“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.”
– Galatians 1:6
This is my tendency, and perhaps every Christian’s tendency.
To desert him who called me.
To desert the grace of Christ.
To turn to a different “good news”, which never ends up being good at all.
This is insanity. Turning and fleeing from the One who loved me and gave Himself for me. Deserting the only One who can give me life, the only One who can care for me perfectly, the only One who can rescue me. Sheer madness.
Then as if that wasn’t enough, I abandon the “grace of Christ”. It’s never a deliberate decision. I don’t wake up in the morning and say to myself, “I want to have nothing to do with the grace of Christ.” No, instead it’s a subtle drifting. It’s giving an ear to the enemy and listening to his voice. His crafty voice whispers thoughts of, “It’s not fair,” or, “You deserve better.” And in a blink of an eye I believe the lie that God is withholding from me. I start to think He isn’t kind to me. My view of God’s grace becomes clouded by untruths.
My perspective rolls down a slippery slope. With no clear view of grace, I turn into an “elder brother” who thinks he can put God in his debt by his good deeds. All of a sudden I am far, far away from grace and I’m trying to earn the Father’s favor.
You are no longer flirting with abandoning grace, when you sense that you are starting to hate grace. Especially God’s grace towards others. You are in dangerous territory, and it’s safe to say you have officially deserted the grace of Christ.
Then we turn to a “different gospel”. A different word of “good news”. Maybe it’s the news of self-protection, or the news of anger, or the news of self-pity. The “good news” of license–just do whatever you want, God will forgive you. And there’s the “good news” of legalism–just make rules to control those around you and God, then you can get what you want. Whatever the “different gospel” that you and I listen to, never ends up being good news at all. They aid in our self-destruction. They eat away at our souls and make us ineffective in God’s kingdom.
It is necessary that God keeps me anchored to his grace. I find myself praying that I would be blown away by a fresh wave of grace every minute. I need Him to sustain me and keep me tethered to Him who called me. It is astonishing that I so quickly desert Him, but it is more astonishing that He keeps coming after me and rescuing me. This is indeed good news.