GRACE UPON GRACE

The reading that I will be sharing today was obtained from a devotional that I read in 2016. The only reason I am certain it was in 2016 is that I saved it to my documents, and that’s the date my computer tells me that I saved it on.

I am not sure what impact it had on me in June of 2016. But when I found it today, August 9th,2018, it was the Voice of My Savior speaking not only into my current situation, but speaking directly to ME, in the midst of my current situation.

As it has blessed me today, I pray that the timing of it, blesses a listener today as well.

The reading:

Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer— “O Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, “Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done.”

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.

“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” (Ezekiel 37:12).

When God wants to show you what human nature is like separated from Himself, He shows it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has ever given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He will only do this when His Spirit is at work in you), then you know that in reality there is no criminal half as bad as you yourself could be without His grace. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested (2 Corinthians 6:4).

Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

“…in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors…” (2 Corinthians 6:5)— in all these things, display in your life a drawing on the grace of God, which will show evidence to yourself and to others that you are a miracle of His. Draw on His grace now, not later. The primary word in the spiritual vocabulary is now. Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be totally humiliated before others without displaying even the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

“…having nothing….” Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you. “…and yet possessing all things”— this is poverty triumphant (2 Corinthians 6:10).

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The reason I say that this was my Savior speaking directly to Me in my situation is this:

I found myself deeply sad as I lay down to sleep last night. The truth is that deep down inside I was worried about a lot of “life stuff”, yet at the same time, my “conscious self” was saying “Stop worrying. Trust God.” But the fact that I knew that I was only trying to talk myself down, which, then, confirmed that I did not fully trust God – hence my lack of peace, made me very ashamed of myself. Which made me deeply sad.

So, I asked My Lord in prayer “Why can’t I allow myself – knowing what I know of you- To just be at peace and trust that You see everything? Why all the fear, anxiety and apprehension within me?”

Then, the still, small – but crystal clear – voice said to me “You still do not understand the concept of My Grace and that is why you cannot rest with assurance in Me.”

So, when I woke up this morning, it was as if He had put some breath of simplification into me. My prayer, which I now chose to also wear as my disposition today was: “Lord, you know what this day will bring. I do not. I surrender the Temple that is Me to You today. I will receive this day, as it presents itself, in You. I am a naturally fearful, anxious and apprehensive person, but in You there is no fear, anxiety or apprehension. Therefore, whatever it is, when You bring me to it, I trust You to bring me through it.

 

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

 

Grace is nothing more than Walking In The Assurance that the Life of Christ within us is able to get us through every situation that tries to get us out of step with Him.

It is one thing to say that we trust God. It is another thing to receive life in the trust of God.

 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NASB  

Therefore, He has given us grace upon grace. The over-abundance of the assurance that He is with us, and will move in us. If only we become less and allow him to become more in our lives.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

What is it that we have committed to The Lord? We have committed our lives to Him.

Not that we may work for Him, but that He may work in us and through us.

May all who believe, by the power of The Holy Spirit, continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

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