so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times,
you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
“Jocks,” “burnouts,” “average Joes",,, all labels we used for one another. No offense taken. We knew who we were.
But to hear her say she wasn’t going to teach us, because we didn’t want to learn? What on earth was I supposed to do with that?
I wish I could tell you that I ran to my counselor’s office and demanded a new teacher. But I don’t recall doing anything about it. I didn’t mention it to my parents or anyone in authority at school. Perhaps it was laziness, lack of confidence or apathy for writing that contributed to my inaction.
To compound the matter, I opted to take the same teacher for Composition I. My rationale? Perhaps she wouldn’t fail me, since she was the reason I still didn’t understand the basics.
If only I hadn’t failed first grade …
If only my teacher hadn’t called me stupid …
If only I had had a different teacher for Basic Writing Skills …
If only someone had believed in me …
If only I wasn’t average, insecure, afraid …
If only …
My past has been a roadblock to God’s call to “Write”. I’ve allowed my past to define me. I’ve failed to trust that through the gift of Christ’s redeeming grace God can and will empower me to fulfill His calling.
Grace is a mysteriously powerful gift that I have failed to unpack. We are redeemed by grace through faith in Christ’s work on the cross, and that is a mystery in and of itself. A gift I’m eternally grateful for, but does the work of grace stop there? Should I be content with the same labels I’ve had all my life? Is there no hope of escaping these labels that block my calling and hinder change?
No, I’m confident that there is hope in the power of grace. We are given new labels: forgiven, redeemed, righteous, child of God ... But how do these new grace given labels impact my daily living? How do I find joy in a calling, that six years after hearing “Write”, I’m still scared to pursue?
How do I unleash the power of grace? To be honest I’m not exactly sure, but I’m going to give it a try.
During my quiet time with God: I’m submitting to Him, desiring an intimate relationship with Him, and earnestly asking that He release His powerful grace to change me, so that grace will overflow through me in powerful written works.
Be still: Submit, desire and seek change, so that God's grace will overflow through me.
Say it with me, “Be still: Submit, desire and seek change, so that God's grace will overflow through me.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 HCSB
My desire to be in control has left me with old labels instead of seeking out the overflowing power that will inevitably change my life. But, admittedly, change is scary. Years ago my Christian counselor said it best, “The familiar hell is often more comfortable than the unfamiliar heaven.”
This abounding grace filled power doesn’t leave room for the old labels that I’m used to. But I’m finally ready for change. Are you?
Read this aloud: “God is able to make His redeeming grace overflow to me, so that in every way, I will always have everything I need, so that I may obey God's call and excel in every good work. “
I am what I am. I am a sinner saved by grace through the gift of faith. I’ve been given a new identity in Christ. I am a child of the most high God. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. For the spirit that God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (1 Timothy 1:7) The power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, and I am expectantly looking forward to what God is going to do through me. He wants us to come to Him just the way we are, so He will receive all the credit (all the glory) for the change that is going to happen in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me let go of control. Help me let go, so that the old labels that chain me to the past can be displaced by Your all-powerful overflowing grace. May I not consider my inadequacies, but be confident in Your sufficiency. Teach me to be still and know that You are God. Fill me with a desire to seek an intimate relationship with You, so that I will receive hope, joy and contentment. Release the power of Your grace, and do a mighty work through Your calling on my life. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
and His grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV