Underneath

“We have a crippling tendency to forget what God has done for us. For a while, we’re humbled. Then, if we do not guard our hearts and minds, we begin to think we must have done something right for God to have been so good to us. Therein lies another road to captivity. It is the road of legalism. Hezekiah believed he was right with God because of what he had done.”

These words, from Beth Moore in “Breaking Free,” strike a chord this morning.

Me and Leighton in this Monday-morning house.

And this:

“No amount of determination will bring freedom. We’re going to learn to be victorious by surrendering our lives completely to the Spirit of God, not by gritting our teeth and trying harder.”

I’m a try-harder, grit-your-teeth kind of person. I feel like I can always try harder and fix stuff.

I grew up hearing about the downfalls of legalism. I could wear jeans on Sunday mornings so I thought I was free.

Except I’ve spent most of my life measuring myself and the people around me and trying to earn approval.  Trying to balance my spiritual spreadsheet. 

 

But I’m learning I can’t barter with God. Not because He’s angry or drives a tough bargain.

Because proof is mathematical and He’s not a formula.  The results of earning are not a gift.

Not a heart-changing romance.

Living loved and treasured, not measured, is what turns us inside out. Makes us different.  Attracts other parched souls to rivers of living water.

God takes the polished spreadsheet we offer and gently lays it aside.  Maybe He talks with us for a while, or listens, and then gives it back.  I don’t think He even looks at it.

He’s looking at us.  Our heart.  Our motives.  Underneath.

Maybe our best offering is a mix of brokenness and pride.

Self importance burns hot.

Humility a  beautiful work —  from the ashes of our proof.

Romance begins in the sway of Grace…in the arms of Love…to the tune of honest freedom.

And we can never really be the same again.

 

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