About a year ago, I was at a training for missionaries who were heading all around the globe. The week-long training was entitled: Living in Grace. I had been through this training before, but last year something was different. It lasts a week and provides speakers on a number of topics. From the title, you can gather that understanding grace is primary. Nothing else can be understood about the Christian life until we understand that it all hinges on grace.
The Bible teaches that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, but it is by grace alone through faith alone. We believe that, in Christ, we are now adopted by God the Father and have a new identity. This is glorious because we realize that our standing is permanent and forensic. There is nothing we can do to lose our salvation because there is nothing we did to earn it. We cannot be snatched from the Father’s hand (Jn. 10:28-29). WOW! That’s why we call this grace amazing.
But, during that week, some pieces started to connect in my heart and mind. For years in ministry, I had walked with so many women who knew the gospel of grace. They had understood all that’s written above and yet had been eaten alive by all sorts of sin, despondency, depression, anxiety, you name it. I couldn’t piece it together and it was making me angry. It was making me angry because I know exactly how it feels to love Jesus, spend time with him every day, understand the truth of the gospel and yet feel powerless to fight against sin. I know how it feels to sense a lack purpose in my daily walk. I was so tired of repenting and believing; repenting and believing. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I felt so defeated.
But, that day at Living in Grace, an old friend of Bob’s talked about the Holy Spirit and his role in our lives. He quoted the Gospel Waltz: Repent, Believe and Fight. I know that those of you who have been here for years may be tired of this, but for me, it continues to inspire me! I was stunned for two reasons: I hadn’t thought about Bob Flayhart for YEARS and I had never considered that, as a gift of grace, we are given the presence of the Holy Spirit who does a number of things, including help us walk in obedience. He helps us fight sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. He is conforming us to the image of Christ. He helps us to obey, that’s why he’s called the Helper. And, he actually fights for us.
The presence of the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that we’ll never sin or struggle. His presence guarantees that the struggle itself will work together for our good (Romans 8:27-28). The presence of the Holy Spirit IS living in grace.
Posted: 5.22.2017 in Women’s Ministry Share: