I’m not one to call out and shame churches and ministries, that’s not what I’m known for. But I want to share my story in case there is anyone out there who may be struggling with similar things. For the longest time I was stuck in a church that was preaching deception in the vaguest form. It was so slight and the message even sounding so empowering & encouraging. I didn’t realize how I was being deceived into lies in the most disguised way. We went for the kids ministry. We liked that it was close by. At some points yes I believe we did have moments where we encountered God here. But still something was off, and we noticed it more as the years went on. Such an emphasis was placed on prosperity & blessings & favor but there was nothing that brought conviction. And I am positive these things are from God, but these things seemed to be more of the focus. Conviction is so needed because it launches us into the transformation process. Anyways, it was as if the scripture or words we used were like a magic spell we could say and poof- we would have what we wanted. There was also such a focus on the pastor himself, everything seemed to revolve around him & his family. Sin was joked about. All the messages were focused on your success and blessings but there was zero conviction & hardly any talk about actual intimacy with God, although I did hear some things on identity. Somewhere in between the messages I noticed myself and others in the church started to take sexual sin very lightly, again no conviction on the manner. Sexual sin was slipping its way through the cracks of this church & it was coming through the message. We were being taught that “grace was enough”. That love covered a multitude of sins. Taught in the vaguest form that “we might just be able to sin & get away with it”. He made frequent jokes about lusting, getting high, wasted & smoking. It was these little seeds of “complacency” that had me so comfortable with no regard to repentance or forgiveness. Everyone here was so focused on their appearance, all I had to do was get dressed nicely and show up. This went on for a while as I noticed one of the ushers had an eye for me. He was married. As was I. But my husband just recently confessed his past offenses toward me & lack of faithfulness so I was hurt. Of course, I was walking around wounded & bitter & complacent here. So every Sunday or Wednesday I would show up, nicely dressed and get attention from him. I fed off of his looks & his smiles at me. It was disgusting. People on the worship team secretly cheating on their spouses, this stuff was everywhere. God ended up giving me a dream revealing to me how I was involved in how this man was hurting his wife by being unfaithful with his eyes toward me and many other women. It was sad, and after a while I grew more and more disgusted at him and annoyed at his stares and glances. Finally I connected with another church because I sensed God as calling us out of there. He gave me a very clear dream that the church we had been to for 5 years was very self-promoting & self-focused, believing they were the answer & were wanting to hold on to the people in their own strength.
And then I stumbled into some sin, and was convicted as I had an encounter with God, to which He revealed to me that GRACE IS NOT TO SIN AND GET AWAY WITH IT!
Oh this conviction was intense!
But I’m so grateful that our Father disciplines those He loves and treasures! I began to realize I had bought that lie. I believed it was ok to sin here and there because I would be forgiven and grace was enough! Yuck!!!
He revealed many things to me as I cried out to Him for the TRUTH, that He expose all theses lies and reveal truth about the Gospel.
Sin is not a part of who we are. We are called to be holy as He is holy. And I read through Galatians 5, which talks about anyone living in sin has NO INHERITANCE in the Kingdom of Heaven! Yikes! When we received what Jesus did for us on the cross, we PARTAKE in His death and resurrection. We are brought into a NEW LIFE with Him & made NEW CREATIONS in Him! Sin has been done away with. When? RIGHT NOW. He already broke its power, and it’s power over our lives.
The TRUE GOSPEL is a story of transformation. If GRACE has no transformation then it REALLY IS NOT GRACE. Grace is not MERCY. Mercy is where we don’t get what we deserve. Grace is God’s ABILITY!
When I began this process of crying out to God for truth & being convicted I read Galatians 5 & other verses like it I realized: I CANT DO THIS! I can’t walk a perfect straight line, I fail over and over- I’m going straight to hell, I’m gonna be separated from Him forever! He says if I even lust I’ve committed sin? If I even call someone an idiot I’ve committed sin! I’m doomed!
And then the light came on!!!
Helllloooooo GRACE! Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives! Galatians 5 reveals that we can’t walk in the flesh and the spirit at the same time! So if your walking in the flesh (self) you will reap sin. If you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will reap LIFE.
So I began repenting for every lie and every sin I committed & asked the Holy Spirit to come and reveal to me the way. As we yield to the Holy Spirit we are transformed! It’s a real process with Him. It involved reading the word & then discussing with Him. I would thank Him for His GRACE ability in my life, and that He was doing the transforming. You see focusing on my actions and on sin won’t transform me- it will only shame me & keep my eyes fixed on myself. Zero change.
But when we humble ourselves and cry out to Him for His ability- submitting to Him and receiving His forgiveness and love- HE GIVES US A NEW HEART.
He looks on the HEART.
We can’t possibly make ourselves right in our own strength. We receive EVERYTHING from Him, like little children.
The true gospel is this: Jesus came to restore us to His image. To take away the image of sin and death that was on us onto Himself. The blood of Jesus washed our sins away. Whoever believes in Him has eternal life. When we receive His forgiveness and His Spirit, there is transformation! We are made new & our heart is now ALIVE! He gives us the DESIRE to obey Him & the POWER to do what pleases Him. So now we’re not trying to walk a straight line and obey Him in our own ability and strength and understanding…. we soar ABOVE the laws because now it is in our hearts & we WANT TO! And we are confirmed into the Image of our FATHER ♥️
Grace does not mean sin & get away with it.
The Grace of God taught apart from TRANSFORMATION is a lie. Don’t be deceived. If we are children of God we have relationship with Him & His love is in us & will flow through us. Now sin won’t even be a focus anymore because we’re focused on love & sin has no place there! Blessings!!!