Over the past few weeks I've been pondering about "faith failures." Yesterday, while teaching in our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship in Inverness, FL, I was mentioning, "Grace failures." To be honest, I really don't like either term as I'm not really too certain that they are possible, at least from God's point of view. However, we don't look at things from God's point of view all of the time. Do we? In God's eyes Grace and faith really can never fail. The problem is that we think they can because we have humanized both things. That's where the problem comes in!
I guess, "faith failure" is a little more palatable to me than "grace failure." Yet, even faith cannot really fail as God gives it to us, either in the form of a "measure" or a "gift," or both and no matter what the TV evangelist says, it's not up to us to work it up in order to get something from God!
In my soon to be released new book, When God Doesn't Heal: Avoiding Fear, Shame and Condemnation, I really hit faith thing pretty hard. So many have been taught and believe that in order to have God heal them they have to have to apply the correct amount of faith. So, if they aren't healed or healing seems delayed to them, they come under fear, shame and condemnation because they don't have enough faith. See the problem? Maybe you or someone you know has experienced that. I praise God for all who are supernaturally healed, but some have not been, some have even died while waiting for their "miracle."
However, the "faith failure" that I wish to address today deals with the battles in life that we all must face from time to time. In the early days of my Christianity we were taught to witness to others by telling them something like, "Just come to Jesus and all of your troubles will end!" What a bunch of horse feathers! It was a down-right lie! So often I found that a person's problems only intensified after they began placing faith in Christ.
We have found that understanding the concepts of New Covenant Grace will transform a person's life. Yet, that understanding has to go much deeper than just having a head knowledge of grace. It has to be placed in a person's heart by a direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. Without that, as soon as a new storm brews, the head knowledge will be blown out the window and the person will crash and burn. This is a "faith or grace failure."
If I asked every Christian that I meet over the next week, "Do you understand grace?" They will all shout back to me, "CERTAINLY!" After all, everyone knows (with their mind) that grace is, "God's unmerited favor." Every pastor was taught to teach that in their seminary "Grace 101" class. Like parrots they regurgitate what they have taught, teaching their flock the same wrong information. When the winds blow in life, "God's unmerited favor" just won't get the job done!
At these times, a person has to believe in the very depths of their gut, that Grace is actually Christ living in them, unleashing His power from within making them holy and righteous, no matter what is going on in their life. Grace is simply God's love being manifested in a person. It is a love that will never leave or forsake us, no matter what we do or don't do. We can't earn it or work hard enough to get it. It's just there....a love for the entire world!
So, if you have had a recent "faith or grace failure," please rise up, dust yourself off and go on with your life. You must fight to believe that you are the Apple of God's Eye, no matter what! See what I mean?
Grace and peace!