So I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of understanding God’s grace towards us. I’ve also been thinking about truth, and about doctrine, and how these things are vital parts of faith.
There was a girl that I met in India, and there are few stories I have that show how much we need grace more than the one involving her. I met her at a church. Everyone was praying together, and she crossed paths with me and asked for prayer. So I prayed with her. The second that words started to come out of my mouth, the moment that I gently touched her, she fell backwards. The power of prayer is real, y’all. God moves, He works, and He answers prayer. So began a prayer session that lasted maybe half an hour. It could have been longer or shorter; I didn’t keep track of time. During that time others came and went and a few stayed to pray with us.
I don’t know what was going on inside her, but her facial expressions revealed the most intense emotions and battles that I have ever seen. She looked terrorized and would sob uncontrollably and then she would stop and look at us with anger and fight in her eyes, and I don’t believe that it was her looking out. There was this visible battle between her heartbreaking pain and a hateful demonic presence. What held her captive was holding on tight.
During this time, I realized something about her. Partly because of her facial expression and partly because of prayer. I think that she was guilty. She was holding on to something that she did, and she was disgusted by it, ashamed of it, and hated it. She could not forgive herself. Even just writing about it I want to cry, because I don’t think she truly knew the extent of God’s love for her. Her mistake, whatever it may have been, haunted her. At least, that is what I believe it was. I never did find out. Her emotions gave it away though. It was as if there was someone or something holding up her mistake and shouting at her, “No, you’re not good enough! Remember! God would never love you, they would never love you, you can never be loved, just look at what you did, look at how ugly it is, look at how ugly you are!”
The saddest part is that it appeared that she believed those words. And because she believed them, they held power over her. She was in bondage. She answered with painful, tearful agreement.
Friends, this is why the fact that God gives us grace is so important. This is why choosing to live in that grace is so important. Because even once we are believers, we still end up in bondage when we don’t understand grace. We must do as Paul says and consider ourselves dead to sin (past and present) and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). For if indeed we are dead to sin, it no longer holds power over us. We are in bondage no more. Romans 6:7 couldn’t be more clear- once united with Christ’s death, which is true for every believer, we are free from sin. So live like you are free, not like you are bound!
I see too many Christians walking around grunting and pulling chains that don’t even hold them anymore. Too many Christians end up stopped in their tracks when reminded of past sin. Too many end up stopped when reminded of present struggles, or other people’s sin.
This is the importance of grace. Know it, understand it. Learn doctrine. People often think it’s a waste of time, but once you know why you believe the Bible, figuring out what exactly it says seems like a good choice. Because if you don’t learn the truth, if you don’t learn the doctrine that the Bible teaches (regardless of what man teaches), you may end up in a place where you believe that you have to be better or perfect, and then God can fully love you and forgive you. But He fully loves you now.
The enemy likes to take a Christian and make them feel defeated or bound to a life of being good enough to prove their salvation. But that isn’t the point. The point is that Christ loves you, and once you believe in who He is and what He’s done you are set free to live in grace. You no longer have to be perfect. But sin holds no power over the new you.
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Walk in His freedom and