Most of us are aware that it is by grace that we are saved, as Ephesians 2:8 clearly states: "It is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith" (The Amplified Bible). But I wonder how many people understand that grace is not only the power that saves us but also the power of God made available to meet all our needs.
Everything we receive from God must come by grace through faith. But all knowledge of faith must be built on a clear understanding of grace, because even faith comes to us by grace, as a gift. Everything in our lives depends, not on our merits or abilities or works, but on God's willingness to use His infinite power to meet our needs. This is grace.
My entire Christian experience was a struggle until God gave me an amazing word about grace. He said, "Grace is you letting Me do what I want to do on this earth through you." And He let me know that He is eager to give us all the grace we need.
He went on to explain that we try to stand on our flesh instead of on the solid Rock--and that we must be emptied of human effort, the cares of daily living and fleshly frustrations. Then He made this thrilling declaration: "But grace can rid you of every hindrance. And you'll find as grace begins to flow, it will generate more and more grace until you become a channel for My grace."
What an awesome word about the grace God is just waiting for us to receive! Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit that is made available for us to do what needs to be done in our lives, the power to change what needs to be changed. It is the ability of God that comes to us free for the asking.
Actually, the grace of God is not complicated or confusing. It is simple, and that's why many people miss it. There is nothing more powerful than grace. Everything in the Bible--salvation, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with God and all victory in our daily lives--is based on it. Without grace, we are nothing, we have nothing, we can do nothing. If it were not for the grace of God, we would be miserable and hopeless.
You and I are the vessels through which God does His own works. Grace is not us doing anything; it is us letting God do things through us. Grace requires us to be absolutely still mentally, trusting in the Lord rather than worrying or reasoning.
Grace is God doing us a favor, coming in with His power and might to accomplish in and through us what we don't deserve. Only when we grasp the fact that every good thing we have comes to us because of the goodness of God can we truly accept and appreciate His grace.
The vast majority of people allow God to help them only when they think they deserve it. At one time in my life I was that way. For years I allowed God to help me only when I thought I had earned it, when I thought I had done enough good deeds to deserve His help.
That kind of thinking doesn't produce an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving. If we think we deserve what we receive, then it is no longer a gift but a reward or "payment for services rendered." The difference between receiving what we do not deserve and receiving what we do deserve is the difference between grace and works.
I encourage you to open your heart and allow God's grace to come into your life to help you in your everyday walk. Always remember that when you feel frustrated, it is because you have entered into your own effort and need to get back into God's grace by allowing Him to work through you.
Give up trying to "deserve" God's grace, and let His grace supply your every need. Don't be satisfied with just enough grace to save you from eternal damnation. Receive not only the grace that saves, but also grace, grace and more grace so you may live victoriously and glorify Jesus in your daily life.
Joyce Meyer is an internationally recognized minister and author of more than 60 books, including the best sellers Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind (Warner Faith), and her most recent, Approval Addiction (Warner Faith, 2005). She is the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.