I’ve been in your shoes. Frustrated. Discouraged. Exhausted. Guilty. Condemned. Trying to do what religion told me to do hoping to see God’s promises manifest in my life.
Eventually, I started to learn that my faith was not on the right foundation and the roots in my heart were preventing me from stepping out into true freedom.
All of my life I went to church. I sang the songs. I listened to countless messages, sermons and homilies. I can even quote the Apostles' Creed...probably in my sleep. I made Jesus the Lord of my life. I was "sprinkle" baptized as a baby and was "submerged" as a teen. But something still wasn't quite clicking for me.
Eventually, I started to learn about broader concepts such as faith, healing, peace and prosperity...although I didn't seem to have a good understanding as to how it all related. Then I heard a message that explained God's entire redemption plan in such a way that it started to click.
Suddenly, I started to see how the principles, promises and provisions in the Bible were like puzzle pieces. And, when put together, they revealed an amazing treasure, an intricate plan, designed by God for us. I also began to see how Christians would learn one principle, try it out for a while, then give up because they didn't see a change. They were missing that God's principles are intended to work in synergy with one another and that's where you see the real power.
starting down a new path
Now, I'm a doer. Curious by nature. Definitely a researcher. Probably a teacher at heart. I analyze a lot...plan some...and other times jump quickly. I want to know how things work. I want to do things the "right" way meaning how they were intended to work. I grabbed on to these concepts and went 150% trying to DO it all "right." Unfortunately, no matter how much I prayed, read the Bible, made my confessions and cried out to God, I didn't see huge changes in my life. Don't get me wrong, some things did improve and I definitely saw God's blessings. But not in the amazing way the Bible explains it or in the way I was seeing it happen to other people.
Another crazy thing happened. I always had this condemnation over my head. Feeling guilty that I didn't pray enough, read the Bible long enough, listen to enough teachings or demonstrate enough faith. If I wasn't seeing results I knew I must be doing something wrong because it definitely wasn’t God’s fault. It was exhausting and I was doing everything I knew to do. And there lays the problem.
I was doing everything that I knew to do.
It was all focused on me. What I could do. What I knew. How much time I put into it. In essence, I think I saw walking in faith as something I had to do to earn my righteousness. By relying on my own efforts, I was putting myself back under the Law and putting an immense pressure on myself to be the perfect Christian. The trouble is that we aren't perfect therefore we can't keep the Law. The purpose of the Law was to bring us to the end of ourselves and realize that we need a Savior. And, the promises and provisions are only found when you live under the covenant of Grace, not the Law. When you try to mix the two, you get lukewarm which has no power. For example, standing on a particular verse (grace) but then condemning yourself for not praying long enough today (law).
My life did a 180 degree turn once I gained this revelation of Faith, Law and Grace through Joseph Prince's book, "Destined to Reign." He taught me the simple yet vital points that I had somehow missed all of those years. I still do the same things, but I do them from a different position. I’m no longer looking for my victory to come from "doing" it all right. Jesus already did all of the "doing" for me on the cross. Praying, praising, confessing, reading the Bible and listening to Christian teachers is what I do now to strengthen my faith and keep my mind on God's truth. They are the weapons that I use to fight off the lies of the devil that try to erode my faith and bring fear and doubt into my mind. Those actions do not make the promise happen. They open the door to what grace has already provided.
There is such a peace and freedom that comes in knowing Jesus did the work for us. I’m learning to trade working for resting so that I can receive what is already mind through Christ. My efforts are to keep God’s Word first place in my heart and use it to fight off the attacks of the enemy.
My Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer shortly after we gained this new perspective. She was given 6 months to 2 years to live. It is now 7 years later and she is going strong and the cancer is still in remission. I truly believe that she would not be here if we had not learned the balance of faith and grace. We would have worked ourselves to exhaustion trying to pray, confess and "do all of the right things" around the clock. Then, we would have allowed condemnation to consume us because there was surely something more we should have done or we didn't do something the "right" way. All the while, we would have been tying God's hands because we were trying to earn the victory by our efforts...but He can't work until we let go.
Sadly, I was so focused on doing all of the things "good faith people" do, that I lost sight of grace...Or maybe it was that I didn't truly understand grace in the first place. Either way, while my actions were based on the best intentions, it prevented me from being balanced and enjoying the overflowing life that God intended.
the next step in the journey
A few years ago, God took me on the next step in my journey with Him. I learned what God’s unconditional love really looks like; what it means to believe with your heart; how past experiences, words said over us, beliefs we have about ourselves, and distorted truths infect and affect our hearts. This makes our heart sick. I learned how important it is to identify the hidden lies that have been tucked away in our hearts and expose them to the light of the Gospel. Let Jesus heal the wound and replace the lie with The Truth.
One fun part of this journey is how God guides me through it. It’s as if He had a curriculum laid out for me and was revealing it as we went along. I would think of a certain speaker and find just the perfect message online that filled in a blank. Or a friend would be learning a similar item and would pass along a teaching she found. Or our small group would have a discussion that opened my eyes to another piece in the puzzle. Only our amazing God could spoon feed it to me, as I was ready, and just when I needed it.
I certainly don’t have it figured out, but my hope is that this website will help others who find themselves in my situation. I want to share what I’ve learned to help people stop struggling and start resting in Jesus so they can enjoy the wonderfully blessed life that God planned for them.