believe and receive.
Grace is a challenge for us, because when we work for something we can take ownership and “glory” in our rewards, because we did something to get what we got. It is a subtle deception, but deep down inside the human psyche, there is such a need for significance, that we use our works to affirm our worth. Our identity is so wrapped up in what we do, that we cannot cease from doing, henceforth, why so many do not remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, by resting one whole day a week.
This works mentality plays out in our prayers, our worship, our giving, our spiritual disciplines, our everything. Many people approach their relationship with God based on working in order to earn a wage (ex. praying a certain way or length, in order to get an answer), rather than from a place of grace, which is rooted in a relationship, because they know the character of whom to which they do these things for. An example of this is praying for something and sharing with God all the reasons they deserve what they are praying for. This is not malicious or intentional, its natural, because we live in a world of work to get wages. But, the Lord is inviting us to the realization that we don’t deserve anything, yet he delights in everything we are.
The Lord is inviting us deeper into His heart, not because we have earned this invitation, but because He is so generous. Grace is grabbing the generosity of God with gratitude and going wherever He may lead. Once the body of Christ grasps the reality of grace, the need to perform, the striving, the working for, rather than working from mentality will cease, and will we will see the increase we have and continue to long for.
I, like you, am grasping grace gradually.