8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favour) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
I got born again at the time there were huge debates on what the grace of God meant. I was blessed to attend a church that was on the side of grace. So I never struggled with the fact that my salvation was based entirely on the grace of God. I could not have done anything to save myself. Jesus did it all.
I understood why the other faction was worried about the grace phenomenon. They felt it would encourage people to sin because they knew grace would abound. I had a personal experience that made me understand that grace was actually the instrument through which God would get you out of sin. So it settled the matter for me. I was saved by grace. I am kept by grace. I am empowered to function as a child of God by grace.
Over the years my life has been by grace. I look at my life and I know that grace has sustained so many vital parts of my life-my marriage, my children, my ministry. But there was an area I seemed to be struggling with entering the fullness of His grace-my work life. In fact I need to put it in perspective, my business life.
It seemed like I just was not getting it right. I tried a few ventures to no avail. So I let it go. I simply thought the business world was not for me. And it was okay. But sometime last year, the Lord began to deal with me about going back into business and I was surprised. That was one area I truly wanted to succeed in but it seemed to elude me. ‘Why now, Lord?’ He seemed to be saying to me, ‘The time has come’. For me, once I understand what the Lord is saying, I fall in line.
However, I seemed to think I should take front seat and drive this new thing, talk to everyone I know, send emails, book meetings, etc. I started to do what I felt I should do. But I had this check in my spirit. It was like swimming against the tide. Each time I prayed, the Lord would tell me things about resting in Him. I believe faith is proved by action, so I swung into action, but I was not getting the desire results.
Then the Lord began to talk to me about His grace. I believe Joyce Meyer captured it by saying, ‘God is not calling us to rest from our work, but in our work’. That just did it for me. I am not sure I know exactly how that works but I am willing to let the Holy Spirit teach me. I know it will make all the difference in the results I get. I know because of the beautiful things God is doing in the areas of my life that work. If I can get to rest in His grace, then I will enter into the realm of unmerited favor and experience the fruitfulness I have always desired in business.
The Lord has said great things about how business will be. I preached about hearing the sound of the abundance of rain many years ago. I have been hearing that sound for so long. I believe the time of manifestation has come. I am willing to get myself out of the way for God to do His bit. If that is all I need to do, then by His grace I will.
It’s a new dimension of grace for me. I have always done something to prove my faith, now I am being taught to exercise faith by doing ‘nothing’. I guess that my ‘nothing’ amounts to ‘something’ when it is done in faith. That is deep. I have to learn it. I have always done something. And they always pleased God because I did them in faith. Now the operation of faith is slightly different. Perhaps you are like me and need to enter into the place of total rest in God. It does not matter what that area is and how bad it has become. Maybe, like me, you need to take a life class on resting in Him in that area. I know it is not something we are naturally wired to do but we can allow the Holy Spirit to help us. We can finally just truly let go of it and let Him have it, so we can find true fulfillment in Him. What more can we ask of Him? School starts tomorrow for me. I will keep you posted on events. Ck