"Yet a time is coming
and has now come when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the
kind of worshipers the Father seeks." - John 4:23

My Heavenly Daddy is healing
me from the inside out.

Transparency is Real.
Many times painful.

Daddy let me be secure in You only!

Monday, March 29, 2010

LEGALISM


My pastor preached on legalism yesterday. Very powerful sermon and one I and many of us can relate to. He related legalism to how we even people please.

I grew up knowing spiritual abused and believing legalism. The views my mother bestowed upon me, go deep. She would throw out the line "God was not pleased with me if I did something wrong or would not go to church."

I think it was my first t. visit and I was telling my t. that "I force myself to praise God with song many times." She started laughing. Which threw me. At that point I was taken-back by her response as I saw nothing wrong with pushing myself to praise God when I did not feel like it. But later understood why she did what she did. I was legalistic in believing "I had to do it."

Other things have come up through out the year that my t. has called me on. The most recent from a few weeks back was on "love." The topic I have trouble understanding let alone giving and accepting it. I made the comment, "I must love people, as it says so in the Bible." Okay...... legalistic. I no more can feel love let alone give it. So how can I do this? But, I must do it because it says it in the Bible. Yeah, right.

But, how can I love people, if I never received the proper love from others and let alone accept God's love?

Oh, I know in my head I understand God loves me. It pleases Him to love. God loves me because it is His nature to love me.

But, in order for me to love others, and not because the Bible says to, is when I begin receiving God's unconditional love for me. Then, and only then, will I be able to start really loving not only Him, but myself and others because I want to, not because I have to.

19 comments:

  1. God calls us to love others, and God goes so far as to even command us to love others and our enemies. Ouch! But my heart on it own does not go there.

    And I do believe we should love because the Bible says so, because the Bible is God's word, but we are not able to pull it off in our own strength.

    The thing is we focus on the wrong thing, trying to make ourselves do something we cannot do, instead of allowing God to change our hearts to enable us to do so.

    We can even fake loving someone, but we can't keep that mask on for too long, there has to be a heart change, and only God can do that.

    And you are so right, when I begin to finally accept God's love for me, in my heart, not just my head and my heart begins to change to soften I am able to love others. It really is such a mystery how it happens, but it does.

    I spent years trying to do the right thing to no avail. Until I began to rest in God's love for me, did I see real change in my heart.

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  2. stuck-in-the-middleMarch 29, 2010

    JBR love this post. Hang in there.

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  3. Sweetie what an honest post. Yes, only God's love can break through the walls of our hearts. He'll break through yours one day. That will be a day of celebration.

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  4. "But, in order for me to love others, and not because the Bible says to, is when I begin receiving God's unconditional love for me. Then, and only then, will I be able to start really loving not only Him, but myself and others because I want to, not because I have to." - That's the truth! And you stated it well. Blessings. Have a great day!

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  5. I completely get this post, I have found for myself that moving out of the realm of words into the realm of feelings and emotions I can touch that divine love much quicker.

    This again is such a truthful and in so many ways loving post...you always amaze me and I am grateful you're here.

    xo g

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  6. I've never heard the term "Legalism" before. Thank you for explaining it so well.

    Having grown up in a house without God, I have come to my spiritual understanding on my own. It doesn't feel forced... but I can see that sometimes when something bad happens I beat myself up, thinking that if I had just prayed about it, things would have worked out differently.

    I do forget to pray, a lot... it was not a habitual thing for me and I suspect it will always be something I have to remind myself of.

    But I don't think of it as a burden or a chore... more like a wonderful tool that I forget I have.

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  7. I think one of the big differences for me between spirituality and religion is that my spirituality allows me to assess my relationship with God rather than having it presented to me by my religion. That personal relationship through the program has been just huge for me. Thanks for the reminder!

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  8. I never do anything because the Bible says so. If it makes sense I'll do it, that's the only way.

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  9. The God I understand resides IN other Peeps, and speaks to me through them. It also makes it easier for me to love MOST people. I DO find myself some times forcing myself to not hate a certain person, etc
    and TRY to love them.

    I simply cannot do it alone--be happy, that is. I need that frequent communion, so-to-speak. IO meant "communication"...same thing?

    Good blog, JBR!
    PEACE!

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  10. What a great message. I know I can't force myself to feel any particular way about anyone. But I can pray for people I feel resentments toward until those resentments melt. I can also ask God to transform my heart, and he will.

    I heard a great message in church yesterday, too. I do so love a good sermon. One that speaks directly to my heart. Blessings and hugs to you this holy week. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. We can only ever do anything because of God's love for us and the strength He gives us to do it! Great post!

    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  12. Good post today JBR. We had a wonderful church day where there wasn't a sermon, only reading for Palm Sunday and it was AMAZING.

    I felt God was a Judge, I never knew him as a Father until a few years ago. It helps me to come to know him as a Father because I've become a parent. I reflect a lot on my own relationship as parent to child and can see my Heavenly Father more clearly due to that relationship.

    I agree that without the heart knowledge of God's love and the self love there is no way possible to TRULY love others. We can tend to others without first tending to ourselves. I think God knows that and many times all the WAKE UP calls I've received have been for the purpose of finding that place to tend the garden of my heart first so I might sprinkle some water elsewhere too.

    Love to you and always hoping for you girl!
    Jennifer

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  13. I meant to say, we can't tend to others without first tending to ourselves..whoopsie.

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  14. God loves you dear friend.
    Praying for you, have a wonderful week !

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  15. Learning to love is a gift from God.God's love is so perfect. You are a walking example of God's love.

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  16. My natural response to people is that I like them, not love, and I try to accept them as they are, without judgment. I don't know if it counts for love, is another whole different meaning to me.

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  17. I agree...it's impossible to love the unloveable on our own...but when we fully accept God's unconditional love for us...and realize this unloveable person is loved by God, too...we can get a glimpse of them through God's eyes and see they are just a hurting part of humanity, too...and just need to be loved....

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  18. aaaah, there are so many of us who do things 'cause we're supposed to, instead of because we do or we want to... thanks!

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