Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Most times, a blog post for me originates from an emotional or deep spiritual experience, maybe ever so slight, at a church service, or even listening to music and praying in the car on the way to work. God enlightens me, His Spirit is illuminated through truth in His Word, and I have something I feel worthy to be shared. Because of this, my expectation usually is that my sharing will initiate the same experience in you. I realize this is not a given. But, I believe it is worth the effort.
The song that accompanies this montage has become one of my favorites. When I listen to it, the repetition convicts me that I'm not realizing or experiencing the grace of God deeply enough. Like ok, I get it: God loves me and demonstrated that love for me in that while I was yet a sinner, he died for me. That's pretty awesome. And then the Spirit pleads: "Yes, but do you really see this??" And I say, yeah, you're right, it is not just pretty awesome, it is amazing. Amazing grace. And he says, "Yes, but! Do you really understand the amazement of this?" And I say, you're right! Its not just amazing, it is unfathomable. "Yes, but! It is not just about your understanding. Do you feel this in your heart?" And so on we go. Soon, the only appropriate reaction is falling on my knees. And the song and the Spirit continue: It covers me! It covers me! I say: thank you Lord. Thank you Lord! I am not worthy, yet you love me, and cover me with your grace. And the Spirit says, "Yes, but! Do you feel it, and are you experiencing it, in your soul? Is it transforming you minute by minute?!"
The song could be 10 minutes long with the same lyrics, and still the Spirit would be speaking and pleading with me. If I had the opportunity to exhort a group of people with this song playing in the background, I would attempt to reenact this dialogue with the Spirit I have highlighted. I would press to the most practical level, and say, "Yes, you understand the grace, yes you feel the grace, yes you are experiencing the grace as transformation...but!! This is not just a temporary experience! It should be a constant reality in the Christian life."
Do you see, feel, and experience the overflowing grace of God when you are in a meeting, and no one is on the same page as you, and their questions and interruptions make it impossible to achieve the goal set before you, and your frustration boils up? Are you able, by this grace of God, with patience and a smile, to embrace an eternal perspective and boldly yet graciously simplify, clarify, and direct in a way to bring about resolution?
Do you see, feel, and experience the overflowing grace of God when you are at home with screaming children, and a dish is pushed off the counter and juice is spilled on the carpet? Are you able, by this amazing grace of God, to patiently yet forcibly discipline in an way that is encouraging for you children?
Do you see, feel, and experience the overflowing grace of God when you are stuck in traffic, get cut off when changing lanes, and later approach that same person who cut you off? Are you able, by the transforming grace of God, to offer a smile to that person that communicates forgiveness and grace, yet a certain amount of "go and sin no more" without being judgmental?
Pick your example.
It covers me. Grace flows down and covers me. It covers me! Thank you Jesus!