BLESSINGS BEING STOLEN
Are your blessings being stolen and getting snagged on the razor wire of doubt and cut to ribbons by the clever two edged blade of responsibility and guilt? It is hard to be thankful if you always feel you are getting ripped off.
Many believers are getting pulled into an age old battle between God and the Devil that is holding them back from claiming their rightful inheritance along with its accompanying blessings. Not understanding the legal ramifications of sin and its solution has caused them to lose their grip on their spiritual and natural blessings from God.
Conditioned by the ancient ideas of poverty being a spiritual virtue and repelled by the more modern falsies of “name it and claim it”, many followers of Jesus the Christ are reluctant to speak out or stand up when it comes to resisting the work of the thief. Rather, than rebuke the devourer, they comfort themselves with clichés, like, “if it is God’s will” or examine themselves with, “I must have done something wrong”. Most of this in nothing other than providing the Enemy, the thief, with the grounds he needs to silence us from standing up for the truth.
UNDER THE LAW
Accepting the responsibility guilt lays on us causes us to provide him with a clever justification he needs for getting away with doing what he is doing. If we do not understand the paradigm of law and justice from God’s point of view, justice stumbles at the spiritual intension of the law and trips on a technicality. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Or another way of saying that is that the law puts us back under the dominion of sin.
God calls the believers to love one another, a serious upgrade from the Ten Commandments which basically just commands us not to murder one another. All the law is fulfilled in this, that you love one another. That is one of the main reasons why God makes it clear, if we do not want to walk under the judgments of hardness of heart and the spirit of stupor, (Rom. 11:7-8) we, as believers, are not to mix the law with the Cross.
It is the law that becomes the place of the contest and the stumbling block that Satan uses to accuse us of sin, of transgression, and of breaking the law. If we do not realize that our debt of sin was paid for by Jesus’ death on the Cross, we are vulnerable to taking up the burden of saving ourselves through earning the gift of God.
THE CROSS VS WORKS
There is nothing we can add to His sacrifice, including our good works. Nothing more is needed to complete the work of Redemption. As a matter of fact, anything we presume to add to the Cross is an insult to Jesus Himself and the finished work of His sacrificial death. As believers, when we sin, the Apostle John tells us we are to confess our sin and God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I Jn. 1:9) He does not require us to do penance, good works or turn over a new leaf. To do these things brings us back under the very law God just set us free from.
To go back under the law after we are set free from sin through the death of Christ, now causes us to commit the sin of rejecting the full and finished work of Christ. This is the sin Satan finds us guilty of! Going back to keeping the law is the very thing the Enemy uses to find us guilty of breaking the law!
Not being confident of Christ completing the good work He has begun in us opens the door to Guilt. Guilt would charge us with sin. Accepting the charges that Guilt presses against us without realizing we have been tricked by the Enemy sets us up to losing our peace and confidence in God’s love and goodness.
We are deceived believing the lie that we are unworthy of good things. We doubt the forgiveness of God and sulk in the shadows of bitterness not realizing it was not our sin that disqualified us, but our agreement with the lie that doing the sin disqualifies us from receiving good things.
We have come into an agreement with the Accuser of the Brethren believing that because we did something bad we are bad, and therefore do not deserve good things. In the devil’s line of reasoning, we are not eligible for any good things, including blessings, abundance, or God’s forgiveness. Any good thing the Lord God would send to us is snatched from our door step because technically, we have agreed that we did not deserve it.
Before we ever even have a chance to carry our blessings into the house, they have been carried off by the thief. We become discouraged and begin to believe God’s promises are conditional as is His love and that we are not being blessed because we are not worthy. But Jesus told us that the Heavenly Father sends the rain on the just and on the unjust. So, what is up with that? The unjust get blessed, but we believe we don’t get blessed because of something we did or did not do?
The goodness or badness of man seems to have nothing to do with God’s generosity. However, when we “take responsibility” for our sin, which is the transgression of the law, the law that God authored, and conclude that the reason for our present negative condition, whatever it be, is that we are being judged by God, we are also indirectly judging God as not fair or understanding, or all that good. Because we broke His law, we think God is mad at us, and we deserve the concequences. We don’t realize our agreement with the enemy leads to our blessings being stolen.
This conundrum is only avoided if we do what God tells us. We are new creatures. We can now walk in the Spirit. We are no longer under the law but are called to live by the faith of Christ, in the finished work of Christ. “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” (Gal. 3:11)
In the Old Testament, obedience to the set of laws was paramount to the protection and the identification of God’s people. Now the paradigm changes completely to gifts and grace. Does this shift to grace give us a license to sin then? Heaven forbid that the goodness of God would lead men to licentiousness and sin! Why would anyone want to sin if they understood the heart of God’s sacrifice for our freedom and the pain He goes through to keep it for us.
The key becomes knowing the truth and “rightly dividing” the Word of God according to the Heart of God (II Tim. 2:15). The Enemy gets us to misinterpret the Word of God in such a way that it implicates God as the One responsible for all the bad things that are happening to us.
It is a true paradigm shift that God is working in us to move from law and works, to grace. And lest we “continue in sin that grace might abound” (Rom. 6:1), we must refrain from the temptation to cross over, back and forth between grace and law. Grace is grace and works are works (Rom. 11:6).