Are you under the authority of Law or under the authority of Grace?
After Pastor Steve’s sermon at Hope (hopecc.com) yesterday, I’ve been reflecting on how the Law used to have authority (and I would even venture to say power) in my life, but has been transformed to the authority of Grace. It’s been a crazy transformation over the last three years plus years, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Here are my thoughts:
Over three years ago, I was under the authority of the Law. I didn’t have the vocabulary to tell you that back then, neither did I really care too much. The first 20 years of life consisted of working hard. I worked hard in school because if I didn’t, I was essentially wasting away education and college tuition money. I worked hard at work because I loved what I did, but I also really loved money-money had a stronghold on my life and I wanted to make as much as possible. I worked hard to please people, because after all, I wanted to be liked. Most of the stuff in my life was stuff that I had to do, instead of got to do. While I thought I knew the definition of joy, I knew nothing of it. I thought the definition of joy was proving myself worthy. I thought the definition of joy was drinking and partying. I thought the definition of joy was doing stuff to make myself look good. It wasn’t until March of 2009 that the authority of Grace began to outweigh the authority of the Law in my life. What began in January of that year as a semester that I was supposed to be spending abroad in Northern Ireland doing the normal college kid things (read: drinking, partying, barely passing class), ended up being a semester that God used to draw me close to Himself and show me Grace like I’ve never seen Grace before.
It was in March of 2009 that God showed me I was one of His children by regenerating my heart, allowing me to accept irresistible grace, and give my life over to follow Christ.
It was one of the hardest, yet easiest things to do. I was living under Law. I worked hard, but was never satisfied. Legalism had a hold on my life. I put all my eggs in that legalism basket and thought if I could just do one thing a little better, or be more of a stand-out individual, then I would be good. When I realized that I had the short end of the stick (read: I could never be satisfied in anything I did because everything would eventually fail me, or I would fail it), the authority of Grace came to light. Jesus finally came to light.
The authority of Grace in my life tells me that I’m worst sinner of them all, yet Jesus has died for all my sins. Grace allows me to have Jesus’ pure, white as snow, Jesus jacket on judgement day, I give Him my yucky sinful one, and I am judged on the life of whose jacket I am wearing. Praise be to Jesus. Grace tells me that I’m going to screw up over and over again, yet that doesn’t define me. Grace given to me gives me the opportunity to share that same God-given Grace with others. Grace has allowed me to redefine joy in my life. Joy now comes from knowing that Jesus, my Lord and Savior, will never disappoint, will always have my best interests in mind, and makes me look good without me doing a thing.
While I still struggle with allowing the authority of Law come into my life at times, I am not defined by that. It may be a struggle that I will fight my entire life, but as long as I am fighting, it will not gain power. The authority of Grace is a sweet, sweet thing. I praise God who allowed and still allows Grace to have power, and who continues to allow me to fight for Truth.