In the words of my husband: Church duties, tithing, dedication, attendance, service, etc have become the modern man’s Law.
Grace says follow the Spirit. The Law says You Have To Do… or God won’t be pleased with you.
If we’re doing anything at all out of obligation or guilt, coercion or even habit, maybe we’re keeping the law, rather than basking in His grace. I think we should do whatever we are doing out of an outpouring of divine energy and freedom. And we should feel free to NOT do anything but hang out with our families if that’s what He is leading us to do.
I think there’s a large part of human nature that feels he has to be doing something amazing, difficult, sacrificial, or whatever the case may be, in order to be living the life of Christ. I know I have always gotten great worth out of my service and have felt pretty crappy not having an outlet for my gifts. Like I was wasting God’s gifting; like I was being selfish to just be home with my kids & enjoy the beach.
But I always think about how many years He was just at home, in his dad’s carpenter shop, just living. I also know now how much healing God has and still is doing in me after many years of complete religious burnout & guilt-ridden living- both physically & emotionally. And I try to rest in that.
Hey- if God ever needs me, I’m pretty sure He’ll let me know. Lol
A few years before we left the legalism our church had become, we began walking in the freedom of grace rather than obligation.
We quit all our volunteer jobs (For me it was leading worship, taking up the youth, running the church website, teaching multiple classes in the homeschool coop, and some other leadership roles) and for a season, we rested from our years-long labors.
And we told the powers that be that we would be taking some time to hear God for what He wanted us to do, and that we would do nothing out of obligation.
Well you probably know what happened. All hell broke loose. We were politely gossiped about and subtly shunned. Folks came to “check on us”, to see “where our hearts were”.
There were even personal betrayals. Here’s an example of one:
I sent one of my closest friends a private email where i wrote about my struggle with putting my church jobs over my family, and my desire to do NOTHING but what God wanted me to, rather than what man had guilted me into… and she forwarded it to all the elders. Yeah, she did.
That was the Beginning of the End.
Less than two years later we were asked to leave. And we lost the adopted family we had built our lives around for 19 years.
So yeah. Satan hates Grace.
But I digress. My points are: the Law can show up dressed in the Suit of Service & singing praises to the Lord. And when we try to get out from under it, man & Satan, and our own fears, can try to put us back down under.
I hope ya’ll are walking in freedom this beautiful Sunday! We’ll be at the beach.