Thursday, August 30, 2012

Law and the Gospel

I received the gospel. Became a child of God with great joy. Then I moved under the bondage of legalism, the law. My joy soon disappeared. On the outside I appeared like a good christian woman. But on the inside I was full of anger, unforgiveness and bitterness.
I had no idea of the condition of my heart. The law could not change my heart. All I knew to do was to study hard and try to keep God's law. When I thought I kept it, I felt good. When I didn't, I felt condemned and shamed.  A purpose of the law is to show us our need for Jesus.  
I visited a lady and told her how I had everything life could give but I was miserable. She said, "I think you have sin in your heart. Resentment, unforgiveness... "  I couldn't believe her. I was a good christian woman. I left and ask the Spirit to search my heart.  Later I saw what she was talking about. I confessed my sin, repented and ask the Lord to cleanse me. Once again I was filled with tremendous joy.  This is how I began to live everyday. Repentance and faith.
The gospel began to peel me like an onion. I came out of denial. I was exposed. Then I knew I had not been the perfect christian, wife and mother I thought I had been. The goal of my life. My walls of protection fell down. My self reliance and self dependence was gone. I knew I had failed. I became severely depressed. All my fears and insecurities were before me. I turned inward. Many other hard things happened during this time to my family and to me physically. I didn't know how to trust and depend on God. I became mentally ill and found myself in a mental institution.
The next few years were spent in and out of mental institutions. New medicines. I had my family and friends support but I knew no one knew me like God. He became my constant help. To get up in the morning.  What to do that day, eat, wear.  I couldn't make the simplest of decisions without Him.

When I would hear the law, God's law or someone telling me what to do, I would become defensive, feeling oppressed, blaming others.  I didn't know who I was.  Or the depth of the Father's love for me.  So I clung to the grace of God.  To the gospel, just to make it through my day.

My husband was no longer coaching. The children were left to him or themselves. My youngest was 12. We had our first grandchild. Life was going on without me. Even writing this it grieves me to see how very self-centered I was. But God was not through with me yet.

The family is grown now. I spent those next years searching the heart of God. Writing, meditating, worshiping. God and solitude. Being mentored. I learned God's faithfulness to me. His rich, rich love for me. That I could trust Him because, Look what He had brought us through. Who I am in Christ. Living in truth and honesty about my need for Jesus. God has written His law on my heart not over m
y conscience. I learned what love was and to love WAS to fulfill the law. But Christ had kept the law for me. I don't have to prove myself or get anyones approval. Jesus is my value. His perfect life is mine.

I am a sinner saved by grace but I am a child of the King. Who cherishes and delights in me and me in Him. I love Gods law and meditate on it and Him day and night. The Spirit directs me. Christ not only has saved me by faith. He has rescued me. I still have a lot of hard circumstances in my life. I have learned to feel the pain and to be comforted by my Fathers love. I am still being healed but today I am dancing with the King! You shall know the truth, Jesus, and the truth shall set you free!