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The Absurdity of Pharisaism

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I left the house at 11:30pm last night in search of sugar. I came home with everything in that picture.

All the grocery stores were closed so I stopped in at the local gas station – one of those big one-stop-shop gas stations.

I looked around for quite a while picking out my goodies and in my search I even asked the gas station attendant if they sold tubs of icing there…like cake icing. You should have seen the way she looked at me, hahahaha. A look like “lady, are you ok?” I guess I looked as desperate as I felt.

As I was searching for the perfect dessertssss (yep, that would be plural), at least 3 other people came in that looked like they were possibly strung out on drugs. They were so skinny and looked so desperate. I felt really sorry for them and was quietly praying for them in the Spirit.

As I stood in line behind two very thin women at the checkout who smelled so strong like cigarettes and were buying more, I remembered the days when the pre-grace revelation Sandra would have stood there with 4 desserts in her arms because she felt she just had to have something sweet at 11:30 at night, but would have still so easily judged and criticized all those around her who she felt wasn’t as good as her.

It was trying to live under the law that made me that way. It wasn’t the law’s fault. I just didn’t understand at the time what the purpose of the law really was which was to prove to me that I could not live up to it’s standard, driving me to the end of myself so I would see my need for a Savior. I thought I was suppose to just keep trying harder to keep all the rules but anyone who tries to live by the law is doomed to disappointment.

Yep…that was me, always disappointed in myself, always measuring myself (and others) to see if I was doing better (and if they were doing better) today than yesterday.

Another thing living under the law causes is comparison. “Well I may be here at nearly midnight picking up a boatload of desserts but at least I’m not strung out on drugs, addicted to cigarettes or an alcoholic.”

Oh Yes, that is absolutely the way a Pharisee thinks. “As long as I can just stay one step ahead of you and one notch above you in my mind then I’m ok.”

The only fix for a Pharisee is their complete surrender to a life of grace.

When they see:

  1. It’s impossible to earn it
  2. They don’t deserve it
  3. There’s no way to merit it
  4. But God is giving it to them anyway
  5. It transforms them into a whole new person! I know because it happened to me.

I wrote this post recently for Facebook and Instagram. It fits really well right here:

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Some might consider me a bad Christian for what I’m about to confess but I can’t remember the last time I counted or measured something in regards to my Christian life.

I don’t count up how much time I spend reading the Bible. Sometimes I go days without reading it and then I’ll read and study it for hours upon hours in one day, but oh how I love the Bible now that I read it through the lens of grace!

I don’t count up how much time I pray per day, but my oh my do I love to talk to my Good Heavenly Daddy!

I don’t count up how much I give to make sure I’m reaching a certain percentage. I simply give freely as the Holy Spirit leads me, but you should see how my face lights up with each opportunity to give!

I don’t measure how well I’ve behaved today compared to yesterday. Instead I love to count up and measure how much Jesus accomplished for me through His death, burial and resurrection and wow, does that ever cause me to fall in love with Him more and more.

I don’t count up how many people come to my speaking engagements, like my social media posts or read my blog posts. I’m genuinely happy I get to share the Good News with whoever comes, reads or listens, but man I can’t believe I get to spend the rest of my life sharing the Good News with others. (Here come the tears)

I’m so happy I’m done counting and measuring myself. It was exhausting living like that for years! Now I want to spend the rest of my life telling others they can stop counting too because the Christian life is not about what we do for Jesus. It’s about what Jesus did for us. When a person gets that revelation it’s game on. The fruit that will come from that person’s life will blow any past counting record to kingdom come!

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You see, a person who always has to count everything and measure themselves often does that to see if they’re reading the Bible more, praying more, giving more and behaving better than the next person. They may not see it, but many times what drives them is their “need” to know if they have more Facebook friends, Instagram followers and bigger crowds at their speaking events than others. That person does not yet understand their true identity and security in Christ alone.

It’s bondage. It’s complete bondage, but a life of bondage its not the life God has planned for us.

Here’s the bad news:

And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.” – Galatians 3:10 (MSG)

But here’s the Good News! This is God’s will for us:

Romans 5:17

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. (NLT)

Wow, that was so good, let’s look at it in another translation too!

Romans 5:17 

Death once held us in its grip, and by the blunder of one man, death reigned as king over humanity. But now, how much more are we held in the grip of grace and continue reigning as kings in life, enjoying our regal freedom through the gift of perfect righteousness in the one and only Jesus, the Messiah! (TPT)

It’s absurd to think that what we now have as Jesus followers came about any way other than in Christ, by Christ and through Christ alone! It would be easy to think that an addiction to drugs or alcohol is worse than an addiction to food, but it’s not the truth.

The truth is very simple. We ALL need God’s help. We all need Jesus!

Isn’t it wonderful when you finally come to understand this truth and you tear off all the masks? That’s what I call Freedom Living! Jesus died and rose again so we could live free.

 

Galatians 4:31-5:1  (TPT)

31 It’s now so obvious! We’re not the children of the slave woman; we’re the supernatural sons of the freewoman—sons of grace!

1 Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.

 

We are free, my friend. When we believe that’s what it true about us the Holy Spirit will manifest that truth in our lives. Let keep allowing God’s love to persuade our hearts of our true identity in Christ!

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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Monica
Monica

I love walking in freedom! Love the desserts you picked up Sandra. I always say I’m a free free bumblebee. Love your teachings!

Anne
Anne

anonymous :)
anonymous :)

I Enjoy You !!! Keeping it Real ….The Lord’s Continued Blessings on You and Yours.

JoAnn
JoAnn

You always give me plenty of “food for thought”. Thanks once again!

Rainbow
Rainbow

Wow, Sandra, I’m very grateful that you share these parts of your life with us and in doing so, help lift up and strengthen so many! I have my days too, where I feel like I give in and eat things I wish I wouldn’t have, or loose my temper and yell at the kids, or etc etc….and start falling back into condemnation **but**, because of you mainly (as well as what I glean from any other true grace teachers), I only *start* to fall into condemnation, but it comes to a halt, unlike years past when I’d stay in… Read more »

Alexandra
Alexandra

Thanks for sharing your nightly dessert adventure.
There’s a lot of people to pray for, I realize! And Thank God He hears our prayers and that He promises it’s powerful and it doesn’t miss it’s purpose.. (free translation/interpretation from Dutch). Bless you Sandra and your Ministry!
Looking forward to meet you in the Netherlands!

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