If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Monday, July 21, 2014


If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  Psalm 37:23–24

Don't let the fear of sin or failure limit your life. Lots of us have been there . . . afraid to move because we're afraid we are going to mess up. This verse, as all other similar writings, tells us that God will be with us and support us in our walk with Him. He can't do much other than encourage us to move when we are sitting still. 

I have tried - still striving - to eliminate every vestige (look it up . . . I did) of legalism in my life as a Christian. It can sometimes be hard to recognize what constitutes legalism as opposed to what is simply pursuing a Godly lifestyle. Having grown up under legalistic teaching and with the greatest emphasis on behavior it can be hard rooting out the nearly ingrained idea that behavior matters above all else. Of course, behavior is either Christlike or not. The difference is whether actions, behavior, is dictated by "the law" as written or led by the Holy Spirit within us.

When I refer to the legalistic teachings of years past I must admit that that is just my perception. I remember some red-faced, very loud "speaking" preachers, but I really wasn't listening all that closely. I remember feeling guilty about things that I thought would send me to Hell for sure, but I have to admit that I don't remember desiring to be near to God except for however close I would be to Him in Heaven. All of my effort, though often failing, was to be good, not to be God's. That's the way I thought it worked. That's the way I thought it was.

One of the most difficult adjustments for Christians is living out the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. The law of God is certainly not irrelevant, and it is not to be flouted. (I looked that one up, too.) The law, without mankind's many additions, is God's written guide for a life on Earth that would be pleasing and acceptable to Him. The law is impossible for us to follow without fail. God knows this. Jesus paid the price for our failure, yours and mine individually, to live up to the standard of the law. He is the living fulfillment of the law, and not only our living example of true Godliness, but our ever present help in living a Godly life.

The thing is, God fulfilled the requirement for holiness in Jesus Christ. He took all of our sin - past, present and future - upon Himself. He suffered the punishment due us. He paid the total price that was ours to pay.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." from Romans 8

So relax and breathe easy. Your life as a Christian is not about how good you can be or how little you sin. It is about living in grace, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, becoming the person God made you to be and is pruning you into. Your life as a Christian is about God being glorified in and through you. You might think this is just a play on words, but there is a huge difference. If we are concentrating on "being good" and "not sinning" our focus is on ourselves. We are expending all of our time, effort, and energy on ourselves in the name of obeying God. Please don't take this wrong. Obeying God brings glory to God. BUT, God's glory comes from His work in us, not by our own efforts. Focus on God, not self, will allow all that He has for us to flow into our lives. It is not our place to make of ourselves that which God would have us to be. He does that.

So, don't freeze up in fear that you are going to take a wrong step or stumble in your walk with Jesus. It's going to happen. God knows that, and His grace covers you in all things. Be bold. Don't try to go before Him. Don't try to lag behind Him. Just go with Him. When you stumble the Lord will uphold you with His mighty hand.


PS: I just could not make myself use "frozen chosen" in this post. . . . Oops! I just did:/ Well, here's your video.