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I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘as a last resort.’

It means – as the last choice; if everything else fails.

After I posted something recently where I talked about the importance of receiving God’s grace, a friend asked me a question regarding grace that I felt would be helpful to take the time to expand on in a future blog post. Welcome to the future!

My friend gave me permission to use our conversation in this post to help others. Thanks friend. You know who you are.

The conversation via text and email went like this:

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Conversation……

My friend: Do you ask for God’s grace over and over for the same thing?

Me: When I receive grace for something specific, if possible, I really stop for a moment and take the time to receive and thank God for His grace. I don’t just keep trying to do what I know I need to do, but at the same time throw out a ‘help me with Your grace’ prayer. If I stay in rest for a while, but then after a period of time I begin to feel frustrated again, I just stop what I’m doing and talk to God about it. Something like, “Lord, I have obviously stopped receiving Your grace. Thank You Holy Spirit for helping me switch gears here and follow Your lead.

My friend: I needed to hear this. My personality is one that keeps plugging along, and then when I have had it I say or whine, God help me PLEASE. By then, I am so frustrated with myself that I don’t even think I can receive from Him.”

Me: This is exactly what I would do a lot in the past – didn’t work. I guess we could call it last resort grace. Calling for help as a last resort!

My friend: That’s a catchy title! Calling for grace as a last resort—how do you spell that?

F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-E-D!

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We receive the grace of God by faith. This is what we did the day we were Born Again and this is how we can continue in His grace (Acts 13:43). As you can see by the conversation above, it is important that we really take the time to receive, submit to, surrender to or place ourselves under the grace of God. It can be said many different ways, but you get my point.

You see, in every situation we face, we are making a choice to do what we do by our own self-effort or by placing our trust in Jesus, who is Grace, to help us.

Check out this scripture:

Romans 11:6 (NKJV)

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, we live one of two ways. One results in rest and the other in frustration. We have to take our pick.

God’s grace is there for everyone in abundant supply, but if we don’t receive it by placing our trust in Jesus, then we won’t receive the benefits either. This is why stopping and receiving is good. It is like saying, “I know I can’t do this in my own strength Jesus. I need You.”

You may say, “But I can do lots of things on my own. All I have to do is just be disciplined enough to do them.” Actually, you are right. You can live life in your own strength, but you won’t succeed in accomplishing this without frustration. Ask the expert – me. I tried it for 34 years and I was one frustrated-to-the-max Christian.

I have seen an amazing thing transpire over the last 18 months as I have understood and my friends have understood grace as a heart revelation, as the person of Jesus. I have seen many people begin to be released into their gifts and callings. I have seen people experience increased spiritual fruit in their lives and I have seen ministries and marriages come to life! Thank you Jesus!

One of my friends who is a pastor recently emailed me the following good news to me. I want to tell you, I see favor and growth in our congregations, lots of new leaders quickly rising up, a wave of God’s glory and sudden favor. Astounding miracles are taking place in the lives of our people.

Another friend who has Lyme Disease emailed this to me recently, Chronic illness is part of my daily life, but Jesus’ grace makes me almost forget all about it now. Since accepting His grace and being immersed in the calm of unmerited favor, I feel better than I have in a decade! I am tearing up the mileage on my treadmill. I am no longer depressed. People are saying things to me about how I look with shocked faces. My family is asking about God. They know something radical has happened to me and I tell them its Jesus!

At my church I am in a small group and we have been reading the book Destined to Reign, by Joseph Prince and studying the scriptures that go along with it. You seriously cannot shut our group up because everyone is so excited about Jesus. Every week when the small group ends it’s a bummer because none of us want to leave. I have learned so much from watching and listening to these awesome ladies.They are coming to life, can’t stop reading the Bible, can’t stop talking about how God has changed their lives and they are so in love with Jesus!

Life transforming testimonies like these are not just possible for a certain group of people, but for all of us, so be encouraged! God does not show partiality but loves us all the same. He wants to change your life in the areas you need Him to as well. Begin to place all of your trust in God and in His marvelous grace in every situation you face. As you do, you will also experience the transforming power of His grace!

What’s the point in trying to do life in our own strength, when we can have such an amazing life of rest when we do what we do by the grace of God. Ultimately, the result of living surrendered to God’s grace is that we will end up doing more for God this way than we ever could have done on our own. Look at what the Apostle Paul says here:

1 Corinthians 15:10 (AMP)

But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.

Always remember, if you have Jesus, you have everything you need in every situation. You receive grace through faith and as this awesome verse below teaches, when you believe that He can, you will enter His rest. You will stop struggling with life and start enjoying this amazing journey you have been given the privilege to walk out!

So, let’s not think of grace as a last resort that we can receive only after we fail in our own efforts. Let’s think of God’s amazing grace as our first line of defense in life, as the very power we need to live out the victorious life that Jesus died to give us.

Hebrews 4:3a (NLT)

For only we who believe can enter His rest.
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

 

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