As I have walked through this summer (vacationing, working, hanging with my pregnant wife, going to a worship conference, running, golfing, baby rooming, etc.), God has been teaching me one consistent thing: the power of the cross.
Although there have been several small lessons He’s been teaching me (in the form of conviction and comfort), they have all come back to grace. For so long I have tried to perform my way to earn the favor of others and achieve more in life. While hard work can be a good thing, I feel like God has been showing me that my weakness is living a performance-based life rather than a gospel-based life.
Jesus loves me simply because of who I am – His son – just like I will love my son simply for who he is (when he is born this fall).
I can’t begin to tell you the freedom my heart has experienced this summer. It’s been more about coming back to Him and the cross through scripture and prayer and letting ministry flow out of that, rather than the other way around.
I don’t think I was totally failing before; I had time with Him daily, and was experiencing fruit, but it felt so full of effort because I was trying to do many things on my own strength with motives that had been twisted just slightly by the enemy. But it’s not about me or what I can do! He has been showing me the power and freedom that comes when it’s all about Him and what He’s done. Boasting in my weakness and leading out of His strength.
Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matt. 12:7 is one of multiple references)
The cross is so powerful because of grace. Our faith is a grace-based system, not a works-based system.
I feel like God is delivering me of the latter, and I am thrilled. I am more relaxed and living in a state of ceaseless prayer (mostly thanksgiving!) and worship.
I pray this will continue and I hope this brief testimony can encourage you in some way today. Amen.