last Sunday i was blessed with a reminder.
a reminder of freedom.
a reminder of grace.
a reminder of love.
a reminder of new allegiance.
Romans 7:4-6 states:
"Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in [a]the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter."
i was reminded about the freedom i gained through Christ's life, sacrifice, and Resurrection. through Him i was released from the standards the Law called me to. if you read the first 3 verses in Romans 7 you will be shown an analogy of marriage.
we were once married to the Law. this husband held impossible standards for us to live by and offered no encouragement or help in attaining those standards. living under him is called legalism.
through Christ's death we died to the Law. we were released from legalism. our new husband justifies us before the Father and offers the purist form of grace, mercy, and love. this husband is Jesus and living with Him is called freedom.
the problem comes when we try to please our new husband by turning back to our old husband's standards. this just doesn't work. what wife today would be pleasing her new husband by turning back to her old? none. and the same applies to us. Jesus is not the Law. the Law pointed to Jesus and opened our eyes to the fact that we need a savior because we can't do it on our own. but once you have chosen a life with Jesus you must stop living under the Law.
this means when we accept our freedom we stop trying to earn it. it is a gift. one that is not earned. one that no one is worthy of. one that you can not live up to. so simply accept it.
now the only thing i could pray and think about after hearing all of this...
"Jesus please stand behind me."
it is often prayed for Jesus to stand and go before us. we want Him to be the leader, the one making the way, what we look forward to. but the reality is that we do look back. we turn back to legalism and trying to justify our relationship with Jesus through our works and deeds. so while i fully desire for Christ to be before me, i need Him to stand behind me.
for when i turn back and start thinking about having a Jesus-plus(acting as if Jesus' grace isn't enough and adding things to the list) kind of day i need Him to stand behind me and say,
"oh my bride, don't you remember. you have been released from your old husband's ways. he only offers death. i have given you life and will never stop doing so. turn around and stop trying to please death."
so next time you start falling into old ways. next time you find yourself feeling guilty because you didn't have a quiet time that day. next time you think the Lord feels any less love towards you. next time....
pray that Jesus would be standing behind you.