The Grace Test
Posted on June 8, 2017 by Graeme Wilson in Freedom Fighters
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)
Some days I just didn’t feel it. Although it is around me in the commonality of everyday life, some days I just didn’t feel it. I’ve read books on it, heard sermons about it, and I do understand that it has been granted to me (though I don’t deserve it), but some days I just didn’t feel it. Living in a world that presses in from all sides will do what it can to squeeze it out of me, but in the long run, God is able to make all grace abound toward me, that I, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. So, when it comes to God’s grace in my life, the more you try to hold me down, the more I press on!! Deal with it!! …Wrong viewpoint huh?
In its basic definition, grace refers to a smooth and pleasing way of moving or a polite and thoughtful way of behaving, but these definitions are subjugated to what man considers to be smooth, pleasing, polite, or thoughtful. That’s not to say that man doesn’t have an idea on what grace looks like, it’s just my way of saying man has, at times, a flawed view. Even we Christians can maintain a “graceful value system” that is geared more towards Christian living rather than Christian relationship, and that really holds us back from showing the grace of God in our lives towards others. We tend to show the right and wrongs of life through Biblical wisdom instead of the person of Jesus Christ.
When we look at the events that are occurring around us right now, how many of us are finding ourselves in endless debates over the moral anarchy that has become a clear and present danger? So many of us American Christians lost our minds when the plaques that had the Ten Commandments engraved upon them were removed from courthouses that you would have thought the wrath of God was just around the corner. Yes, the Ten Commandments outline a moral code that reflects the righteousness of a holy God, but all they can do to the current American mindset is bring condemnation. They can pinpoint that we all have a spiritual disease but offers no hope for a cure.
Even in my own personal walk, I was at an unfortunate crossroads with extending the same grace of God that was shown to me. It is like I became this encyclopedia of what is just and fair and wanted EVERYONE around me to understand that we have to maintain our moral compass and that my role was to be that of a watchman. Now, this may have been a good thing when it started, but I got so rigid within the idea of it that when a major storm came I took an unnecessary thrashing for all the wrong reasons and have been left pretty beaten up by the experience. So much so that I have had to sift myself through the epistle of 2nd Corinthians to see where I went wrong. And there it was, a single word, like a silent whisper in a cave…grace. I forgot to extend grace. C’est la vie….
The attributes of Jesus Christ aren’t hidden from us if we have a right relationship with Him but when we think we got this like I thought I did, all chaos and disorder breaks out. Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to, “test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith.” And then he warns ‘Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need first hand evidence, not more hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you.”
The damage from the storm is still in need of repair, I’m disheartened to tell you, but I am better in understanding God’s grace because of it. My guess is that if we don’t do a regular “accounting of ourselves” instead of accounting others, God will do it for us and we better be ready for that day. It is a humbling thing to have been brought down from the watchtower to be sifted like wheat, but God was faithful through it and He once again showed me undeserving grace. If you feel like you are being sifted be of good cheer because “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b) Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 1| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here
Daily Quote: “Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have been delivered from the law. We are no longer required to live under a system of rules that outline right and wrong behavior. We are now free to enjoy life in the Spirit. God promised the Old Testament saints that a day would come when He would write His law on the hearts of His people. That day has come!” — Steve McVey
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8