Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Leaving the Loopholes Behind-- By Eileen Knowles

"Close all loopholes and quit making excuses."

I keep going back to that quote above. It's one of the quotes from the message at church this past weekend.  It resonates with me.  Loopholes and excuses kept me walking down the wrong path for a long time. Loopholes and excuses kept me from fully embracing the truth and fully accepting the healing that was being offered to me.

loopholes-- a means of evasion, a means of avoidance.  For years I turned the volume down on the Holy Spirit. There were signposts all along my path but I would avert my eyes and my heart. I would look only in directions that appealed to my comfort zone and my "if it feels good do it" tendencies. 

excuses--a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
"You made your bed now you have to lie in it" I have made many excuses in my life but this one, by far, was the most hindering and the most deceptive to my journey towards freedom and healing. I had (for the most part) gotten past blaming others for my circumstances, instead I blamed myself...and I made a great punching bag.  You did this Eileen. It's all on you.

Can I tell you something? That very well might be true...perhaps you are to blame for your current situation but it's also a tool the Enemy loves to use to keep you living in defeat. Because he knows this lie will keep you from pursuing, seeing and accepting the incredible grace that's being offered to you right now...this very moment.

That, folks, is the beautiful truth that we must cling to and not let go of...ever.  Jesus took the blame so you could choose to live and walk in freedom today. 

I am reminded of my favorite Seth Godin quote: “If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you've already made a serious error.”

This morning as I was reading through an old blog post from a few years ago, I came across these verses in Acts. It's the Apostle Paul explaining his conversion to King Agrippa.

"Then I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’

“And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and of what I will reveal to you. I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles. I now send you to them to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified. Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." -Acts 26: 15-19

Two things came to mind when I read these words. 

As disciples of Jesus, we have been given similar marching orders and a similar purpose: to carry the Good News forward.  We are servants, and although we have not seen the risen Savior with our own eyes like Paul, we have seen and continue to see His power, grace and mercy displayed in our lives and in our stories.  

Second, I love these words Paul offered to King Agrippa of how he embraced this purpose.

“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." 

Paul didn't look for a loophole, he didn't make any excuses.  He was obedient. He went to work doing what the Lord was asking him to do. He moved forward boldly preaching and relying on the Lord's help and provision to do so.  

Questions to ask ourselves:

Are there any loopholes or excuses that you are embracing that are currently keeping you from moving forward into the life Christ has called you to? 

How are you being called to move forward boldly today? 

Let's take our cue from Paul today.  


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