If grace is what saved you (Ephesians 2:10), grace is what will change you.
“…for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace…” — Hebrews 13:9
Change comes from within, not from without.
It occurs through God’s activity, not yours.
It’s the result of His strength, not your ability.
It’s by His grace, not your grit.
In order to receive the salvation of God, you had to ﬁrst humble yourself. You had to see that you didn’t have it within yourself to save yourself and you had to release faith in His ability to do it.
This was your introduction with the grace of God.
Humility that says, “I can’t” and faith that says, “But He can” is the avenue by which grace travels.
This is the Christian life.
This is the only way to ﬁnd rest.
If we don’t live in this manner, we will continue to try hard and wind up spiritually out of breath… utterly exhausted.
We must continue to go low before Him to receive the empowerment to live the life we’ve now received through Jesus Christ.
In John 1:16, we read these words: “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
Grace upon grace.
Grace is the foundation and grace ﬁnishes what it started.
It was grace that saved us and it is grace that changes, empowers, and transforms us.
This whole idea has humbled me.
I can’t help but to ﬁnd myself in awe and wonder again.
I am in love with the fact that I didn’t have the ability to save myself, nor do I possess the ability to change myself.
If grace strengthens or changes the heart, then we must humbly acknowledge that we can’t change it ourselves.
This is what it means to pursue sanctiﬁcation (Hebrews 12:14).
I’m sanctiﬁed in my standing with God. I’ve been made right with Him through the blood of Jesus. But my heart and all of its ponderings, feelings, and motivations are being puriﬁed and only grace can do that.
The true, genuine grace of God humbles a person, which, in turn, continues to keep the ﬂoodgates of His empowerment ever ﬂowing.
The more I see that I can’t and the more I see that He can, the lower I will go and the more freedom I will discover.
This grace is by no means a license to sin.
It does not give someone the permission to continue to pursue selﬁsh pleasures or to act like a knucklehead.
In fact, the grace of God instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live holy and right (see Titus 2:11-12).
In other words, a person who has been apprehended by the grace of God is not wondering how they can sin and get away with it.
If anything, the person who has had a collision with grace does not want to remain in sin. They have no agreement with it. They want transformation and the only way to receive it is to not go on sinning so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1), but to humble oneself so as to not dam its river.
Just because you realize that you can’t change yourself does not mean you live contrary to your heart’s desire.
It means that you go low, you walk in the light as He is in the light by being open, vulnerable, and confessional. You don’t hide in the dark. You’re transparent.
Walking in the light doesn’t have as much to do with perfection as it does with honesty and integrity.
It’s about sincerity.
Grace instructs us to live this way.
It teaches us that humility and surrender are magnets when it comes to wooing this change agent.
Make no mistake, dear reader. He is exceedingly kind.
He didn’t want you to be the one to save yourself and He doesn’t want you to be the one to change yourself.
He wants to be strong in your weakness.
The more we see this, the more we are humbled by it.
The more humble we are, the more grace we experience.
And thus, the cycle continues.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries