Friday, January 3, 2014

Regret What Is Broken Or Embrace Newness By Grace

Regret is a thief that is powerless to fix what is broken. Fallen man breaks more things by trying to make broken things work. Regret forces him to live in the realm of blame because of the consequences of his failure. Grace has no blame and therefore no regret. Grace can rest in hope. God gives a new thing. Mercy is new every morning.

The natural man sees broken and fixed. The spiritual man sees new and old.

Our soul craves wholeness and connection. Grace, mercy and love give us all that our soul craves. Will we embrace this new thing or try to fix the old one?

Jesus is the new thing. Without Him we are stuck with the old. It follows us into the new day because of the broken nature of the fall.

God sees everything in creation as disposable but the human soul. His redemption is in newness. His Word is eternal and settled in Heaven. Eternal things are not disposable. Relationships based on eternal things are not disposable. Relationships based on disposable things will one day dissolve.

God has no regret. No darkness is in Him. He is full of holiness and justice. Grace justifies the ungodly.

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." - Romans 4:5 KJV

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" - Romans 5:1 KJV

Without mercy the old follows us into the new day. Mercy creates a cocoon of safety that is free from the pressures of the old. Ever notice that when you are with a 'mercy person' how easy it is to be with them?

If God leaves some broken things in our lives... and He does. They are not there to be fixed. They create channels for God to pour love His love into the world. Our new wine bottles can hold His love without bursting. We can pour it out into relationships and circumstances. It only makes room for more to be poured into our newness that mercy has enabled.

"No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, 'Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?' He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?' " - Isaiah 44:19-20 ESV

The lie that we approve of is held tightly in the right hand of our approval and we feed on the ashes. Those ashes could come from yesterdays burnt offering, yesterday's provision or a dream that went up in smoke.

The right hand must be kept free to grasp what is new. Fix the old or worship God with open raised hands in newness? Make a choice.

If we are not moved to release our hold on the broken things then God has His methods in place to convince us... the prodigal Son... Martha and Mary after Lazarus died... Peter going fishing after the crucifixion... all are examples of this concept.

Living in constant regret sets us down a hard path.

At first we won't let go and then after a while we can't let go. God helps us but it is a struggle where we fight against the One who is saving us from drowning.

Worship can open our hands... fasting can also... but I think this process is very personal. We must seek God and find the way to keep our hands free. One thing is for sure.. it will require us to operate in faith.

If we don't let go we will eat some tasteless spiritual meals and grow lean due to lack of nurition. Then comes the famine, drought or a whale that swallows us up as we are running... long nights with no fish in our net... boyfriend after boyfriend... movie after movie... meal after meal... weekend after weekend. Our fist closed tight we can not carry much. We can not approve of much anymore. Soon we shake our fist at people, ourselves and eventually at Heaven. We assign blame.

"Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny." - Matthew 5:25-26 ESV

In this area the Spirit of Grace becomes our adversary. Faith becomes our place of agreement. Action by faith becomes the way we exercise faith. In unique ways God continues to stretches out His hand to give us a new provision. It might be a job or a friend, a thing to be involved in, a crisis where we must make a choice. A new opportunity to derive our identity from Christ in the Finished Work. Mercy that we don't deserve. It is too narrow a place to bring what we are carrying. We may drop important things to keep the lie but we must drop something...we might spend days, weeks or years dropping irreplaceable things but God does it again and again... shaking the shakable and making us drop something.

If we don't know grace this can go on and on.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" - Titus 2:11-13 NKJV

If our heart is established in grace or is actively being established then grace does something quite amazing. It highlights the important things as important. It reveals the eternal non-disposable things. The choice of what to take through the narrow place becomes clearer until one day our hand is open again and we find the thing we held so closely for so long is gone. In awe we come to ourselves. We are not quite sure where it went. It has dissolved because that is what temporal things do... they dissolve.

We are broken in different ways. Some visible to us, some visible to others and some only visible to God. Love won't fix our old marriage it will create a new one with the same two people again and again and again. It won't fix our past it just gives us a new present and future that has no past but only what was eternal will remain. The wood, hay and stubble are soon gone and only the gold, silver and precious stones remain.

Cast your regret and every other care upon God. He will never regret caring for you. His gifts have only just begun. His redemption is real and powerful.

"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD." - Jonah 2:9 KJV

That means it is His job.

We walk by faith. Learning but not regretting. Ceasing from the labor of trying to discover the problem and fix it so that next time we have a better outcome. Walking by faith is the better outcome. The new thing is the solution for tomorrow's problem. The mercy will be there and the transformation that comes from beholding Christ in the situation is what develops maturity for our future situations.


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