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How to Keep Your Grace Gains

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The voice of unbelief is so compelling because it’s so rational. And it justifies our self-pity and anger. Succumbing to its overtures, however, is one of the fastest ways to find ourselves living in opposition to God and forfeiting all the ground we’ve gained in God’s grace. –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers

Unbelief most certainly has a voice, and in the midst of the heat, the trials and challenges, it can sound so wise and common sensical. It doesn’t sound crazy with wild eyes and sinister cackles. It sounds calm, reasonable, and logical–appealing to the natural, not the spiritual.

I’ve been on both sides of this victory.

I’ve been able to trust God in some amazing things where my family, life, and ministry are concerned. Some things my wife and I felt God leading us to have seemed completely out of left field, and the sane thing would have been to back it up and see how ridiculous these things looked. Instead, we went places we didn’t think we wanted to go, left places we didn’t think we would ever leave, and fought through things we didn’t think we had the strength to fight through.

Then there are the smaller issues of life. I could feel pretty good about the big stuff, but I’m seeing more and more where unbelief in the little things is a huge problem. I guess the pressure involved doesn’t make it feel like a “little thing,” but still, I can find myself scrambling to “make it go away” and miss what He wants to do.

As Mr. Sorge pointed out, I am “forfeiting the ground… gained in God’s grace.” Sometimes how I deal with a financial shortfall or a relational issue or the stress of a project or any number of things–it doesn’t seem huge, but when I listen to unbelief instead of His voice, I take a step backward.

…He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. –Deuteronomy 8:3 (Amplified)

Manna was a heavenly provision for a physical need, but it was a picture of the correct way to meet needs. God’s voice, God’s word. When you have that, you have true peace and quietness of soul.

It’s never about the bread or natural circumstances, it’s about living by His voice. Unbelief pushes you to find a way in yourself and make your own solution, but you’re losing ground. It’s not that people (from all spectrum of humanity) are not involved or used by God in this. It’s not that you are not meant to be provided for–spirit, soul, and body.

It’s the matter of waiting for His voice first.

I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes most times I hate this. I think I can handle certain things or should be able to anyway. I forget that my life is not my own, that I’ve been crucified with Christ and the life I live is now His. I’m in the process.

One thing is certain, I can’t lose ground by staying grace. Grace is where I have to stay.

What are your thoughts? When you’re under pressure, do you tend to wait for His voice first or forge ahead?


fda-sorge3Welcome to week 1 of Chapter 13 for our book club discussion of the Fire of Delayed Answers (disclosure) by Bob Sorge. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Since the chapters are longer and subject matter warrants, we’ll also be taking 2 weeks for each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, add it to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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10 Comments

  1. Jason, I’ve gotten better about listening to Him in all things, large and small, but, because I’m human, I do fall short and forget, at times, that His grace is enough for me in every situation.
    Loved this reflection, my friend!
    Blessings
    1
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Read Me a StoryMy Profile

    • We all definitely fall short at times! So thankful for the grace that touches and transforms us. Thank you, Martha!

  2. One of my personal sayings, one that I say a lot and believe wholeheartedly, is that small things add up over time to make a huge difference. Where you said, “unbelief in the little things is a huge problem” really brought this belief home to me in a new way. In other words, unbelief in small things adds up over time to make a huge negative impact that grace has in our lives. This is huge, Jason. Just when I think I’m mindful of the significance of the little things adding up in my life, another one pops up like this to remind me again of the importance of paying attention to the details of my life and making sure I let God in on every single one of them.
    Kari Scare” recently posted..Ending the Reign of Stress in Your LifeMy Profile

    • That’s a great application of that truth--takes it to a whole new level. Those little things add up and create havoc. Thanks for these thoughts, Kari. Love the perspective.

  3. Oh I would like to think I trust Him all the time in the little things which makes big things easier. It’s just so easy to take care of little things…yet you are right, it’s unbelief that He even wants to be involved in my small little details. Good post brother.

    • Thanks so much, Betty.

  4. Jason, I think of it as “living life in cruise control.” When I’m in crisis, I RUN to Him for help. But on “normal” days, somehow, I think “I can handle this,” and slide into “cruise control.” It lacks faith. And it’s the most dangerous way to travel through life.
    Sarah Salter recently posted..QuietnessMy Profile

    • Yeah, I agree. I wish I could say it’s in the normal times only, but I have been under pressure in ‘smaller’ things and prayed a little then came up with a solution I could carry out to get out of the pressure! Anyway, I’m learning. 🙂 Thanks Sarah.

  5. This chapter really hit me hard. I’m very guilty of trying to do things in my own power. It’s so easy to rationalize, to diminish the work of faith by trying to accomplish what I’m not meant to accomplish.

    Great post!

    • Well, you read my post so you know I struggle too! You’re right, so easy to rationalize. Grace! Thanks TC.

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