My constant emphasis on this blog over the years has been the two edges of the Sword of the Word of God, and the two distinctly different, even opposite, ministries of these two edges. The two edges are grace vs. law, faith vs. obedience, gospel vs. kingdom, what is “above you” (your relationship with God) vs. what is “beneath you” (your responsibilities here on the earth)—four different ways to express the same idea.
It has been about 20 years ago that I first began to understand and pursue this biblical truth. It was preached by Martin Luther, and this message fueled the Reformation that literally changed the world in the 16th century. After 20 years of constant attention and diligent study, you would think that I would somehow have been able to absorb and consistently apply to myself, this message I was continuing to pursue personally and preach daily.
But you would be wrong. On November 19, just a month ago, I published a blog that announced my retirement from blog writing, and that I was moving on to another phase of my “journey to the City that has foundations.” I felt that I no longer had the energy or desire to write a blog, and I was through doing so. I thought about canceling my website, ceasing to subscribe to my newsletter distributor, and, to use a familiar term to social media enthusiasts, I was completely “going dark.”
Almost three weeks later I posted a blog entry that included this paragraph: “This was burning in my heart this morning, so I thought I would put it down on my blog, (which is still active, even though I have cut back to writing only when I can’t keep quiet about what is happening)!”
In the next eleven days I posted two more entries without even really thinking about it. It was just yesterday that I finally realized what had happened to me: I had unknowingly, for the first time, applied the grace of God, faith, the Gospel, and my relationship with God “who is above me,” to my blog writing!
Looking back, without conceptualizing it or realizing what had happened to me, I had subconsciously fallen back into living by obedience to the law, and pursuing extending the kingdom by my own efforts to “write a blog.” I had completely forgotten my status as a little child who can do nothing but trust his daddy! Living by the law had “killed” me, just as the Bible promises it will (2 Corinthinas 3:6-8).: “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious…how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?”
By deciding I was “retired,” I was now free to never write another “ought to,” “need to” and “should” blog, ever again, and I suddenly found myself overcome with things I had to say, like what I am telling you now! I could not “not say it.” My vision had been blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4), I was again deceived and had unconsciously moved back to living intuitively again by the law of “serving God,” rather than by faith alone.
Lord, open our eyes that we may see how we are living: by trying our best to serve you, or by waiting on you to change our hearts so we could do nothing else if we tried!
This posting deals with grace-gospel-faith-”above me.” Last week’s posting was on Trump and his nationalism, concerning law-kingdom-obedience-”beneath me.” In it my distribution service somehow omitted the second paragraph, dealing with Beth Moore’s analysis of Trump. It is important so I thought I would include it here for those of you who read that posting.
“Moore is not questioning Donald Trump’s lack of character, his crass ways, his attacking style or his failure to appear ‘presidential,’ which are the objections of most Christians who oppose Trump. No, she is convinced that nothing in our country—not the creeping cultural Marxism, the systematic destruction of the family, and the national rejection of biblical truth—is any more ‘seductive and dangerous’ than Trump’s ‘Christian Nationalism.’”