Grace vs Good Intentions

Dear All,

I have recently been given a wonderful book called TrueFaced and have found it a compelling read. I found the book, well for a better word, “Honest”. I think most people especially Christians tend to place a mask on themselves. We try to look our very best and also do our very best in the name of God. That however is missing the point. We are not called into a religion of motives and good intentions. Someone once said, “The path to Hell is paved with good intentions.” We are not called to a religion of moral excellence or noble intentions.

The Christian Faith is that or a transference of divine life and of imputed righteousness. It is this righteousness that is our moral perfection before God. God is not interested in the moral excellence which is produced by our good intentions. To him, that is filthy rags. Instead God offers us His clothes, His righteousness, His Son.

It is thru His Son, we are invited to a room called Grace. He beckons us to leave our rooms of Good Intentions and a “flesh pleasing, feel good” religion that does not please God but our own religious pride. Here is an excerpt from that book. I pray that it may set you free.

“We discover in The Room of Grace that the almost unthinkable has happened. God has shown all of his cards. He reveals a breathtaking protection that brings us out of hiding. In essence, God says, “What if I tell them who they are? What if I take away any element of fear in condemnation, judgment, or rejection? What if I tell them I love them, will always love them? That I love them right now, no matter what they’ve done, as much as I love my only Son? That there’s nothing they can do to make my love go away?

What if I tell them there are no lists? What if I tell them I don’t keep a log of past offenses, of how little they pray, how often they’re let me down, made promises that they don’t keep? What if I tell them they are righteous, with my righteousness, right now? What if I tell them they can stop beating themselves up? That they can stop being so formal, stiff, and jumpy around me? What if I tell them I’m crazy about them? What if I tell them, even if they run to the ends of the earth and do the most horrible, unthinkable things, that when they come back I’d receive them with tears and a party?

What if I tell them that I am their Savior, they’re going to heaven no matter what – it’s a done deal? What if I tell them they have a new nature – saints, not saved sinners who should now ‘buck-up and be better if they were any kind of Christians, after all he’s done for you!’ What if I tell them that I actually live in them now? That I’ve put my love, power, and nature inside of them, at their disposal? What if I tell them that they don’t have to put on a mask? That it is ok to be who they are at this moment, with all their junk. Thant they don’t need to pretend about how close we are, how much they pray or don’t, how much Bible they read or don’t. What if they knew they don’t have to look over their shoulder for fear if things get too good, the other shoe’s gonna drop?

“What if they knew I will never, ever use the word punish in relation to them? What if they knew that when they mess up, I will never “get back at them?” What if they were convinced that bad circumstances aren’t my way of evening the score for taking advantage of me? What if they knew the basis of our friendship isn’t how little they sin, but how much they let me love them? What if I tell them they can hurt my heart, but that I never hurt theirs? What if I tell them I like Eric Clapton’s music too? What if I tell them I never really liked the Christmas handbell deal with the white gloves? What if I tell them they can open their eye when they pray and still go to heaven? What if I tell them there is no secret agenda, no trapdoor? What if I tell them it isn’t about their self-effort, but about allowing me to live my life through them?”

When you stand at the crossroads, you decide which road to choose largely upon how you see God’s “gamble.” Do I really believe this stuff will hold up – for me? This is the way of life in The Room of Grace. It is the way home to healing, joy, peace, fulfillment, contentment, and release into God’s dream for us. It almost feels like we’re stealing silverware from the king’s house, doesn’t it? Truth is, the king paid a lot so that you wouldn’t have to try to steal any silverware. He gets to give it to you; and other stuff so big and good and beautiful that we couldn’t even begin to stuff it into our bag or loot. Wow! It takes the eyes some adjustment to look into such light, huh?

Changing or Maturing?

If we refuse to enter The Room of Grace, we will constantly be striving in The Room of Good Intentions. We will strive to change into something we are not yet: godly. In The Room of Grace we grow up and mature into something that is already true about us: godly. The first room creates a works-based, performance-driven relationship with God and put s the responsibility on our resources. The second room places the responsibility on the resources of God.

God is not interested in changing you. He already has. The new DNA is set. God wants you to believe that he has already changed you so that he can get on with the process of maturing you into who you already are. Trust opens the way for this process – for God to bring you to maturity. If you do not trust God, you can’t mature, because your focus is messed up. You’re still trying to change enough to be labeled godly.

Does the God who lavishly provide you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?
If you are living in The Room of Grace, you aren’t making desperate attempts to improve yourself. You know you cannot change yourself; you can only mature because of who you already are: a spiritually new creation born of the Spirit, a saint maturing into the image of Christ.

Those inside The Room of Grace place their effort just where God can use it. Ponder the contrast of how Effort works in the two rooms. On the road of Pleasing God, Effort gets me into The Room of Good Intentions. On the road of Trusting God, Effort is found inside The Room of Grace. Effort is never a means of pleasing God or getting God’s grace or changing myself. Effort is a response that God uses to work together with me on my sin, to mature into that person with whom he is already pleased. Effort born out of striving to please God never ceases to tire us. Effort born out of resting in his pleasure never ceases to renew us.

Pleasing God with the Right Motive

Pleasing God is a wonderful desire, but it never gives entry to The Room of Grace. Now, inside The Room of Grace, we finally can honor our yearning to please God.

When we reverse trusting and pleasing, it’s like switching “trust and obey” to “obey and trust.” Placing obedience before trust locks us into a mindset of obeying to please God, to earn his favor, his pleasure.

If we do not start with trusting who God says we are, we will end up trusting in our own resources to try to please God. This kind of self-sufficient mindset nauseated God.

The following statements do not gain us entry into The Room of Grace; they describe the privilege and fulfillment of living in it.

• “Live a life worthy of the Lord [that you] may please him in every way.”
• “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.”
• “The gift you sent … are an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
• “Live in order to please God, as in fact you are living.”

Now, we have pleasing in this proper place. The citizens in The Room of Grace get the privilege of experiencing the pleasure of God, because they have pleased God by trusting him.

If you have been searching for the hope described in this chapter, come with us further into The Room of Grace. Discover how God’s power to handle sin in this environment of grace not only resolves sin, but also allows God to do in us far beyond what we could even ask or imagine.”

DID YOU DISCOVER?

Pleasing God and Trusting God represent the ultimate motives of our hearts.

• If my life motive is an unwavering determination to Please God

Then my value will be Striving to Be All God Wants Me to Be
And my action will be Working on My Sin to Achieve an Intimate Relationship with God

• When we strive to sin less, we don’t sin less.

• Pleasing God is an incredibly good longing. It always will be. It just can’t be our primary motivation, or it will imprison our hearts.

• If My motive is trusting God

Then my value will be Living Out of Who God Says I Am
And my action will be Standing with God, with My Sin in Front of Us, Working on It Together

• Many people say they have taken the path of Trusting God but have ended up in The Room of Good Intentions. This is called The Great Disconnect.

• Our response to the New Testament “gamble” becomes a limitless test – telling us which road we’ve chosen.

God is not interested in changing the Christian. He already has.

• Trust opens the way for God to bring us to maturity. If we do not trust, we do not mature.

• If we do not start with trusting who God says we are, we will end up with trusting in our own resources to try to please God.”

Thank you for reading. If this post helped you, please repost it. Be blessed.
For further information please go to: http://truefaced.com/