In part one, I shared my childhood experiences of getting caught up in religious traditions. For someone like me who grew up in church, those traditions—or sacred cows as Andrew calls them—became inevitable. Through wrong teaching and a “creative” big brother, I lived in fear of such things as being struck by lightning or facing the guillotine if my sins caught me in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I did eventually grow up—and grow out of those fears. Unfortunately, the religious traditions, or sacred cows, just took on new forms.
With those childhood fears behind me, I spent many adult years shedding “cleansing” tears at the altar of a church where emotions reigned. The thought that I had to get right and stay right was always present, particularly on those Sundays when I didn’t feel as much emotion as I “should.”
When my husband and I finally moved on, God led us to sit under some amazing Word-based teaching. We took copious notes, read our Bibles more than ever, and grew and grew. We learned to speak words of faith and to believe God for big things!
In our quest for God’s promises, we were hard workers. We had our confession routine down pat. We read chapter after chapter in our Bibles. We paid our tithes and gave offerings of money, jewelry, and time. All this was in a quest to move God to meet our needs.
Although much of what we were doing was good, we were missing a key point in all our doings. Andrew explains it like this: “We start tying God’s goodness and [the] demonstration of his power to our goodness. And the moment you do that, you negate the power of God, the goodness of God.” What he is referring to is found in Mark 7:13, where Jesus says the religious people were “making the word of God of no effect through [their] tradition” (New King James Version, brackets mine).
Works had become our new tradition, and we didn’t even realize it. We were starting to hear about the goodness of God, but only seeing it in parts—no matter how hard we worked.
In Monday’s post, I asked the question: What would be enough? And once again, Andrew has the perfect answer: “When you are trusting in your effort, you can never do enough. There could always be something more.”
Wow! That was certainly us. We could never seem to do enough.
God’s grace is transformative! And we are amazed at how our lives have changed since we discovered that God’s blessing is not wrapped up in what we do. None of what we do moves God.
So, what does move Him? Well, the truth is, He isn’t moved. All that He is ever going to do has already been done through Jesus! Jesus’ words“It is finished!” (John 19:30, NKJV) mean just that: It is finished! Ephesians 1:3 says that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (NKJV). “Has blessed” is past tense, which means it has already been done.
After years of spinning my wheels, I’ve finally let go of traditions and am truly discovering the goodness of God. It’s the good teaching of the Word that has turned my life around. There have been no lightning strikes or guillotine threats, only freedom and completeness in Him because He already did it all. Jesus is the One who did enough!
Andrew’s Encounter Grace Package contains a number of teachings that will help you let go of your own traditions and open your heart up to God’s goodness. We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment for us!