Legalism = literally "School of law" ...Doctrinally, it is a position essentially opposed to grace.... "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" - Galatians 3:24).
Last night at Care Group we had a good talk about the book of Galations, and one of the discussion questions was "Where has God convicted you in areas of being well-known as a Christian?"All I could think about was what had been on my mind all day!, am I *really* trusting that God's work Alone saves? I have been so legalistic lately in wanting to see evidences of grace in my children's hearts that I have been missing all of the real evidences of grace!! And, I have most likely been packing up and trying to pass along my Legalism baggage to them without even seeing my foolishness!! How sobering. And even more sobering is that God knew I would sin in all of these ways, and so many more ways, and yet He still chose me for His own daughter- adopted into His royal family. ( Thanks for that encouragement, Dani.)
It amazes me how vast my foolishness can be, and yet I will never even detect it!
No, the cross Amazes me, but my foolishness just makes me shake my head. There it is, clear as day to God, all of my motives cut right in half and dissected thoroughly by the word of God,and all I have to do is lay bare and open before Him, and he will show me exactly.what.is.right.to.do. Yet I am so desirous to lean on my own understandings that each day I wake up and read my Bible and seek God's will for my day and then by lunch-time I am trying to figure out in my own strength why this labor I am pecking away at seems.so.very.fruitless.sometimes. I have lost, yet again, my vision for what God is doing in our lives, and my part in all that He wants to accomplish. I would be very discouraged about my exceedingly wayward heart if I didn't know that God has promised to, and is faithful to, bind it fast towards Him. He is working. He is working in His ways, in His timings, ways that have Nothing to do with me, ways that I Cannot Possibly understand at all, and it.is. not.my.job.to.figure.out.what.He.is.doing. It Is my job to trust Him, and stay out of His way! ;)
I don't want to get in His way anymore while he is working in my children's hearts; He knows thier hearts so much better than I do, he created them, I see that more clearly now. Thank you to Daryl S. for sharing last night that he has had the most God-honoring times with his children when he has come to them confessing his own sin, and then humbly helping them to see theirs,too. He said that this is the only way he has seen to melt their defensiveness, to break down that wall that exists for a moment between parent & child when child has disobeyed and parent must bring correction and additional instruction. Sometimes those walls stay up far longer than for a moment between my oldest and I, and that grieves me. Thank you also to Jill for teaching me how to confess my sin to Tyler and ask for his forgiveness. This has brought us much closer together. I believe that as I put off my legalistic attitudes and put on more of God's grace-breathed attitude things will *open up* for us... and maybe I won't see the changes I want to see in my way or in my timing but I will trust that they are God's ways and God's timings, even if one of my children were to harden his heart towards God and to go his own way, I know that God is Still God, and I am Not. It is so very scary to hold your children in open palms. But I am not God and I cannot change a heart. But God can.
I so *needed*, needed, needed, needed to be reminded of that last night... I can't even express here what gratefullness I have for all of you in our Care Group,how many times you all have touched my life, how you have been the voice of reason when I couldn't see, like last night. There have been many more times like these. I am nowhere near sanctified, but I have changed so much in the last few years and God has used this group of people so tremendously for me. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You, and keep it coming~ keep telling me what you really see in my heart and helping me trust God more. I can't do it without all of you!...
Know that it is with much tears of gratefullness as I type these words, and yes my kids are just starting to stare at me like I have gone off of the deep end! Lol! Aww, Josh just gave me a hug and told me "It's Ok", Lol!! I told him thank-you, I know that it is, it is more than Ok, it is great!" and he said "then Why are you crying???" ha ha :)
And from last night, I have to share with those of you who are not in our Care Group part of the scripture that Joel shared last night:
Isaiah 1: 18:
"Come now, let us argue this out, says the Lord. No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool."
Love to you all! <3