Monday, March 28, 2011

A GRACE THAT IS ENOUGH

So there I was, sitting in CR Worship this past Friday night, just minding my own business worshipping God when the Holy Spirit interrupted me and asked me about the words I was singing. The song at that moment was Your Grace is Enough and at that moment in the song, we were singing the first chorus:
Your grace is enough,
Your grace is enough,
Your grace is enough for me!

Years ago when I was in my early twenties, I was first starting out in ministry I had the fortunate experience to spend some quality time with a worship leader named Bob Fitts talking about the nature of worship. Like our own David Attebery, Bob has the gift to lead folks to the very throne room of God, and allow their hearts to be prepared to what God has to say. Bob made a statement about worship that has stuck with some 20+ years now. He said that worship is either declaration or adoration. Declaration is the testimony of who God is; or what His character is like; or about His nature; or about what He has done; its focus is on God and making him famous and known. Adoration is an expression of our emotions towards God; it is our focused response to the declaration of who God is. I took Bob’s words to heart and over the years, my attitude in worship normally has become one of these two expressions, declaration of God or adoration to God.

So back to Friday night, I responded to what I felt was the Holy Spirit’s prompting and began to think about the words I was singing. My first thought was I am just singing this song, which is not a good thing; my second thought was to ask is this song a song of declaration or a song of adoration. Now to be honest, as wonderful as this song is to most people, it is not one of my favorites. Perhaps it is the rhythm or the style but really, that is a personal preference and has nothing to do with the value of this great song. So that being said, I have never bothered to take Bob’s words and apply them to this particular song.

What I did in the next few moments was to look at the truth of the song, “…Your grace is enough…” we sang. “Wow, this is a declaration of the nature of God,” I thought. How have I missed that? Probably because I have let personal preference get in the way of worship, at least with this song I had. Forgetting the lesson I had learned years ago that worship isn’t about music, style or the notes, it is about God and that He is worthy of my declaration and of my adoration whether there is music or not, whether I like the tune or not. Oh, I know that having an affinity for the songs that we sing is helpful for me to enter into an attitude of worship. Ultimately, though, it is unimportant when compared to what the focus of worship is to be; it is not about what “warm fuzzies” I get, it is about the declaration and adoration of the King.

So back again to Friday night “…Your grace is enough…” a declaration of God’s nature! What followed for me was conviction, conviction that this is a declaration that I have never really made. That this is a declaration I need to speak out. That my spirit needs to hear my flesh make this declaration to itself or perhaps it is my flesh that needs to hear my spirit make this declaration to itself. Either way, I was beginning to understand that it was important for my recovery that these four words need to become a part of my meditations and worship of God, which the Holy Spirit wants to work at in the transforming of my mind. His grace is enough! This truth is something that my soul needs to hear daily, to combat the lies I have bought into that I could never be a person God would delight in.

“…Your grace is enough for me…” what an amazing God we serve, by the time we reached this point of the first chorus, the Holy Spirit had challenged, convicted and begun a change in my way of thinking about His grace, about the His very nature. I spent the rest of that song focusing on the thought that His grace is enough. What followed in the next 36 hours was God using the rest of worship, the testimony shared that night along with my own devotion, the worship and the message from the Saturday night service I attend to re-enforce the truth that “His grace is enough.” And as He has done so I find myself in an expression of adoration about this declaration of the truth of His nature. God using my past to affect my present to change my future.

I am convinced now more than ever that Christ is calling me to a level of freedom in Him that I have never known; this morning it is occurring to me that, the path to that freedom starts here; and the first step is the understanding that His grace is enough. Paul puts it this way in Romans:
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.
All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. – Romans 5:19-21 (The Message)

Father, I want to know and experience this grace of yours. Help me to get out of the way of myself so that I can find what you have had for me all along. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Tim, CR Encourager Coach, CR NW Arkansas Fellowship. For more information on CR contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

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