How God Opened My Eyes to Legalism #legalism

14 Aug

GlassesToday I want to start a new series of posts about how Jesus walked in the power of God.  But, before I do, I want to share a personal testimony about a trial I had to go through in order to receive this truth from the Lord.

Years ago, the church I pastored was running over a hundred on Sunday morning.  The ministry was flourishing and my family was able to obtain a mortgage on our own house.  It was a nice, little home on a quiet street – just what we always wanted.

Suddenly, the bottom dropped out.  My wife lost her job.  The mortgage payments doubled.  Through a series of moves and other events, the congregation went down to about 30 people.  To make a long story short, we went through a bankruptcy, lost the house, and now live in an apartment owned by my parents.

I don’t say all of this so you will feel bad for me.  I don’t regret it.  Many good things came out of it.  One of them was a Word from God.

This was one of the lowest times of my life.  On many occasions I cried out to God asking Him why this was happening to me.  One day, while I was in this state, I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart.  He asked me what my problem was.

As I started asking Him why He allowed my finances to dry up, the Lord asked another question.

“Why should I provide for your finances?”

I was a little taken back by the question, but I was ready with my answers.  I went through all the Scriptures I knew about the promises that God would supply my need.  Malachi 3:10-12, II Corinthians 8-9, Philippians 4:19, and many others.  These Scriptures were why I expected Him to bless my finances.

What the Holy Spirit asked next totally floored me.

“So you’re standing on the law to receive your financial blessing?”

I was speechless.  I sat in silence for over an hour.  I refused to believe that I was legalistic.  But I had no other explanation.

I trusted the Scripture instead of the God of the Scripture.  I was like the Pharisees that Jesus got upset at.

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
John 5:39-40

The Lord started showing me, on that day, that I had fallen victim to an epidemic in the church.  Many believers are doing everything they can to fulfill the promises.  They’re trying to work for the blessings of God.  If you use the promises in this way, then you’re running on the power of the law.  You’ll never reach the full potential God has for you.

In this new series I want to show how Christ operated – as one submitted to God and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Question: What is your view on the promises of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013


Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Legalism, Power of God


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3 responses to “How God Opened My Eyes to Legalism #legalism

  1. Allie

    August 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    This morning I was going over the same verse you mentioned – John 5:39-40. I was then burned with the knowledge that I am using so many teaching and methods from Scriptures without having fellowship with the person of Jesus Christ. My receiving of the Bible has become just a set of regulations to follow. I was a little annoyed by what I felt, so I begun to check my e-mails and the internet just trying to be distracted from what the Lord was telling me. And then I read your post. I couldn’t believe that was exactly the same subject I was trying to avoid. I had to reread the blog. Yes, we have been very scriptural, but in our living we are coming short because we are not going to the source of it all – Jesus Christ. In many instances, we are not willing to go to Christ, like the Jews at Jesus time. Other times, the life that we are seeking after, it is not the “zoe” that Jesus was talking about. We have the Word, but not the Lord Himself. How can I then distinguish from just having a “picture” of the reality of Christ to really living a life in the Spirit? How can the promises in scripture become “side effects” and not just the main goal in my life? “O Lord, make me willing to be grafted in you, to be one with you, and to desire only you!” I am looking forward to your next posts.

  2. Nicole Midkiff

    August 18, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    This makes so much sense! Growing up, I was always taught that to have God bless my finances there is a list of things I must do…almost like a formula. I always struggled with this concept because it did not seem like the God I served. This posts not only clears all that up, but it makes me very excited! Thanks.

    • Nick Zaccardi

      August 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Thanks for sharing. That’s one of the problems that those of us who grew up in church face. It’s implied that if we try our best to be good, then God will bless us. Later, when we find out that’s not the case, we get frustrated. Our blessings are based upon who God is, not how good we are.


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