Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood: Grace for Me; Grace for You

Welcome, Soli Deo Gloria Sisters!  I was so blessed last week to see all of your sweet faces in the Linky and even  more blessed by the words written on your page.  If you are new here, I am so glad that you've joined us.  Please click "here" to read about the heart behind this meme and so that you know the guidelines.   Don't forget to grab the button so that people who visit your blog will know where to find us.




Here's my entry for the week:

On Monday, I decided that all 70 of you that are "following" me are crazy (don't worry, it's me, not you).  Who would listen to someone like me?  Don't you know that I struggle with things like anger, PRIDE, selfishness, self-righteousness, pettiness?  Don't know you know that I can be quick to accuse, quick to defend, and slow to wait?  Do you know there are times that I AM THE EXACT OPPOSITE of who Jesus wants me to be?

A battle raged on Monday.  I struggled as I watched the war between my flesh and my spirit wage.  I felt like Paul, as he wrote in Romans 7, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  In The Message, Roman 7 begins the conclusion with this:  I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? 

There are days I feel immobilized, harnessed by chains that deliberately try to mask themselves as things that will bring me joy, sustenance, justice.

I need a glass of wine so I can unwind from this hectic, crazy day.
I need to vent about this situation to my friend so she can see what I have to put up with.
I need plant some seeds of guilt so she'll know she hurt me.
I need to act "put-upon" so he'll know how much work I REALLY do.

Lovely, eh?
Here's the truth:

I don't ever want to need something to get me through a situation.  Chain.

I don't ever want to discredit someone else just because I feel the need to be vindicated, nor do I want to be be about sowing anything that the devil can twist and turn as easily as guilt.  Not only am I putting myself in the chains here, but possibly someone else.

I don't ever need to act.  I can be real.  Life is not about putting on a show. It's not about working the longest, the hardest.  It's not about measuring up, balancing scales, or checking out time cards.  It's really not about appearances at all and putting up a facade is really just another...chain.

I could be despondent right now.  I've tried for so long.  I've tried so hard.  But these chains, even if they seem to loosen at times, they still remain.  It seems as though one part of me knows what to do.  This part knows how to glorify Jesus with my actions.  It recognizes temptations.  It sees the deliberate intention to lure me away from walking the right way.  And yet, my flesh is weak.

Instead, though, I will choose not to despair.  For Paul receives an answer to his  question, Is there no one who can do anything for me?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (verse 25)

Jesus.  Grace.  Grace for me.  Grace for you.  Jesus for me.  Jesus for you.  The grace of Jesus breaks chains, restores relationships, eases anger, and defeats pride, all in spite of myself.


10 comments :

  1. It's amazing how easily we cling to those "crutches" that seem to make our lives easier instead of clinging to the one who offers us pure freedom.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Jen and for hosting this meme. It's awesome to get to knew each of the women on a deeper and open level. I loved learning more from and about the other ladies last week. And no, you are not the only one who thinks it's crazy that anybody is following them. I'm still shocked that people read my blog sometimes.

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  2. Equally as crazy, ever in need of grace. Thanks for inviting us all back to your home. Looking forward to reading others' posts. Blessings.

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  3. Sweet Jen, I imagine that everyone of us could have written this same entry, perhaps not as eloquently, but the same "meat of the matter." Yes, it is just His grace and forgiveness that keeps us going. I simply cannot imagine a life without HIM.

    I'll be joining up one Tuesday soon, I promise. I so enjoy everyone's entries. What a blessing it is on Tuesdays to check out all the entries.

    Hugs to you!

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  4. Thanks for this post~ again I am comforted by your honesty and confronted with my own chains. Why do we do this to ourselves?!

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  5. I get this post today. Sound funny? But so true. I understand and have been there and often am there.

    Thank you for the reminder of the beauty of grace.

    <3

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  6. Dear Jen,

    First time here, will be back soon!

    Under His sun, by His grace,

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  7. Lost my comment somehow . . . hope this doesn't repeat:

    Funny how we're on the same track! :) I wrote my post for this yesterday and was thinking the same thing--I need (we *all* need) grace! Life is just too daily to live without it! :)

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  8. You speaketh to my souleth today, sweet sister Jen. I'm a "do-er" as well and have worked on finding my identity in Him. Some days are harder than others but I'm 'slowly getting there.

    I'm doing Breaking Free by Beth Moore right now as well and that helps. Wow. Someone wrote on my blog the other day that it's like having open-heart surgery. It is.

    Love the way you express yourself and I love this meme. Thank you.

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  9. Thank you so much for your insight, there are more times than I can count that I feel this way...you write beautifully and many times, what you write is the same as what is in my heart. I have noticed that with a few of your posts =)

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  10. Jen,
    Love that you have created a place for all of us to truly share where we are and the struggles we are facing. Yes, yes, He does it, "all in despite of myself".

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