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How God Opened My Eyes to Legalism #legalism

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

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

 

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