Is it possible to show or BE shown too much grace? Huh…I am trying to form an intelligent answer to that question…and I’m struggling. My head says yes it is possible because I tend to want to punish people for my unspoken scale of ‘what they deserve’. My heart on the other hand, says no because you should give what you want/expect to receive. The problem is that sometimes my heart follows my head. =( There are many days that I talk my heart into feeling what my head does. Those are the days I regret most. I tend to be judgmental. Arrogant. Lacking in forgiveness. Without unconditional love. Stupid.(I’m allowed to say that word because it is in the Bible. Check it out. Proverbs 12:1. Just like Prego…it’s in there. Lol!)
The days that I follow my heart no matter what my head says…are the days I live for. They are moments with lasting impressions. The results are eternal. The lessons learned are teachable examples to my family and friends. (And of course you out in the blogging community. *smiles*)
You see today, as I’m writing this…it is one of those days. My head said I should be folding laundry. (Enticing huh? I know, not at all…but necessary?…absolutely! Haha!) My heart said I should be writing. You can tell over the last week I’ve been following my head because my writing has suffered. And for what? Clean underwear? Eh…it is over-rated. ;)
Today…today I listened to my heart. I heard God say, “Sit and write for Me.”…and I listened. And for what? Or should I say who?
YOU! God is speaking to you! How do I know? Because this is the point of my writing in which I felt the Spirit of God. A chill that radiated throughout my core. Instant tear moistened eyes. Immediate excitement in the presence of my King.
You see my friend…your head is smart. Sometimes too smart for your own good. The enemy will use your own brain against you. He can’t get to your heart though. If you are a ‘blood-bought, highly-favored, child of the Most High God’…your heart is already spoken for. The enemy has to work with your head…because he doesn’t have the power to touch a heart that belongs to Christ. He’s no match for that kind of power. (Smile at that thought. I did. =) )
So how does the enemy get to you?…he whispers lies to you. He uses people you trust to tear you down in their moment of weak judgment. He makes you feel guilt for past wrongs. Wrongs that have already been nailed to the cross. He piles on responsibilities to make you busy so you don’t have time to meet quietly and reverently before your Savior. He places things in your path that he thinks you might lust after.
He’s sly…but you are God’s beloved and you are smart. You are intelligent because you have access to the Creator and all of His knowledge. You are strong because of the Spirit that lives in you. You are saved because of the sacrifice on Calvary. You are forgiven because of the Blood that washes you clean. You have a clear mind because you were born with a will to think on your own.
So you see…if we can seek our heart’s answer. If we can follow the love and compassion that God has placed in us…we will not live in so much regret. Each time we make the right choice…our Father will rejoice.
It is kind of like teaching your young children to stay away from fire. We make a big deal about it and possibly punish them because we want them to understand the severity of the possible consequence. And when they comprehend and apply their new-found knowledge…we stand back and watch. We are ready to run to their rescue if they try to play with fire. And we are ready to rejoice with them when they choose life. =)
God longs for us to apply the knowledge He has given us. He wants us to use our life experiences to change our future reactions. He wants us to always be teachable. He wants us to follow our hearts (remember, this is where Christ resides in us) when our heads seem to be failing us. He wants us to be forever changed to be more like Him.
The second part of this post shows the real me. (I try to show the real me through my writing. Never acting like I always have it all together. Instead showing my faults and failures and then how God’s grace covers them all!) I tried to publish this post Saturday…and was clearly not successful. The reason? I had not yet been tested. The enemy tested to see if I would live what I wrote. I am happy to say in the end…I passed. But!…I definitely lost sight in the middle. =( Ugh!!
I will spare you the details of this weekend for the purpose of showing only God’s glory and not the enemy’s handiwork. The enemy’s plan started on Thursday. It escaladed on Friday. And by Saturday it was just ridiculous. I was in a bit of shock as to what was happening. Instead of calmly extending grace…I fought with hurtful words. (I know the author and the source of them…and I am a bit ashamed of how carelessly I slung them when I was hurt.)
All day on Saturday I held back my grace and forgiveness. My focus was not in the right direction. I was focusing on what/who was before me, and not Who is above me. Finally at 8:30 Saturday night God spoke to me. He reminded me of something I heard from Woody Woodson early this week. “I will show up if you do.” Whether you agree with that statement or not is not the point. To me it meant something specific.
If you read a post I wrote a month ago (called God’s Generosity)…you may remember that I mentioned my newest song. If you remember that, you will also remember that I asked you to pray for the man who God revealed to me the song was for. With this in mind now again I say… “I will show up if you do”. To me this was God saying, “Fix what you broke…because if you don’t show up at church on Sunday, I can’t.” Does this mean that God’s presence would not be there? NO! But does it mean that God’s plan for this man would be impossible? I don’t know. But I would hate to be the person who messed up the plan of God for myself and even more so for another person.
It had been weeks since I told this man’s wife of God’s plan. Each week I saw her with her children. No husband. What would make me think that today would be any different? The voice of God…and I could not risk it. Fixing what I had broken Saturday…was necessary to make Sunday successful. I was dreading it…but God was with us. He softened our hearts (and our voices) and forgiveness and grace were the victors.
This past Sunday morning was my most peaceful in a while. I was home alone, preparing only myself for church. I thought here and there about the possibility of singing my song…but decided it wasn’t likely. I leisurely sipped my steaming mug of Coconut Cream coffee. Read a little. There was no rushing. No yelling about how it was time to go. Just peace and quiet.
I spoke with some encouraging sisters when I arrived at church. Walked into the sanctuary not really paying much attention to who was there. As I walked onto the stage to begin worship…my husband (the worship leader) approached me. He asked if I was ready to sing my song today. I said, “Why, is he here?” YEP…he was. I looked up and saw him sitting with his family. I got a huge smile on my face realizing that what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good. I had passed the test. It took me a day…but I listened to the voice of God…and I played my part in His plan for this man.
I don’t yet know the outcome. That is not my worry. I was obedient. I was real. I sang it in the wrong key. Oh, haha! Should I not have said that? Too real? (Maybe God was sparing me from becoming prideful. Lol…I couldn’t hit a few of the lowest notes the I intended to. I had started it too low and it was too late to fix it by the time I realized it.) But with all of that said…I will do whatever else God instructs me. I will help however I am needed. I can’t wait to see how this man creates his own ripple effect.
God is faithful to the end. He gives us opportunities to redeem ourselves with what He has taught us. I may have played with fire…but I didn’t not get burned. God reminded me of my own words. He didn’t give up on me. He didn’t decide that I was a lost cause when I lost focus. He consistently spoke to me…until I heard His instruction and applied it.
Can you extend or receive too much grace? Not if you are saved by the blood of Jesus. I fully understand how I feel now. My heart doesn’t fail me. My head…eh…I’m still a work in progress there. I thank God that I can say…I get it. I understand why that word was spoken over me last week. Grace! My world doesn’t make sense without it. I am not whole without it. I could not survive without it. I would live in a constant state of sadness without it.
I don’t have to ever be without it. Do you?