“It’s false doctrine which teaches God’s grace as continual forgiveness for continual sin… The grace that the Lord has given us is the power to walk by His Spirit.” ~ Rick Joyner, There Were Two Trees in the Garden
“My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence.” Galatians 5:13a
We misunderstand who God is if we think he offers anything that helps us stay lost and separated from him. It’s true that God doesn’t stop forgiving us, but that is only the child stage of grace. This grace is not a passive pardoning; it is his active, living spirit stirring us to change, and the very power we need in order to change. This grace is not freedom in sin, it is a journey to freedom from sin.
Nothing epitomizes freedom more than the free and spontaneous dance of a child. Children dance for pure joy and happiness, expressing exactly what they feel at the moment. We should continue to dance in free expression and love of God, but too often we leave the child stage behind without growing forward in the journey to more grace.
In dance terms, grace is the quality of moving with poise and a light, smooth, easy flow. A new dancer clumsily plodding across a stage is not moving in grace. We cannot tell her that her movements are full of grace when they are not. If we give her an artificial view of grace, she lives falsely, not realizing she must seek true grace. She needs encouragement. She needs gentle pushes to keep practicing, to always look for evidence of grace in her movements. When she learns to soften her steps, to elongate her posture, to hold her shoulders back and head up and to walk tall, she becomes more graceful.
“But if you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4
Rigidly holding the right posture is also not grace. The posture must loosen and the muscles learn to rest in new grooves for grace to become evident. As she continues to grow in the journey, she must trust her instructor as he guides from grace-less to balance and beauty. If she tries to do it on her own, she will be rigid and her neck will become stiff as she focuses on herself rather than her instructor’s voice.
Dancers who rest in their training have a quiet confidence, and their muscles have a strength that was not there before.
In walking with God, we are all free to join in the dance, but we’re clodhoppers without his grace. When we recognize our un-loveliness and try to correct it ourselves we become stiff and rigid. Our Instructor says, “Relax, your efforts for perfection make your movements awkward. Let go so you can glide and flow. Listen to my voice and respond at each step.” Then He molds our muscles through practice and training, shaping them until the grooves and patterns in which we walk, glide, flow, dance, the way we live and breathe in His grace become natural.
“When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
This grace is not a kind lie that keeps us ugly. His Grace is His strength in us, the ability to be free, the power to walk in His Spirit.
How have you experienced this journey of grace? How are you different from the child you were?