Great Scheme of God

Posted: September 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: , , | 15 Comments »

I used to envy the religious elite. The bred preachers and the children who became adults under the wings of cookie baking Sunday School teachers and shiny toed pastors. They had the beauty of the church life crowning their heads from the moment of conception. I wanted their childhood, their life. They’re the one’s who held the corners of religion up on their generational shoulders.

I grew up on the streets. An outsider to the church culture. A vagrant surviving on the defiant spit of the stubborn will to live. When I became a Christian at nineteen, I was still an outsider in a world of insiders. They were all being groomed at Christian Universities and I was a single mom running from myself and raising a baby on grace. When my ‘self’ caught up to me and my moral sheen got scratched beyond recognition in the hellish tumble of sin, I was booted out of the meeting places.

When I was out on my own with grit in my teeth and dried blood in my hair, I watched them all walk out on the Truth. They formed picket lines and petitioned for my death. Whispers of gossip and rocks of condemnation were hurled at my head and I searched for a place to find a shield of safety.

When they walked out on the Truth, they left the door wide open and I crawled back in to find sanctuary, salvation and healing.

People, like me, all over the world are meeting together in the house of Truth and Grace. Those of us who thought we were alone, are worshiping together under the very light we were told was nowhere near us.

A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God! -Romans 10:15

We’re sobbing and singing, “I praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!’

But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. -Romans 10:16

They murmur among themselves. The judgmental outsiders to the Truth. The rejecters of Grace.

We’re dancing in our salvation, but does anyone care?

“Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?” -Romans 10:16

The grace that we cling to, the truth that sets us free has been preached across every sea. Preached by the very mouths who want to keep it from us.

So the big question is, Why…? -Romans 10:18

Moses had it right when he predicted, “When you see God reach out to those you consider your inferiors—outsiders!—you’ll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you’ll throw temper tantrums.” -Romans 10:19

God knows what is happening and He sees His oldest children giving His plan of redemption the cold shoulder. Isaiah knew it (Isaiah 65:2), Elijah agonized over it (1 Kings 19:10).

God’s children, the one’s He’s had in His pews since birth are out seeking their own interests. They’re trying to maintain their standing in Heaven on their own.

This is the Christian sub-culture today. This is what the world sees and wants no part of. This current dilemma has been played over and over like a broken record of scriptures throughout history. Moses, Elijah and Isaiah all predicted it and it is happening. The religious ‘insiders’ the ‘Christian elite’ continue to become thick skinned toward God.

Fed up with their quarrelsome, self-centered ways, God blurred their eyes and dulled their ears. Shut them in on themselves in a hall of mirrors, and they’re there to this day. -Romans 11:8; (Isaiah 29:10)

David was upset about the same thing: I hope they get sick eating self-serving meals, break a leg walking their self-serving ways. I hope they go blind staring in their mirrors, get ulcers from playing at god. -Romans 11:9; (Psalm 69:22)

It is all part of the Great Scheme of God. The ‘pruning’ and ‘grafting’ of branches. This is God’s plan. The walking out, the blinded eyes. What good could possibly come from Christians tyrannizing their fallen?

“I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider…toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house.” -Romans 11:25

In our finite minds, we can only see that we are embracing God’s message of the Gospel of Grace and the others, those who are hurting and doubting us, are God’s enemies. Enemies to Grace.

But look at it from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded. -Romans 11:28

They’ll be back! They walked out because that’s what humans do, but God will bring them back. What’s more, when they walked out on the Truth and rejected Grace to the fallen, they left the door wide open! Because the door is wide open for you, for me, it’s open for them, too. He is using their hard hearts to let you in!

In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in. -Romans 11:32

We know that we all have sinned and are all ‘falling short’ (Rom3:23), we also know that God is sovereign, but to put the two together is not something I’ve heard taught. Over seven different translations of Romans 11:32 read that ‘God consigned, penned up, bound, shut up, imprisoned, concluded, committed all to sin’ and the reason is the same in every translation. It’s so that He can have mercy on us. He levels us, he makes us all equals. All sinners in need of His mercy and grace. An entire human race in need of His Son. This is how He gets a full house! This was His plan all along.

