Our life in Christ begins in grace, it continues in grace, and it will end in grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV).
Once we grasp this truth, our lives will be marked by freedom, not bondage; by joy, not weariness; by delight, not dread. Spending time in God’s presence will seem like a joyous gift rather than a duty. After all, Jesus says we are no longer His servants but His friends.
None of this negates our responsibility. Of course there is a time to set the alarm clock to rise and pray. But don’t dare do it without the oil of God’s grace. And don’t dare read your Bible without grace, or you will come away condemned and fearful rather than enlightened and empowered. Why? It is God’s work of grace to show us our inability. That’s the only way we will ever acknowledge His ability.
No, don’t give up on your accountability group. Don’t give up on your dedicated prayer time. Don’t give up on your Bible study group. Don’t give up on any of these wonderful disciplines—unless they are getting in the way of God’s grace working fully in your life.
Some of you might say, “The way you’re talking, nobody will ever pray again. No one will discipline himself to the task. We don’t have it in us. If we follow what you’re suggesting, no one will ever know God’s way for us.”
Just remember that grace rains down on us from the Lord’s throne; it doesn’t rise upward from us to Him. That is what will draw the world to our lives and testimonies. When people see real grace raining down on us, they will see the wonders that it works in us. And they will know our hearts have been won not by our work but by God’s. May it be so in your life today!