Trembling, I stood before the judge in my crisp suit, trying to make the best impression. With eyes tearing and a quaky voice, I answered all of her questions. I hadn’t slept much the night before and had been shaky with fear for what her judgement would be.
The crime wasn’t really even my fault, yet I knew the responsibility lay on my shoulders and that there could be both expensive and potentially painful consequences.
We had invited a detoxing heroine addict to be a guest of our home. As he writhed in pain and overcame the terrible addiction, our hearts broke for him. I had allowed him to use my car to apply for a job, which had given opportunity for a drive downtown, a relapse, an arrest and eventually this court scene.
My car was impounded. Heroine needles had been found in my car and I was sure that somehow I was going to get pinned with this crime. I was paralyzed with fear and completely at the grace of this judge. Without ceasing, I prayed under my breath for mercy and that the judge would have wisdom to see the reality of the situation.
This fear that gripped me bears a striking resemblance to the fear that binds our hearts in regards to grace. So many of us Christians are striving, clutching — trying to maintain hold of our fleeting grasp of grace. We push so hard to earn God’s favor. When we feel we do, we can’t enjoy it, because the fear of losing it slips in.
What if we let go and invited God to take over… completely?
What if we forgave ourselves for the sins that God has already forgiven ourselves for?
What if we stopped trying to work for God’s approval? Do you believe He loves you just how you are… that he made an “as-is” purchase?
Friends, we are no longer slaves to sin. Nor are we slaves to guilt and shame.
We cannot earn our salvation. The moment we try, it is as if we clench our fists around a fleeting grasp of grace and try to muster up strength to keep hold of God’s favor. But Abba’s favor is more like floodwaters or torrential rain that pours over us. We cannot escape it, nor harness it as if we have earned it.
God’s grace towards us was purchased solely by His sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ, on that Golgatha cross. Your good works didn’t raise Him from the dead — and they won’t free you from your guilt.
Christ’s life overcame death and He will free you from your guilt and striving. He calls you to relinquish your fleeting grasp of grace, stretch out your arms and bask in His Father’s torrential, loving downpour of grace.