And I think about my soul and every soul, bound, captive before Jesus Christ. The liberation He offers is perfect and beautiful, because our captivity to sin is horrific. But sometimes I forget that He is our only hope. Sometimes I think that people earn their favor with God by being nice and obeying all the rules.
The lie about soul liberation is that we can earn it.
We churched ones can grow up wearing the idea, wearing it like clothing against our chests, that people can attain perfection in and of themselves. Every day we have donned these rags. Others earn our respect based on how well they obey all the rules–or how much it looks like they are, and we earn theirs the same way.
This garment is tight and restricting; we are suffocated, our breath of joy restrained. Too distracted by these binding clothes to understand true love, we are robbed of knowing who Jesus is.
Legalism can be accidental, but it is still deadly.
We believe there is a formula, a checklist, that if followed, will constitute success, respect, forgiveness. The formula becomes our god, the checklist our security blanket.
Bowing to the religion of us, we forget.
“For it is by grace…” Grace, this warrior word that defies our human prejudices and presuppositions. Grace that crashes us to our knees in relief. On our knees has always been our strongest place, because it is the place where His hand extends.
But sometimes I avoid it, because I prefer to make it about me. Grace is always about Jesus.
The joy of Jesus’ death and resurrection is that we needed it. If we could earn our way there, what does the rest even mean?
Does His grace demand our love and, in turn, obedience? Of course. But the fight for the liberation of our souls has already been fought on the cross (Romans 10:9-10, Philippians 3:4-11). And that is a reason to surrender and celebrate!
Keep the Faith,
Photo credit: http://www.nps.gov
Supreme courts do not define love. And neither do I. God does.