December 23, 2021 THE MMA TEAM

A gift in the eyes of all.

Coveted unlike any other.

In one word: perfect.

It’s strong.

It’s attractive.

It’s universally accepted.

 It is the color of Grace.”

I like to describe the way I see the world with colors.

When I am at my worst, the world around me is ‘Silver.’ When I’m at my best, it is ‘Gold.’ There is something else that I attribute to the color Gold in my mind, and that is the concept of Grace. And if there is one thing time and time again that the Lord has given me throughout my life, it is His Grace.

For the first two decades of my life, I went through day by day trying to earn my way into heaven.

I grew up believing that there were certain ways I had to go about believing in God and worshiping him.

No instruments, no dancing, everything was very stoic and ritualistic.

If I did something bad, I had to repent right away so I didn’t risk forgetting about it.  If I didn’t execute everything perfectly, I would be cast in the fiery furnace we envision as hell. 

This mindset never really sat well with me.

There were so many people at my school who loved and proclaimed Jesus as their savior, and yet because they weren’t a part of my denomination, they were going to hell.

I remember once breaking down in tears after bible study because I couldn’t understand how my best friend and her family were going to be in eternal damnation because they used a piano and drums in their church.

Day after day, year after year, this works-based mindset was instilled in me, and it wasn’t until leaving for college that I was able to think for myself.  Even then the walls of my religious beliefs was so thick, that it  took a lot to break them down.

So many people at my christian university challenged my view point, but  the problem wasn’t that I disagreed with them, I wanted to believe them more than anything, but what if they were wrong and then by listening to them I’d damn myself right alongside them? Was I really willing to take that chance?

NoI wasn’t.

I wasn’t willing to listen to them.

But I was willing to listen to God.

God I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m confused and I don’t know what to think anymore. Nothing makes sense. I don’t know who to trust or who to believe...but I do believe in You, and I know that You won’t lead me astray….”

I prayed this prayer four years ago on the staircase of my residence hall as I cried out for answers.

At that very moment, I made a decision to stop listening to others about what God wanted; about what He deemed was right and what was wrong, and instead let God tell me Himself.

 And tell me He did.

Through His word and His still small voice He opened my eyes to the truth, His truth:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2: 8-9 NIV

Every single human that has ever walked on this earth has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

None of us are perfect and none of us deserve to be in His presence and experience His love, yet He sent His son to this earth to do what we never could: save us from ourselves.

It is because of that love and grace that we should desire to follow His will, and contrary to what I was raised to believe, God’s will and desires for us are freeing, not enslaving.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and

you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11: 29-30 NIV

The most liberated I have ever felt in His presence was when I finally started dancing before Him with reckless abandon. The song being played in worship was “Break Every Chain” by Tasha Cobbs.

As I worshiped in the spirit and gave my whole being to Christ, It truly felt as if the chains on me had been broken. I felt them slip from my arms and my feet, and once they were gone, there was nothing I could do but dance.

Our God is not a God of rules and regulations. He is not a God of religion. He is a Father, one who wants nothing more than a relationship with His children. One who wants His children to love Him as much as He loves us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

I pray that you too will find freedom unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

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