“We put more into what we do for Jesus than what Jesus does for us.  Our lives should be lived in worship to Him for all He’s done for us.”  (Creflo Dollar)

I don’t know about you but my spiritual world is being rocked daily by the truths the Lord is revealing to me through Himself. imageIt’s as if Ephesians 1:18 is being fulfilled, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you …”  It seems that every time I open my bible and/or Thin Within bible study truth is jumping off the page at me.  And when I read the testimonies of others on this same journey these truths are confirmed and I’m filled afresh with hope that daily I’m being conformed a little bit more into the likeness of Christ. My failures are no longer in sight. He is. Is there anything better than the truth of God’s word and the confirmation from His saints! So, before I forget to say thank you, let me do so now. Thank you.  Thank you for being honest and transparent when sharing your ups and downs on this Thin Within journey.  And thank you for staying committed to the process of what God is doing in you.

Recently I sat in a teaching that focused on walking in God’s grace, God’s unmerited, “too good to be true”, favor. I long for this unmerited favor, spiritual blessing and mercy. I want to live under it every moment of my life. It’s the umbrella that keeps me from being scorched by the world’s sun when I wander out too far from the Lord’s covering.

In Chapter 3 of Hunger Within, “Grace Not Legalism” the following quote is given:  “God is infinitely patient. He will not push Himself into our lives. He knows the greatest thing He has given us is our freedom, for therein lies our power to love. He respects our freedom. If we want habitually, even excessively, to operate at the level of our own reason, He will respectfully keep silent.We can fill ourselves with our own thoughts, ideas, images and feelings. He will not interfere. But if we invite Him with attention, opening the inner space with silence, He will begin to speak to our souls, not in words or concepts, but in the mysterious way that love expresses itself – by presence.”  (M. Basil Pennington, Centered Living)

The chapter goes on to say, “Our freedom is expressed most fully in the glory of grace – the intimate, spontaneous, and absolute loving-kindness of God working in us to make us whole. Grace is the active expression of God’s love. Grace empowers us to choose rightly in what seem to be the most choiceless of situations, but it does not, and will not, determine that choice. Grace influences our innermost being, bringing our character into agreement with the very character of God.”

imageWhen I thank God each morning for the multitude of blessings He’s given me I try to remember to thank Him also for all that He’s held from me. I do this knowing that many times what He’s done for me is to hold me back from my own foolishness.   I remind myself often that,“For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” (Psalm 84:11)

Just last night I bypassed another meal, and I lived to tell about it.  I was focused on welcoming women into my home for a new semester of bible study and looked forward to having dinner after the meeting. Only one problem, I was just barely at zero. So I nibbled on some popcorn and grapes and was satisfied before heading to bed. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy that beef stew for dinner tonight instead. I awoke this morning sensing God’s presence and favor as I was clearly at a 0 for breakfast since I bypassed dinner last night. He and I sat as I enjoyed by half a cup of oatmeal & some Greek yogurt and I sensed His grace over me. It’s the path I choose to walk in today. I hope you’ll join me.

What about you?  Do you put more stock in your own efforts than in God’s efforts on your behalf?  Do you walk under the covering of the umbrella of His grace, or are you relying on your own reason?  Are you gleaning encouragement and hope through the Thin Within community?  Take time today to worship the Lord for all He’s done for you, including what He’s held you from.  Thank Him for his love, and his “too good to be true” grace.