One of the most challenging things I have heard lately and it resonates very deeply with me:
"One cannot receive grace until he has tried. Until he has tried and failed, it isn't grace it is just sin."
This makes sense to me. AND, I HATE it.
I am nothing but a sinner, but there is some sin that is unintentional and other sin that is intentional. The sins are not equal. Not at all. When I look back over the last few days of Bible study and fellowship, I keep coming away with the same message for me...a message I don't like hearing. It even makes me read scripture differently. Songs that once made me feel one way now make me feel another way. (His Grace is Sufficient, for example.)
Shortly before I left for my spiritual oasis that is Summer Celebration, one of my friends had a loving discussion with me about something she wanted me to reflect and pray about. It was not exactly a sin in my life, just something she wanted me to pray about. And as God usually does, He has tied that concern to all of these other teachings and now I am seeing and hearing it everywhere.
I am a good person. I try to always do what is right and I fail alot, but I also succeed alot. I read and study my Bible. I have a very healthy prayer life. I do, however, have some sin in my life that I don't address or deal with or even try to stop. I have tried before and failed and then just pretty much gave up. I've 'given it to God' and counted it 'covered by the blood'. AND, as of a couple of days ago, I am totally convicted. Because I don't even try to do better in some dark sinful places in my soul any more. "I am not perfect and never can be." True that...but not even TRYING to do better in my sin isn't honoring my Lord and Savior. I am begging for grace to cover those sins and I am not even giving it a half-hearted effort. I am giving exactly ZERO effort and thinking His grace will be sufficient.
His grace IS sufficient. Sufficient that when I am weak, He is strong. Sufficient that when I try and fail, His grace will overwhelm me and give me the strength to battle another day. His grace is sufficient to shine brightly through all of my breaks and cracks. His grace is NOT a license to sin. It is NOT an excuse to remain in the muck and mire of my sin. If I am a true believer in the blood of the lamb, remaining in a life of sins...even ones I have deemed 'not that bad'...is not the way to receive the Grace of God. Battling my sins, repenting, and begging for grace when I fall is the way to receive it...and the strength to begin the battle anew until I have totally given the sin to God and the victory is won.