“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” ~ John Piper
The other night, I had the opportunity to check out Louie Giglio’s Passion City Church. Needless to say, it was awesome. I mean, anything that starts off with Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels leading worship and ends with a church-wide prayer to send a sweet empassioned girl off to West Africa to return to the mission field after having just lost her mother suddenly… yeah. Awesome. In the truest sense of the word.
But, Louie was continuing a series on Grace ~ or as he puts it: “the power of God living in me”. He started us off in Colossians 3:5-10:
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Yikes. Talk about a tall order. Basically, just do everything that is against your earthly nature, and you’ll be fine. Yeah… okay. Sure. But, what happens after your feet hit the floor in the morning??
Louie pointed out that a lot of us get caught in the mindset of: “Christ died for me! The least I can do is not lust or slander or be angry or greedy, lie or use filthy language.” Next thing you know, you’ve broken about 3 or 4 of these and you haven’t even left the house yet!
That’s when we start rededicating, as Louie says. And then rededicating our rededication. And rededicating the rededication of our rededication. And so on and so forth. (Sound familiar? Maybe it’s just me….) Saying “I promise… this time… (will be different).” Only to have the same results and ending up back at square one… defeated and often self-condemned. All the while being very well-intended, but… well, I think we all know where the road of good intentions leads.
As Louie reminded us, it is impossible to live all of this out in the flesh… in our own strength, that is. We must let Christ live it out through us. He is not only our Savior or ‘payment’ but our “life” (Col. 3:4).
“God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
Paul continues, “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Col. 1:29).
It’s normal to struggle. Even with all of His energy. We’re still merely humans. But, if we allow Him to live in us, He will be able to do powerful works through us!
I can’t! But, He can!!
Step forward in faith. And see what He wants to do through you.
* The illustration of the storage bins tied in, too. But, I could never begin to illustrate that the way Louie did. So, I guess you had to be there. But, when he gets the series online, I’ll post it for you. *
(Oh. And, you must know that it is driving me crazy that I can't get my playlist to cooperate. But, if I were able to connect a song with this post, it would be "Everything" by Tim Hughes. Who knows... maybe I'll get it to work before too long.) :)