I saw this book at an estate sale for .50, and picked it up because I thought it was pretty. It’s an early edition of the book, “Kept for the Master’s Use” which I had never heard of. The author finished writing it right before she died, it’s basically her opus. I can’t get enough of it.
When reading it the other day the line that jumped off the page to me is “free in law, bound in love”. As believers it’s easy to start our walk in grace- realizing we need Jesus and can’t do it on our own, and then quickly think we must “start to clean up our act.” It’s as though we think we need Jesus initially but then after that we’d better start to earn it or God will be disappointed. What a lie.
I see it countless times in my own life. The train of thought usually goes like this “I’m so bad at this, God must be so tired of me struggling, He’s done so much for me, why can’t I get better at this…” and on an on until I’m left with the bruised up anemic remnants of a faith.
But Jesus came for more. He came for abundant life! He is sufficient and His grace doesn’t merely get us across the starting line, but carries us all the way through to the finish. We are not merely saved by grace initially only to be shackled with the ball and chain of “shoulds and musts” once we believe.
A wrong focus on this, a pursuit of obeying because we “must” rather than obeying because we “love” will only produce pride and legalism or defeat…there simply is no other way.
I am learning (slowly) that my best focus, my most fruitful efforts are to draw nearer to the character of God, to simply seek to know Him more, because knowing Him more will only result in a greater affection for Him, and that greater affection will always produce the obedience that is rightly motivated. The more we taste His goodness, the more we want of it, and the more we want…the more we want to obey.
We are free from the law, free from the detriments of our sins, and free from the “musts” but we are bound to Him because He is amazing, and the more we experience this- the more we want to obey. We are free according to the law, but bound to Him because of love.