Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Spirit's Waterfall of Grace

I wrote recently about how I had been going back under some performance thinking and feeling condemned and "not good enough."  And God in His grace and love just helped me so much and reminded me of the truth that I'm not under performance pressure (law) and that He has already made me "good enough" and even better than enough through Christ!  It has been a relief to just relax lately and know that He is not requiring or demanding anything of me.  That He is happy with me and loves me right now in the place where I am.   I need to hear the grace message EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I can't be truly happy and at peace unless I know that He's okay with me and is here with me, accepting me.  That is the bedrock of my life, the foundation upon which I function.  Without Him and His love for me, nothing else fits together.  But praise God we DO have Him and His love forever, whether we always sense it or even remember it or not.  So we are always fine in Him, secure and safe in His arms, dearly loved and cherished, accepted and acceptable, whole and perfect to Him, whether we see that or not.  He is the One who draws me back to seeing that truth.  He removes the blinders and lies and clouds that confuse me sometimes.  He pushes back the accusations of the enemy.  He clears the air with His fresh breeze of GRACE as He whispers once again to me, "I love and accept you now and forever.  You are perfect to Me.  You are beautiful to Me.  You are mine.  We will always be together and I will always love and hold you." 

One wonderful experience I had during this whole time of "crash and renewal" happened when I met with my dear friend Julie one day to talk and pray.  I love Julie so much, for she reminds me of the truth about me, the truth about who God has made me!  At one point as we talked, I was telling her about my mentality lately, and I said, "I am such a legalist."  My friend looked at me with deep intensity, with a look that went right into my soul, and she said so strongly, "You are NOT a legalist.  That is what you WERE."  Wow!  I was stopped in my tracks!  Yes, that's right, I slowly remembered.  My brain fog began to clear and I was able to say, "Right, I am a NEW creation and I'm not a legalist anymore!"  Thank You, Lord, for a friend who will tell me the truth about my identity in Christ and remind me of the good news that we are new and righteous because of Him!

I have to share another amazing moment from that meeting.  We decided to pray, and Julie began to pray for me.  She put her hand on my head and began a heartfelt prayer.  I just felt like a little baby, really, just so weak and vulnerable, needing to receive help and care.  Then as she prayed, Julie said, "I see water pouring.  I see water pouring down from the top of your head, washing all the way down your body, then going off into the gutter, washing away all the old thinking, all the legalistic thinking."  It was so wonderful!  She had this vision of God washing away all the lies and old performance-based thinking, just washing it away by His Holy Spirit's Waterfall of Grace!  And I really do feel lighter since that day, and find it easier to pray, find myself just knowing deep down that everything is okay.  I am able to rest again in Him.  I am able to know that I don't have to prove anything to anyone or look like a super-Christian.  The pressure is off.  The clouds are gone.  He really did remove some kind of oppression that day, and I am so thankful to Him!  I really wanted to share all that and just give Him praise and thanks!

I guess any of us can get confused and troubled sometimes.  The enemy tries to inject feelings and thoughts of inadequacy and being lacking and of needing to 'strive' or 'try harder.'  He tries to make us feel condemned by our failures, tells us lies.  But grace is always the answer.  God gives us a refreshing drink of grace, or maybe even a waterfall drenching of it!  He is so good to us.  He never leaves us confused.  "I will not leave you comfortless.  I will come to you." "Nevertheless I am continually with You.  You have taken me by my right hand."  The grace of God will be there for us, no matter what.  Even when we can't see Him, He can see us!  Even when we can't remember grace (now what was that truth of grace again??), He remembers!  He is still with us.  He is still holding our hand.  His grace is still carrying us!  He is still working and lifting us up, pushing away the clouds so we can see clearly again!  His grace is sufficient! No matter what, now and forever - what a wonderful God!

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14