social chameleon

Posted: October 27th, 2009 | Filed under: God | 9 Comments »

The message of the Gospel joins the religious and the non-religious under the same roof of freedom. Freedom from the law, freedom from sin, freedom from worrying about the way others perceive us. Out of all of the things from which Jesus set us free, the one about the law is the hardest for people to grasp.

How can God gift us with ‘perfect’ and we remain clearly imperfect? How can a holy God not require or, at least, be pleased with our efforts to be as blameless as Jesus?

Your faith eliminates your fear. Faith in the completed work of Jesus eliminates the fear that your shortcomings have anything to say about you. When you ‘get it’ don’t back down from the revelation of the truth just because it goes against the traditional religious grain.

While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn’t give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.Galatians 2:4-5

Churchy people, the one’s who are all about religion with no concept of Gospel, will watch you and wait for you to trip up. These are the people who think that your sin is evidence that you are not a Christian. If you believe that your sin affects your relationship with God, then they’ll jump in and try to show you how to avoid failure (reduce you to their brand of servitude). ‘Standing firm in your faith’ is not ‘refusing to sin’. Standing firm in your faith is refusing to believe in the power of your sin. When I say, ‘Don’t back down from the faith.’ I mean, ‘Don’t believe them when they say you’re ruined.’ Keep the faith in what Jesus did because what you do (or don’t do) can’t take that away from you. Preserve the truth of the Gospel.

As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. -Galatians 2:6

No one has an edge on God. People can look important because of where they stand, how they throw their weight around or how much they talk. Are you content to just ‘be’ without trying to perform and move up in the religious clique? Church’s have cliques. It’s like High School all over again. Only this time, what makes you cool is your religion. How religious you are is what makes you popular.

Who sits closest to the pastor or his wife? Who’s got an ‘in’ with the ‘cool’ youth pastor? The people who are performing their way into acceptance are absolutely suffocating the people they’re trying to impress. They’re elbowing out freedom. They’re shrouding the truth of the Gospel with their elaborate religious super-hero capes.

Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. -Galatians 2:11-12

We do this. We care so much about appearing right that we cancel ourselves out. We confuse the people we’re leading and our hypocrisy causes others to join in the charade.

If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan. -Galatians 2:18

Stop trying to be what only Jesus can make you. You have been set free from the responsibility to make it by your own sweat. Your efforts only demean your faith. This is the hardest thing for people to grasp. This is the thing I get emailed about more than anything else. But, luckily, I’m just a messenger. The scripture is clear. I write it how I see it.

My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. -Galatians 2:20

We have to remember that following a set of rules and making sure you keep up appearances is evidence that you have no faith in what Jesus did. You are making a lie out of the Gospel. If the only way to the Father is through Jesus, then why are you trying to get an edge any other way? Make sure your life isn’t on a spin that tries to dumb down the finished work of Jesus. If you could do this yourself, then how can you be aware of your need for Him? That’s a scary place to be, because those people are so proud of themselves. It’s like they’re shining their ‘crowns’ in their imaginations.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. -Galatians 2:21

This post was inspired by Galatians 2. Galatians 3 is on the way….

be yourself


9 Comments on “social chameleon”

  1. 1 Lisa Wade said at 5:29 am on October 27th, 2009:

    Another GREAT one Serena.

    Waiting to hear your thoughts on 3.

  2. 2 Amber said at 5:59 am on October 27th, 2009:

    SO WONDERFUL TODAY!!!! So much of this just jumped out at me… thank you!

  3. 3 Crystal said at 5:59 am on October 27th, 2009:

    Yes, another GREAT one Serena!

    Your blogs always say exactly what I need to hear, when I need to hear it…

  4. 4 Traylor Lovvorn said at 11:44 am on October 27th, 2009:

    Great post, Serena!

  5. 5 April said at 2:49 am on October 28th, 2009:

    I do believe that sin affects my relationship with God. Am I misunderstanding the context of that statement? I have lived it… I sinned. and kept sinning.. and it seperated me from God. I was so far from Him, because I did not ask for forgiveness, did not deal with the sin, did not acknowledge it, I drifted from God. He ofcourse still loved me, that never changed, he ofcourse never left me, I was always in his grip… I just began loving the sin more, and seeing not seeing myself in need of repentance. Yes, sin definitely affects our relationship with God. He is perfect. He is holy. We have to repent. Only when I asked him to clean out the filth in my heart.. actually replace it with a new heart is when my relationship slowly became close and intimate with God. Is this making sense? I often don't communicate well what I am trying to get out!! thanks, Serena… offer your thoughts on this! 🙂

  6. 6 April said at 3:02 am on October 28th, 2009:

    just to clarify… I am definitely in no way suggesting a Christian should not sin or should expect not to sin… No, we should expect it, but be quick to get on our knees before God and confess, allow him to make us pure, and ask him for forgiveness.

    hope I am making sense here..

  7. 7 Serena Woods said at 4:02 am on October 28th, 2009:

    April, I'm glad you brought this up because it's one of the major points that change everything.

    It's all about where you put your faith.

    You are saved by faith. Faith is belief, trust, confidence, hope . If you put your faith in your ability to not sin, then when you do, it makes you experience a separation from Him. It's not Him doing it, it's you responding to your belief. Your sin does not have the power to affect your relationship with God unless you believe that it does. The belief is about you, the confession is for you. You said it yourself: 'I was always in His grip.' and then you follow it up with you and your perception.

    We repent, confess and ask because they are affirmations that remind us of what already is. How many times have you asked for forgiveness and He's had to think about it? It's not to earn His grace, it's a reminder for you. There is power in that, because there is power in what you believe. When I say that you can't mess up your relationship with God, I'm saying what is true before your belief is in the picture. The truth is, you can't. Unless you believe it can.

    When scripture tells us to confess our sins (1 John 1:9) it is not a formula for salvation. It is a statement that is sandwiched between two sentences for those who claim to be without sin. It is a recognition, not a formula. Scripture has to be read in context in order to understand the meaning and intent.

    If you have forgotten that you are sinful, then you need to remind yourself with your confession. If you have forgotten that you live in freedom because of grace, then you need to say it. It's for you. You're not reminding God of anything. He doesn't get anything out of your confession, it's the heart that knows it needs Jesus that He receives. If your heart is always in that position, then redundancy is not necessary. He wants you to mature in truth so that when you stumble, you accept His hand as He says, "Whoa, you okay?" Brush your knees off and get back to work.

    Keep it coming, April, if I need to clarify more….

  8. 8 Sisterlisa said at 12:09 pm on October 28th, 2009:

    My husband and I travel to different churches as he presents the ministry and we see those cliques everywhere we go. It's sad. This world has such a twisted idea of what popularity is, what cool is. Looking at it all from the outside I see the 'cool' crowd as the worst crowd. I'd rather be square.

  9. 9 April said at 5:03 am on October 29th, 2009:

    Still chewing on everything … thank you, Serena. Yes, I do see how my perception conters the truth.

    Sisterlisa- I'd so rather be square, too!! 🙂 love that.

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