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out-Romans 11:33

Soon enough, we’ll all be back together and worshipping God and praising Jesus, the One who raised us all from the dead.

Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. -Romans 11:36

Read Romans (last half of) 10 and 11, (I used The Message when I wrote this) the entire first part of my story is a direct parallel to Romans 10, but I didn’t list the scriptures. There is Earth shattering truth to be found. God is sovereign (the decision maker, the one in control) and until we get that, we get nothing. Find hope in the Truth. Find the kind of hope that gives you patience and empathy to those who belittle God’s grace in you and condemn you. They’re part of the ‘Great Scheme of God’ and they’ll be worshipping beside you one day with the thankful heart of a sinner saved by grace.


15 Comments »


15 Comments on “Great Scheme of God”

  1. 1 TeriLynne said at 2:12 am on September 22nd, 2009:

    Beautiful, Serena. I am one of those "Christian bred" people … and my own failure to live up to that standard is probably why THEY turned on me so quickly … for if I could fall what did that mean for THEM? Oh, but how precious grace is that it has received me, broken and humble, penitent and poor … and given me back, as He did for Job, even more!

  2. 2 Sisterlisa said at 4:11 am on September 22nd, 2009:

    Serena, that is the description of the place I came out of. I like that you said He levels us. He puts us all at the foot of the cross in our sin.

    TeriLynne, If you could fall what would it mean for them? Them being the sinners in the church or the Churchy people? Either way it would show them that you are real. If a ministry leader hides all her short comings and failures she creates a false image of perfection to the people. Bitterness grows in their hearts. They feel like they have to measure up to this perfected life and they know they can't. From my experience this is why I think they would turn on someone like you. When they see God level you, let them see it. Let them see Him working his grace over you. Be transparent.

  3. 3 Kelly Langner Sauer said at 5:45 am on September 22nd, 2009:

    You are brave, and you speak truth, and you offer grace for those who have hurt you, because you know what it is to live without it as they do.

    Praise God for His interest in His own glory, that He returns us to Himself when we go off on our own…

  4. 4 Serena Woods said at 10:45 am on September 22nd, 2009:

    I love it when I learn something that sets me free a little bit more. Free to have patience, free to be kind, free to keep moving forward and not give up on people. The Truth sets you free to LOVE.

  5. 5 Melissa Multitasking said at 12:23 pm on September 22nd, 2009:

    Such a beautiful way to say what has been heavy on my heart lately!

  6. 6 Moops said at 12:38 pm on September 22nd, 2009:

    I love this post! If you want to see the level playing field of grace, go to an AA meeting. Suits, Homeless, Mama's, Drs., Teens, Politicians, Religious Right. It's all there against the backdrop of pure grace. They are my heros!

  7. 7 Michelle said at 7:35 pm on September 22nd, 2009:

    I know so many people who were raised in church,that have turned from God when they grew up.Including those who are children of pastors

  8. 8 pastor chad said at 1:25 am on September 23rd, 2009:

    I am one who grew up in the church, and turned away, though only for a little while. I was the definition of the prodigal son, squandering my riches in search of something that I thought would fulfil. It didn't, of course, and God brought me back. He has helped me see what it means to live in grace. To be accepted and loved regardless of my past, my mistakes, or even the mistakes of others.

    I think it is only those who experience grace who can really give it.

    thanks.

  9. 9 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  10. 10 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  11. 11 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  12. 12 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  13. 13 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  14. 14 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.
    My recent post "…didn't deserve it."

  15. 15 baustinryan said at 1:26 pm on October 7th, 2013:

    little bit late to this, having arrived via a search for "grace" – a recent addition to what's on my mind – and want to say thank you. will take a look around now.


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