This is a letter I wrote to a friend who is struggling with his job and where he wants to go with his life.
Thank you so much for your phone call this morning. I feel honored to be trusted with such information about your heart and work. I know its so emotional to deal with and its a privilege to pray with you and stand with you through this time in your life.
I wanted to share something that has rocked my world in the last month regarding grace:
“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to (the world), do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’ These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.”
Think of those rules… think of the rules you’ve established in your own mind and the rules that have been encouraged by others. They are the world’s rules. What is God’s rule?: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.”
How have we managed to displace this very simple truth and way of life with the expectations, rules and obligations placed upon us by others? The answer is fear. Fear of man, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection or more importantly, fear that God won’t show up or provide and the fear that we made up the desires in our own hearts.
Here are some wise words from people who know more than me:
“My life is a witness to vulgar grace-a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands, or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request- ‘Please, remember me’- and assures him, ‘You bet!’
“This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. Its not cheap. Its free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and fairy tale for the grown up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.”
– Brennan Manning’s memoir, All Is Grace
“For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” – Hebrews 4:10-11
“According to this scripture, if we are to enter into the rest of God’s righteousness then we must cease from our own working to be righteous. The only work that we are required to do is to enter his rest. The only way to enter that rest is through faith. The way we fail to enter that rest is through unbelief which is to continue in our own working to be righteous. ”
“If you live cautiously, your friends will call you wise. You just won’t move many mountains.”
I wanted to remind you of the small truth within the exercise of putting aside confusion and fear and imagining what it is that delights your heart and brings you joy and excitement… do you think that joy is your fault?? Would God be so cruel as to make you the way you are in thought, dream and passion only to strip it away with a life of duty? You can answer that question on your own, but the answer will all depend on who you believe God to be. I for one, believe He is one crazy dreamer who made a few of us, so wild, pioneering, adventurous and entrepreneurial that if we were NOT living in that reality we would implode.
I had a pastor say to me once in response to my frustration with a small group, “not everything has to be awesome….” and he’s right to a certain degree. We all have bad days, make a bad meal, have conflict we need to resolve and worse…but something in my heart was so hurt by that statement. You know why? Because I am one of the few people on this planet who believes that everything according to the Kingdom of which I am a part, is awesome. God is in us – He says we won’t want for anything, that if we delight in Him He gives us the desires of our hearts, that He knows every hair on our heads….its truly amazing; truly awesome!!! Friend, I want the fullness of life so badly. I crave it. I can taste it all the time in my mouth and the above ‘rules of the world’ that Paul talks about in Colossians taste so sour. I am no longer convinced this bad taste is my fault. God made me this way and I think he made you that way too. For the rest of your life, people will try to beat it out of you, but you were made to be free.
So that’s it for the moment. We will continue to pray for you for strength and wisdom. You’re dearly loved over here at our Household. Don’t you forget it.
This entry was posted in Faith
and tagged Brennan Manning
, Colossians 2
, Colossians 2:20-21
, desires of the heart
, faith jump
, fullness of life
, Go To Grace
, not living cautiously
, rules of the world
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