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Entries in Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith (3)

Monday
Mar112019

Grace + Faith = The Balanced Equation of Life

With safety goggles and long white lab coat on, I began the weekly lab experiment in my high school chemistry class many years ago. I knew that if my measurements were off, I probably wouldn’t cause an explosion, but I would, at the very least, make a mess. I had to be aware of and carefully measure each chemical that I used.

Andrew Wommack makes a salient point about the importance of balance in his book, Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith, through his illustration of the chemicals, sodium and chlorine.

“Both sodium and [chlorine] are poisons. If you take either one of them by themselves in sufficient quantity, they’ll kill you. Yet if you mix sodium and [chlorine] together, you get salt, a mineral necessary to sustain your life.” (p. 9)

Andrew relates the balance of sodium and chlorine to the balance of grace and faith. Orienting life toward either grace or faith causes problems. Too much faith often results in people drowning in a raging sea of legalism, thinking if they can only perform well enough, then God will respond.

On the other hand, too much grace results in people lounging in a rising pool of carelessness, waiting on God to do everything.

Either way, too much faith or too much grace, the people drown.

Balance is the key. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” This profound passage reveals that our salvation comes by grace through faith.

In our lives, we must balance the call to faith with the realization of grace. At certain times, we must take action. For example, James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We must actively resist the devil. Other times, we must rest in God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” We must recognize what God has already done and rest in it.

God clearly intended for us to live balanced lives. Balance can be seen throughout God’s creation. He gave us both day and night. He created both plants and animals, which together form a symbiotic relationship. He gave us different seasons to experience times of growth and times of dormancy.

God designed us to be balanced too. From the time He created us in our mothers’ wombs (Ps. 139:13-14), God freely gave us each special gifts through His grace. Our unique gifts combined with all that God has provided through Jesus empowers us to fulfill our calling. But sometimes, through faith, we must respond and take steps in this fulfillment. For example, thousands of people have responded in faith to attend Charis Bible College, and a multitude of graduates have stepped out in faith all across the world to answer God’s call on their lives.

In my own life, I see the importance of balance every day. Not too long ago, my toddler learned to walk. If I had instructed him to only use his left foot or to only used his right foot, he probably would not have had much success. However, he learned to balance himself by using both of his feet.

Without balance, we make messes, like a haphazard high school student in chemistry class. Thankfully, God has already given us the formula we need to succeed: live in the balance of grace and faith.

To learn more about how you can apply these principles in your life, get Andrew’s Living in the Balance of Grace & Faith book from AWM’s online store.

Written by Roxie Hebson

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit awme.net.

Monday
Aug242015

Grace to Love

“The man I’ll marry must be at least as good as my dog.” That is what the bumper sticker in front of me read.

It’s funny that someone would think that a dog could be the model for a good husband. That bumper sticker reveals two ideas: 1) Dogs are great, and 2) dealing with people can be very difficult.

Dogs give us so much love. I experienced this firsthand over the summer. My family and I welcomed Pudge, a black pug, into our home while his family was on vacation. Pudge became a loving and faithful companion. He integrated easily into our lives as we became his world. Maybe that’s why some people feel that dogs are better friends than humans: They give themselves completely to others.

Difficult relationships can make us feel that it’s impossible to truly walk in love, and we may lose hope. Yet Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). This presents us with a problem: We have a commandment to love, but it seems impossible to carry out.

What’s the solution?

First, we need to recognize that loving our neighbor requires faith. Andrew teaches in Living in the Balance between Grace and Faith that “personal relationships are the area of your life that will require the greatest faith.” Let’s think about that. A lot of people are learning to use their faith for finances, healing, salvation, etc. But at the same time, they are trying to love others through the arm of the flesh (their own personal effort). If we try to love through our own efforts, a dog’s love could surpass the love of a lot of people. We need God’s grace to love.

Andrew says,

Grace is something God did for you prior to you having a need for it. It is faith in God’s grace that releases His power in a person. Everything [including the ability to love] is available by the grace of God, but there has to be a faith response on our part to receive what is available by grace. That’s how you enter into God’s rest, then you have ceased from your own efforts. It’s no longer you doing something to make God move. It’s you learning how to trust and rely on the grace God has given you.

This is great news! Realize that when you put your faith in God, it’s no longer you trying to love; it’s you relying on the truth that God has given you the grace to love, and you can receive that grace by faith. First Peter 1:22 says,“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” ( New International Version). Receive God’s grace to love others, and you will be blessed in your relationships—the dog will just be the icing on the cake!

Andrew’s Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith teaching will help you to walk in love like never before. It’s available in many formats: CD seriesDVD seriesbookstudy guide, and television broadcast. If this teaching has inspired you, please post a comment below. 

Monday
Aug102015

Know Your Role

It has never ceased to amaze me how incredibly breathtaking a pas de deux is…well, can be. If the roles of the danseur and ballerina are not clearly defined, what is meant to be an incredible feat of strength and beauty turns into a huge, potentially painful mess. Our relationship with God is a lot like a pas de deux. If we are not confident in the grace of our partner, Jesus, and that He is going to catch us after a huge leap of faith, our dancing may not be as powerful as it could be.

The struggle with whether to solely trust in the grace of God or solely operate in faith is ultimately an identity issue. As Andrew relates in his teaching Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith—

The body of Christ is basically divided into two groups: those who emphasize grace (God’s part) and those who emphasize faith (our part). One group preaches that everything is totally up to God. The other group teaches that there are many things that we must do. Both contend that the other group is totally wrong (p. v).

In ballet, this is like asking, “What is my role in this dance?” Another way to phrase this question is, “Who am I?”

When a ballerina is cast as a specific character in a ballet, she does not ask the director to make her what her role already is. Instead, her job is to learn how to become who she has been cast to play; she has a whole persona to learn. While dancers know they are roleplaying, Christians aren’t. However, many believers are still petitioning God to help them become something they already are by His grace. They want to be healed, have peace, be favored, be forgiven, and have blessings—when He already died to accomplish that 2,000 years ago. It is now their part to stretch, balance, and leap through faith as they function in their new role, the one they received the moment they accepted Jesus.

As Andrew mentions in the same teaching, “Grace is what God does for us independent of us” (p. 77). Grace is the persona we have been given in this dance. It is the role our Director gave us to operate in. “Faith reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided for us by grace” (p. 115). Faith is learning how to operate in the role God has already put us in—not only as the healed, favored, and prosperous but also as those who bring healing, favor, and prosperity. That is who we are and what we do.

Learn more about the role you’ve been cast in and how to “stay in character.” Check out Andrew’s Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith teaching. It’s available in many formats: CD series, DVD series, book, study guide, and television broadcast. If this teaching has encouraged you, please share below. You have an amazing role to play in this dance!