God’s Grace & Our Faith (Part 6): Faith Works By Love (Part 5) – When You Are Scared You Are Not Good Enough

by Rick

Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” For the past few days, we looked at John 1:14&17 and Galatians 5:6. I shared messages about how faith works by love.  We will continue to flow in that same vein again today.

(John 1:14 NIV)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John 1:17 NIV)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

(Galatians 5:6 KJV)  

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.  

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things:

1.  God calls you to operate on levels that far exceed your comfort because He is calling you into #TheGraceLife.

If you watched the video version of Friday’s message (https://youtu.be/B-XKHqCiIHo), I drove home the fact that you must disconnect your belief system (your faith) from your performance in order to believe what God believes about you. I will further elaborate this morning.

Too many people only believe God for things they are capable of doing or things they feel comfortable doing. Therefore, their faith is based on their performance. They only attempt to do things by faith that they’ve already mastered. So they think they’re living by faith, but they are actually living by performance. Their whole life is based on what they feel capable of accomplishing. That’s not the life of faith at all.

— There are people who have no problem putting the time, energy, and effort into mastering their craft (in any given area), and that is laudable. I am all about excellence and mastery. However, if you wait to master your craft before launching out to do what God told you to do, you are relying more on yourself and your perceived mastery than God, His grace, or His favor.

— There are people who get excited when God gives them a vision of running their own business. They tell their friends about it, they put pictures on their vision board, and they start praying. They claim to be building up their “faith” for it. But when weeks turn into months and months turn into years, it becomes obvious they are not relying on God. They are relying on their perceived level of preparedness, or lack thereof. As a result, they wait until they “feel” they are ready to get started, without realizing that they are delaying God’s blessing becuase they are more focused on their performance than God’s grace.

— To live by faith, you must be willing to LAUNCH OUT when God tells you to LAUNCH, even at the risk of looking foolish, and even when you are terrified because you feel unqualified, underprepared, and sometimes even clueless. I am not saying that you don’t have to put in the effort. Of course, you do. But I am saying that you cannot rely solely on your effort because if you do, you are more performance-based than grace-based.

2.  To walk with God you must become comfortable with a certain level of discomfort and mystery.

— To walk with God, you must become comfortable with a certain level of discomfort and mystery becuase: 1) God will lead you well out of your comfort zone, and 2) He won’t give you all the answers upfront. Both of these will require faith on your part. You will need faith to push past your apprehension and fear and faith to launch out when you don’t feel like you have all the answers and may even feel like you have no idea what you are doing.

What’s the alternative? The alternative to what I am teaching right now looks like this:

— Someone who tirelessly prepares for everything.

— Someone who refuses to start the “public” version of something until they have mastered it.

— Someone who is so dedicated to excellence that they refuse to start a project until they have completed mapped it out in their minds (and maybe even on paper).

— Someone who only attempts to do what they know they can do.

— Someone who attempts to mitigate the fear of failure by preparing so hard and so long that they don’t start until they feel comfortable that they won’t fail.

This all sounds good, but the person I just described is a person who is NOT living by faith. They are living by performance. They are living as a mere human. They may sound like a truly prepared human, but they are living as a mere human nonetheless. Their reliance is on them and their performance, NOT God and His grace.

3.  God’s plans are so big that they will scare you if you don’t look at them through the lens of His grace.

God’s plans are so big that they will scare you if you don’t look at them through the lens of His grace.

God has Isabella and me involved in several things. On any given week, we have things we do for business, non-profits, ministry, our family, with the kids, etc. We are able to do all we do by the grace of God. Without God’s grace, there is no way we could do it.

I serve on a few boards, and so does Isabella. Last week God opened a door for me to have another board director seat, but this one is huge for me. As I thought about the magnitude of the assignment, I could not do anything but give God praise and then remind myself that I must rely on His grace.  

Also, last week, I attended a church event in one of the evenings where the Lord spoke to me about my future. He does this all the time, but this particular night was special for me. I was in the presence of people whom I consider to be very anointed, I honor what God is doing through their lives, and then, as I sat to listen to one of them, the Lord spoke clearly. The Lord did not minister to me through the message the person was speaking. The Lord spoke to me through other things that were happening that night. As the Father began to speak to me and reveal ME to ME, all I could do was sit, digest, and pray.

When you have moments like that, where the Lord is speaking to you about your future, and you can SEE IT clearly, it is easy to get excited. But if you don’t understand what I am teaching today, it is also easy to get overwhelmed and afraid (flat-out scared), becuase you feel woefully unqualified/underqualified for the assignment. This is why you cannot rely on your performance. You must rely on God’s grace.

— Since God calls you to do things that far exceed your performance and your perceived merit, there will be times when you feel unworthy and/or unprepared. You will feel like God is being too good to you. Trust me, HE IS! God’s blessing is not measured by your performance. His blessing is measured by His goodness and grace. And guess what? His grace is infinite.  

— Get past the fact that you are not worthy and BELIEVE! Get past the fact that you don’t have all the answers and OPEN your heart to God’s grace!  

— Faith works by love, not your performance. If you start factoring in your performance, you are going to mess around and put a “NO” where God put a “YES!”

— Let’s grade your perceived level of performance or preparedness on a scale of 1 to 10. Let’s say God reveals something to you, and He wants you to launch out to do it. On a level of 1 to 10, you feel like you are a 3. However, God is infinite. This number is like 100 gazillion. God’s love is on the gazillion level. You see yourself as a 3. You are then posed with a dilemna. You can either work on your performance and try to get ready to become who God called you to be BEFORE you launch out, even though God is telling you to launch out now. If you wait, your faith is based on your performance. Option 2 is you can launch out now. You see your preparedness level as a 3, but God’s love as a gazillion. Faith works by love. So you base your faith on God’s love, and you attempt to believe what God believes about you, and you launch out. This does not mean you don’t have to work hard. It does not mean you won’t have to put in the time and effort. But what it does mean is that you are NOT relying on yourself. You are relying on HIM! This is #TheGraceLife, and it is how we are supposed to live.

This is enough for today. I will stop here, and tomorrow I will discuss the space between the promise and the performance and how the devil tries to get you to GIVE UP in that space.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your love and grace.  You are a great God!  The more I learn of You, the more thankful I am to be a child of the one true God.  You made plans for me before the world began.  The more You reveal those plans to me, the more I realize how big they are.  Your plans are far too big for me to accomplish without You.  Your plans for my life cause me to be reliant upon You and Your supernatural power every step of the way.  Without You, I cannot, and without my cooperation, You will not.  Therefore I declare by faith that I am fully submitted to Your Kingdom plans and purposes for my life.  You give me Your plans by grace, and I pursue them by faith.  No matter how big they are or how unqualified or underqualified I feel, I don’t base my faith on my perceived level of preparedness.  My faith is based on Your love, and Your love is infinite.  As I meditate and medicate on Your love, I get to the point where I believe what You believe about me.  Therefore, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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