"It was for freedom that Christ set us free!" (Gal. 5:1)
God is wrecking me again, in a good way, over the truth of not being under law!
I slip so easily into thinking of my performance, seeing my faults, feeling I need to 'work on' certain areas, trying to improve..and it only leads to frustration, failure, self-condemnation, and feeling guilty and ashamed for not being a more "successful" Christian! All of this is just a LIE and is all performance-based thinking, law-based thinking!
And I am not under the law! None of us as Christians are under law! We are free, free, free from the law!
What does that mean? I feel like I have needed to learn all over again what that really means..
God is showing me it means that nothing is required of me! This is what He whispered to me a while back, when I was seeking healing for a physical trouble I was having. He suddenly whispered, "nothing is required of you, you don't have to do anything." Shortly after that, He ministered His healing touch to me! Isn't He wonderful? Everything in this Christian life is by GRACE, no effort from us required, all a FREE gift that is ours already because Jesus' work put it into our hands! We simply realize it is ours (that's called faith) and enjoy the gift!
So anyway, that really got me to thinking about this idea of being free from the law - that nothing is REQUIRED of us. There is nothing we MUST do, or else! There is no FORCE in the New Covenant - just desire - God put a new heart in us, put His own nature in us, and we naturally desire to love and be kind, etc. We want to! We don't do it to get on God's good side (we're already on His good side, and anyway, God only has one side, the good side! There is no 'bad side' to God!!). We don't do it to get Him to give us the blessing (He's not withholding any good thing from us, has already blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing). We're not doing it to avoid punishment (Jesus already took our punishment, so there's none left for us!). We're not doing it to avoid the curse (Jesus became a curse for us on the tree, so the curse has no place in our lives or right to us at all!! It cannot alight upon us!). We do those things like loving and caring for people because it's our nature and we want to, and the Holy Spirit in us lives those desires out Himself and it is really Christ living His life in us, loving people through us while we watch! Wow!
So we really live in freedom! I was reading about looking into the "law of liberty" in the book of James, and I read that the word liberty used there means "without obligation" - I love that! We are not under obligation with God. He's not demanding anything of us. He's not requiring, forcing, or pushing us. Nothing is required of us! We don't have to do anything to get His favor, love, blessing, presence, acceptance, or help. We have already got all that - it came with the package when we received Christ! God freely gave us ALL things in Christ! With no strings attached, no demands on us to do something in order to keep those gifts, no performance requirements to keep or else we'll lose those things, either. The gift of the Son, and all that He is, His perfection, health, freedom, authority, peace, joy, belovedness, favor, acceptance, victory, abundance, strength, hope, safety, etc. are all ours, too, for free, by GRACE! By unmerited favor! To me, that means we don't have to do anything to get them or do anything to keep them - they are just plain ours in Christ, so we can say 'thank you' and start enjoying all He came to give us, without worrying about cleaning up our act, getting it all together, our works not being so great, etc.
I think He wants me to get my focus off my own works and failures (that's sin-consciousness!) and get my focus on Him and His perfect work and love for me, and how that makes me perfect and beloved in Him before the Father (that's Son-consciousness)! The first way feels like death to me, but the second way is unending joy and life! What a wonderful way to live! Free from obligation, free from having to prove oneself, free from having to earn acceptance, free from worry that you'll fail so much you'll be rejected or condemned, free from worrying about your works at all! He's already put us in life by Christ's work, not our own, and we're kept there by Christ's work not our own! Nothng is required of us! We are not under obligation! We are free to do anything! Yes, I really wrote that! So, what do I really want to do?? I want to think about Jesus all day, praise His name, read about His love and grace, and smile and tell the whole world they are loved for free! I want to be nice to somebody, want to worship, want to look into the eyes of Jesus and tell Him, "My Jesus, I love You! Thank You for loving me so unconditionally! I love You!"