“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid…” -Romans 6:1, 2a
Grace is oddly a much debated topic amongst believers. It’s a simple but powerful and unique concept on which our salvation solidly rests. Without it, none of us would escape eternal damnation. Such a small word contains in it the gospel of Jesus Christ and the great love of God for each an every one of us.
It’s no wonder we sometimes struggle to understand and explain this grace. It is so different from any other earthly experience. Given so freely and extended so broadly, it leaves the average person looking for the strings attached. Owing a debt that we could not pay, and at a time when we were least deserving, God extended his Love, sacrificed His only Son, bringing forgiveness, peace, and a brand new life, to anyone who simply accepts Him. That’s a lot to take in, and it’s only the beginning! This grace flows constantly and continually to us as we live out the journey of understanding and fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.
So, in effect, grace is what allows us to get back on course with God, restoring a relationship that was severed by our sin. Headed for certain death, grace performs a life-saving rescue operation and gives us clarity and access to get back to our rightful place and purpose– the purpose for which God created us and placed us on this earth at this particular time. As if that is not amazing enough, it is grace that then gives us the awareness and opportunity to make the needed corrections to stay on course.
Think about it… the mistakes, bad decisions and outright detours from God’s plan that I’ve made since walking with Jesus, have without a doubt racked up enough repercussions and penalties to bury me so far under that I could never get back on track. Even after my best efforts, I haven’t done enough to deserve or earn the life that God desires and intends for me.
Enter his extraordinary grace! Imagine embarking on the journey of a lifetime, finally understanding your direction and purpose and excited about your destination, only to miss a turn due to a momentary distraction, or make the wrong turn and end up lost in unfamiliar and dangerous territory. Imagine being headed straight for a steep cliff, unable to see the danger ahead because of the darkness all around.
God’s grace is so free and so abundant, that time after time as we so treacherously stray from the clear path He has laid before us, He affords us a safe space to turn around– a break in life’s traffic to get back on course. His mercy holds back what we deserve and his grace gives us enough space to get back on course. Because of the sheer abundance of grace, it is easy to take these opportunities for granted. We often envision a God who exists only to rescue us from what we continually run back to. But grace serves a crucial purpose that is far from indulging us in our weaknesses. It does not exist to enable us to continue running from God and his will for our lives. Instead, grace gives us opportunities that we would not otherwise have– a space that we couldn’t create or figure out on or own– because God loves us and wants us to experience a life so suited to who we are that only our Creator and Designer would know how to orchestrate such a perfect fit.
The moments of clarity where we can see that need to make changes, and the times we know without a doubt that we should have been harmed or destroyed by our choices, but instead escaped unscathed, these are the spaces created by grace. They are openings in the narrow road headed in the wrong direction that give us enough space to turn around. They are breaks in the constant traffic of life pushing us further away from our true course that allow us to stop and think about our position and direction, and where the road we are on is ultimately leading.
Don’t waste the space. God is gracious and loving. All of his warnings and every opportunity is a chance to avoid arriving at the wrong destination, one that he knows is ultimately destruction.