Today I was quite unkind to my Alzheimer’s mother, whom I love dearly and daily. I don’t like how I talked to her at all. I was pretty mean in a tense situation. Anyway, in the past, I would struggle so badly with guilt in such a situation I would be partially incapacitated. That may sound noble. But, it was really because my purpose in life was not necessarily to love others well (including my Mom). It was all to often to try for ME to be a good person because it made me feel temporarily better if I succeeded in this good behavior or that good behavior. I’m handling this differently today. I’m renewing my mind about how much Grace God has provided to cover my sin. And how God doesn’t even SEE my sin. This leaves me free and able to focus on loving MOM and loving OTHERS in my life instead of being all bound up (self-absorbed) pondering how I failed and whether or not I’M a good person, whether God is displeased with ME, etc. When I get a pang of guilt remembering my bad treatment of Mom, I’ve been meditating on Roman 8:1. Although I can clearly see (but don’t agree with) the argument that it’s cold and wrong to not feel guilty after such sin. I can see why 95% of Christians would think that it’s WRONG to not feel guilty in such a situation. But, I strongly believe that the 5% are right, that God knows that it’s such lavish GRACE that will enable us to love others well. But, it really doesn’t seem rational until you experience getting off the hook for your sin and seeing how you become more loving, kind, patient, good than you’ve ever been before. I’ve lived it. I’ve read it in the Bible. Millions of other Grace oriented Christians are living it and I know it because of what they write online.
Imagine strapping 10 lb weights on each of your arms and each of your legs and then proceeding with your normal life. Sure would be hard work. Then imagine getting to finally take them off after wearing them every day for a long, long time. Imagine how light and effortless everything would seem to you. That’s similar to how it feels to me when I’m able to be confident in the fullness of God’s Grace (If you’re a new reader and what I’m saying is unclear, leave me a comment and I can clarify). Like everything is easier. Like I am physically and emotionally much, much stronger. When I’m experiencing doubt about the fullness of God’s Grace, I feel weaker physically and emotionally.
HYPOTHETICAL MIND EXPERIMENT – Imagine (if you can) that someone told you that you no longer had to tend to your vocation anymore. That you will continue to get your paychecks but you no longer have to do the work. It will be done FOR YOU by someone else (gratis…for free) but all the accomplishments and all the money/compensation will still accrue to you. How would that change your life? If you will ponder this, it sounds like life would get a whole lot less difficult if you didn’t have to worry about your vocation.
That’s kind of how I’m experiencing the Grace of God. I interpret that God no longer wants me working on being “a good person”. That has been already accomplished by Jesus. Can you imagine how it is for me to no longer work on (stress about) trying to be a good person? I sure feel free, if you can imagine.
If to you it’s a shocking statement for me to make that I feel I no longer need to focus on “being a good person”, if you’ll leave a comment, I will explain in more detail what I’m saying. But I wanted to keep this post brief as always.
Knowing and believing The Truth (what God says) grows Fruit of the Spirit which leads to The Abundant Life. You can know that what you believe is really True if you are experiencing The Abundant Life. If you aren’t experiencing The Abundant Life, you can be sure that you are believing Error in some important areas.
If you believe what I’ve written, then each day is truly a beautiful day without you making further efforts to make it so. Believing the Gospel of Grace really does make EVERY SINGLE THING okay in life. It makes it UNNECESSARY to try real hard to make “things OK” because they already are – through nothing you’ve done except believed the message. To the extent you (or anyone) knew the Good News and believed it, then to that extent their heart would not yearn for the things you can accomplish or communicate in your daily efforts (I’m not just speaking career and money here, gang).
I no longer want to get up and “make it a good day”. I want to (and often do) get up and remember that it already IS a good day and I really have no needs that won’t be provided.
COUNTERFEIT WARNING: You might think I’m saying that in order to please God, you need to appreciate each day. WRONG. BADLY WRONG. God doesn’t need you to be in a good mood. But He likes it when you are because He loves you so much. In making it so that each day is, in fact, a good day, God isn’t trying to get you to have the right attitude (grateful) in a way that pleases Him. He is trying to help you to find lasting peace and joy. You can never accomplish this by working on fixing your circumstances. Only by fixing your beliefs (renewing your mind).
I’ve wanted to document the early months of my growth into better understanding God’s Grace. I will always be glad to have this journal of such a mountaintop time of my life. I’ve learned so much. But there’s much to learn. For example, I don’t understand prayer really much at all. I’m speaking here of the types of prayer where I’m asking for something. I’ve learned God is always eager to bless me outside of my particular prayer requests. And I’ve see those unasked-for blessings come repeatedly. So, since this is the case, I actually don’t often like to ask God to do this or that for me because I’m thinking that His ideas are better than my ideas and I don’t want him to go off and do what I’ve requested but to my detriment since I didn’t get what He had already planned. I also don’t understand the idea of the Exchanged Life – I think this refers to when we “died with Christ” so it’s not I who lives but Christ in me. I believe this is True. But, I don’t really grasp it in my experience as I do so many other revelations from God that have transformed me in many ways. So, I want to grasp that. I know it’s a big deal. I’m so very surprised that, so far in this Hyper Grace journey, I find it hard to maintain my cognizance, my awareness, my moment by moment recollection of the Hyper Grace of God. And without this Grace, I easily can lose my peace and joy (and the other fruit of the Spirit) for a while. Without being vigilant, I find myself slipping EVEN IN MINUTES back into the old way of thinking – right and wrong, self righteousness, Old Covenant, etc. I have to work on it all day every day. I am looking for a mentor who can/will teach me the things I don’t know yet. I haven’t found just the right person yet because I want more time than most people can give. I also want someone who is well ahead of me in these understandings. I also will need someone who communicates very clearly. Otherwise, it will be very hard to make progress. I also find that when I run across well written doctrine that attempts to refute the Hyper Grace of God, I can get a bit scared. I just don’t want anything to upset where I am and have been for a year as far as my beliefs and my peace/joy. Someone may say that I shouldn’t expose myself to those who think that God’s Grace is somewhat or quite conditional, unlike me. But, I always think that I should expose myself to the thinking of other, sincere believers, even though to do so often troubles me. I can lose my peace/joy for a while.
I’m a newbie to the full Grace of God. Once I found The Pearl of Great Price, I got pretty enthusiastic. I’ve wanted to help everyone else get The Pearl. I’ve been surprised by how LITTLE interest there is in all this from “my people” (family, associates, friends, etc.). I’ve been so desperate to have peace/joy for decades that I think that if one of my friends said they found it, I’d think I’d seek him out to see if I could get in on it. But maybe I wouldn’t tune into it. But it really just makes me sad. It also makes me value even more what I’ve found. But, mostly it makes me very sad for these people I see in emotional pain. I’m open to comments.