1. You are worrying about whether or not you are resting in grace This seems kind of crazy doesn’t it? But it is so true! There is an amazing grace awakening happening around the world. It is bringing to light ancient truths surrounding Jesus’ finished work and setting people free by doing so. But if we are not careful, resting in Christ’s work will become the “11th Commandment.” Being anxious about whether we are resting or not is needless. If we have believed in Christ, then we have entered the rest.
“Now we who have believed enter that rest...” Hebrews 4:3
2. You constantly confess your sins to God for forgiveness This is a big one. We are either totally forgiven at salvation or we aren’t. If we are not totally forgiven, then there is a lot of tireless and ultimately futile work to be done. Furthermore, if we are not totally forgiven, then something was incomplete about Christ’s work on the cross. While no honest Christian would say this with their mouth, many of us say so with our works. Instead of resting in our total forgiveness, we constantly seek more of it when we mess up. According to Hebrews, if we have believed, we are perfectly cleansed from sin.
“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
3. You worry about your intentions How often do you question whether you are doing something for the right reason or not? I often question myself. When I wrote “Fight for Grace” I constantly asked ‘Am I doing this for the right reason? Is it pride? Or is it excitement about Christ?’ The reality is that at any one moment there are several intentions present within us. There is Christ’s intention for us, the flesh’s intention for us, sin’s intention for us (connected with the flesh), and our intention for us (connected to Christ’s intention). This is why it is necessary to know that we are on the same page with Jesus. We are compatible with Him! He has brought us back to life and we are righteous. So in the moment we can learn to rest in Christ’s finished work for us and live in glorious freedom. We can live in the fact that our intention, strictly speaking, is never wrong. And if we ever yield to the intentions of sin or the flesh, we will know because it will go directly against the Holy Spirit’s leading and our new heart.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:214.
4. You are Lone Rangering it If we, at any point during our day, begin to strive in our own strength to love or live righteously, we will burn out and fail. We are not meant to place confidence in ourselves for Christian living. Our confidence needs to be in Christ’s indwelling presence. We are not meant to live in our own strength. We are meant to express Christ. So throughout the day, in each moment, know that you can trust Jesus to produce the character needed for each situation. Need patience? Jesus has an endless supply! Need joy? Jesus is constantly joyful within you. Need peace? The Prince of Peace is ready to give it to you. While we are never separated from Christ, we can still live like the lone ranger. But we don’t need to.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25
5. Christianity is a rule-keeping game for you Let me say that if this is what Christianity is to you, I am sorry. Truly. I apologize from the bottom of my heart on behalf of anyone who has presented Christianity as a rule-keeping game and God has “the great Score Keeper.” If this is what you believe, then you no doubt despise religion. This list may even cause some butterflies or a gag reflex. But if there is any part of you that is still curious about Jesus, know this: Christianity is not about rules. It is about a Person. It is about meeting Jesus, the God of the universe, letting Him save you as you are, and then letting Him live life with you. Remember, God is not to be confined by a box. He created the box. So anytime Christianity is represented as being about staying within the box instead of knowing the God who created it, flee from the lies! Jesus wants so much more for you.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3