Welcome to Narnia
…..By living in God’s presence we’re enabled to live the Christian life. But if we can’t go into His presence after we’ve just sinned then that means we can’t access His power that enables us to overcome sin. In other words, we are left having to overcome sin in our own strength and we all know that doesn’t work.
In The Chronicles of Narnia Lucy, Peter, Susan and Edmund were part of another kingdom beyond this world. In order to access Narnia there was always a portal or an access point. There is an entire Kingdom that we belong to when we become Christians. In order to access the Kingdom of God, the portal or access point is the grace of God.
For many years I’ve heard the definition of grace as God’s unmerited favour. Judgement is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. And grace is getting what you absolutely do not deserve.
Although I love that definition and description of grace , that only tells us that it is a completely free gift. It doesn’t tell us what grace is or what it does.
Let’s add this to the definition. Grace is God’s undeserved power and ability making you able to do those things you cannot do in your own ability.
I can’t earn my salvation. If I try to do good and live right that will greatly impact the quality of my life but it can’t save me. Only by grace , God’s ability, am I able to be saved. Salvation is a free gift.
In our weakness when, no matter how hard we try, we can’t overcome an obstacle. When life just seems to get hard and complicated and we don’t seem to have the power to change it. Or when we find ourselves bound by sin and can’t seem to overcome it. God’s grace will give you the ability to do what you cannot do in your own ability, even when you don’t deserve it. As a matter of fact you actually disqualify yourself from grace if you think you do deserve it.
Grace is the portal or access point into the presence of God. When we sin or in our times of weakness we have two choices. We can choose to go the way of the spirit which is grace, or the way of the flesh which is guilt.
- If we allow ourselves to go the way of guilt the process goes something like this;
Guilt. We will feel like God is upset with us for failing…..again. If we continue in guilt and shame that will lead us to feeling separated from God. Separation from God. Guilt and shame will drive us away from God. We will feel as though we can’t approach God until we smarten up and change our behaviour. Feeling separated from God will lead to feelings of powerlessness. Powerless. We will feel powerless to overcome the weakness in our life, powerless in our relationship with God and powerless to overcome sin. When we are faced once again with our weakness or sin we will fail once again and repeat the cycle over and over. Sin. We repeat the cycle over again and the only way to break the cycle is to choose to believe in the grace of God when we fail.
- If we allow ourselves to go the way of grace the process goes something like this;
Grace. We can’t earn it and we don’t deserve it, but by grace we can come boldly to the throne of God. Choosing to believe in God’s grace, will lead us into the presence of God.
Presence of God. The presence of God is where we need to be when we sin. Through Christ we are made righteous and we need to know that we have the right to run into His presence even when we fail. It’s in His presence that we are empowered.
Empowered. We are empowered to live the christian life. We are empowered to pray and trust God, not based on our goodness but on His. We are empowered to overcome the sins of the flesh. Nothing may have changed in our circumstances but yet we feel like everythings changed and we can take on the world. All because we live in the presence of God. Being empowered by God is what sets us free.
Freedom. Christ has made us free. When we face sin or the circumstances of life that cause us to feel defeated, we will face them head on. We will choose the path of grace and not the path of guilt.
Listen my friend, the only way you will ever overcome the flesh is when you finally realize that you can run into God’s presence even when you don’t overcome the flesh. The only way to grow in God and get better is when you realize that getting better isn’t even the point. Jesus did not die on the cross to restore us back to living perfect. He died to restore us back to fellowship with the Father. It’s only in fellowshipping with the Father that we will get better and not because we have to, but because we can’t help it. We just, get better. It’s weird….but… not as weird as walking through a wardrobe to get to Narnia and finding talking animals.
Come boldly to the throne of grace, where we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and that gives us the right to come boldly into God’s presence. It gives us the right to pray and passionately worship Him. It gives us the right to run to God even if our friends, family, circumstances or the old man screams at us “your guilty, you can’t approach God”. Just scream back ” I am righteous and I am going in to God’s presence by grace alone, so shut up! Bam!