“Beloved . . . it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort (admonish) you that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unawares . . . . turning the Grace of our God into lasciviousness (filthy wantonness and vice), and denying the Only LORD God (Yehuwah Elohim), and our Lord (Adoni – Sovereign King) Jesus Christ !” Jude 1:3-4
We believe the answer is yes!
There are five things (according to Scripture) which can keep us out, or take us out, from under God’s grace. This week we will be discussing three of them, which are:
Hebrews 3:12 has this to say about unbelief: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God.” (emphasis added) We are actually walking away from God when we have an unbelieving heart. There is no such thing as status quo. We are either moving toward Him or drifting away from Him. Laying hold of all that has been provided (by grace through faith) brings us into a place of Rest; but we can never even begin to enter that rest if we are in unbelief.
We know that Romans 10:9 tells us that if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth, we will be saved (delivered, set free, rescued, healed and made whole). Everything in the kingdom of God is accessed in the same way, by believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths (not just our initial salvation experience). So, if we choose not to believe portions of the Scriptures, then we will not have the grace or faith to receive what has already been provided. We must believe in order to receive!
James 4:6 is a profound Scripture concerning pride. “But He gives more grace. Therefore he says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” God sets Himself against (opposes and frustrates) the proud and haughty, but pours out His grace on those who keep themselves humble before Him. So it takes humility and submission on our part to be the recipient of God’s grace! If God cast Lucifer out of heaven (who was a covering cherub, perfect in all his ways, before pride and self-will entered him), how can we expect to receive God’s grace, or to enter heaven, if our heart is in the same condition?
Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any Root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (emphasis added). If we do not choose to forgive those who have wronged us, it doesn’t take too long for unforgiveness to turn into bitterness. In Mark 11:25-26, Jesus commanded all of us to forgive all people for all things that they may have done against us, and if we choose not to, He says we will not be forgiven either. Not only that, but Matthew 18:34 clearly tells us that we will be turned over to the torturers (tormentors – demonic forces of evil) until we do decide to forgive. (For further clarification, please see the entire passage of Matthew 18:21-35.)
So that tells us that we are out from under the umbrella of Grace and protection when we allow bitterness to become rooted in our soul. The longer we stay there, the more hate, anger, resentment, retaliation, and vindictiveness we will experience. Not only are we falling short of the grace of God (in that place), but our sins are not being forgiven and our prayers are not being answered, until we choose to forgive (from the heart) all who have wronged us. We choose to forgive, not because we “feel” like it, but in obedience to the Lord.
If any of these three things have been allowed in your life, it could explain why you have been hindered in your walk with God. All it takes is repentance to get you back in that right place with God. Allow Him to show you how to get there today!
(Portions of this teaching adapted from This is Not a Dress Rehearsal by Patricia Rallo, pp. 102-107. This book NOW DISCOUNTED at – http://www.freeindeedministries.org. Also available in audio book.)
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