When I was praying about the year of 2012, I kept hearing the Lord speak to me about grace. In fact, when you observe the year 2012 and actually add the numbers—two plus zero plus one plus two—it all adds up to five. Biblically, the number five is the number for grace. Therefore, when I heard the Lord begin to minister to me concerning this year and He continued to speak of grace, I really got encouraged when I added those numbers together!
Most of us are aware that grace is unmerited or undeserved favor. I believe this year we will revisit the gift of grace and gain greater understanding of God's goodness. Because God's grace is undeserved, this means that God's goodness is not expressed to each of us because we are good; it is given to us because He is good!
Sometimes it's hard to even wrap our minds around this fact. This is because most of us have, in reality, believed that grace is based upon performance and our religious works. However, receiving grace from God has absolutely nothing to do with our performance at all; it is completely based upon undeserved favor. Think about this for a minute. If God's favor were based upon our ability to do right and perform well, then we would not need His grace, would we? We would then believe that because of our own abilities we have been blessed. This is such a deceptive lie of the enemy.
The Accuser: The Accuser of the Brethren targets those of us who are performers. I know this firsthand because I have struggled with perfectionism and performance most of my life. In my recent book, Silencing the Accuser, Eight Lies Satan Uses Against Christians, I go to great lengths to point out how the enemy attempts to keep us bound to religion, legalism and self-condemnation. The Accuser will attempt to rise up even more in this year because he does not desire that we embrace the revelation of God's grace.
Precious believer, I know how much bondage there is in feeling as if you are continually "missing the mark." Performance-oriented people experience difficulty resting in God, which is linked to God's grace. I spent many years believing that God was disappointed if I didn't quite measure up to His standards. I also was deceived into believing that God's blessings were linked to how well I performed—as if His blessings were dependent upon my "good behavior" or "religious performance." This false belief set me up for even more failure and disappointment. It becomes cyclical.
If we are ashamed, there is no confidence to boldly run to Him for grace and empowerment to transform. Wow! Let me rephrase that so that you understand this. Shame and guilt robs us of our confidence to run boldly into God's arms. In fact, it causes us to run away from Him!
God knows we will never be perfect. He does not desire perfection due to our own strength for that would be "deserved favor." Remember now, grace is undeserved favor. The Lord desires for us to know that He is daily perfecting us through His divine grace. To believe that "it is up to us and our own ability to become transformed" is to believe that "the finished work at the Cross was not effective." Jesus Himself was perfect and, therefore, we are blessed and empowered to live holy through Him.
Vision of God's Right Hand: As I was preparing to write to you concerning what God put on my heart, I had a repeated vision of two specific occurrences. In the first vision, I saw the Lord removing a veil from His children's eyes. He used His right hand to do this. As you may know, the right hand represents God's blessings. I believe the Lord was clear in this vision that many of us have been blinded concerning how to receive God's blessings. The Accuser of the Brethren has lied to us and said that God's blessings are based upon "works" rather than simply because God loves us. Remember God is love! You cannot separate God from love. He blesses us simply because He loves us.
Walking in the Supernatural and Doing the Impossible: In the second vision, I saw the Lord empower us with divine grace to begin to walk in the supernatural. I saw many of God's children doing the impossible. Many of you might ask what the connection is between grace and the supernatural. Well, precious one, we can't walk in the supernatural without His grace! Our faith needs to rest upon Jesus and the price He paid for the sick to be healed, the poor to be blessed, people to be set free, etc. If we focus on Jesus and His ability to heal the sick, I believe many of us would experience more miracles. Because we haven't seen the miracles for which we cry out, many times we feel that we didn't "perform" well and, as a result, we will shrink back from stepping out and praying for the sick or for demons to flee, etc.
Remember, Saints, when Jesus came to earth, He brought Heaven with Him. He came so that He could live in us – we became the Tabernacle for the Spirit of God. It is His ability in us that will empower us to experience more of the supernatural.
Righteousness: Some of you may also believe that you are not "righteous" enough for God to use you. When I mention the word "righteousness," many people immediately think that it involves more performance and perfect behavior – a list of "do's and don'ts" from God. Let me remind you that righteousness is a gift. Yes, righteousness is a gift from God and cannot be earned! (See Romans 5:17). Be assured that you are already righteous in Christ. His Spirit lives in you and, therefore, you are qualified to walk in the supernatural! Just go ahead – step out and do it!
The Accuser of the Brethren has yoked many of us with guilt and shame because when we "mess up," we believe it has affected our righteousness. Believers, if you are hearing those words from the enemy, then he has targeted your future. Let me explain.
Achieve Your Future: The Accuser of the Brethren came against many in the Bible who God used mightily. Yes, the Bible is full of stories about people who were living in ordinary circumstances and empowered to do the impossible. Think about Gideon. He was convinced that he was a "nobody" and he was the youngest in his family; yet God addressed him as a mighty "mighty warrior" (Judges 6:12) and used him to deliver His people from the evil Midianites. And, let me remind you of Joseph who was a slave in Egypt, but God said, "You're a king and a ruler." As you recall, he was elevated to the position of prime minister under Pharaoh.
What about Abraham and Sarah who were both in their old age, far beyond the normal years of child bearing? God spoke to them, "You will have a son and he will grow into a great nation." Dear believer, God sees much in you! He desires for you to boldly run to His throne of grace right now to receive a fresh empowerment to achieve your future. Don't allow past shame or guilt to hold you back any longer. The Lord desires to release His blessings to you today. Receive it; believe it and it is yours!
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?