Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter 12: The Obstacle of Legalism

God has a sense of humor. My post is late because yesterday, we had to deal with some car issues. In the midst of that situation, God is ministering on other areas of my life. Then this morning I am thinking, "You allowed the post to be late so I wouldn't be legalistic about having it up on Monday." Yes, our God indeed has a sense of humor and will use everything and anything to reveal Himself to us. Thank You Father!

1. What causes legalism to manifest in your life?

Previously, whenever I sinned and sought counseling, I would leave with the mentality, "Ok, here's my to do list so that this won't ever happen again." I would be all geared up and ready to go on all these changes. But I've come to understand that truly it's not by works, but by grace so that none may boast. Even my best attempts at change are worthless and useless if my dependence is not on the Lord.

Recently, I have asked and am asking the Lord to minister me regarding balance. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person and this can be very dangerous. Any type of unbalance is dangerous. When I first came to Christ, I wanted to be disciplined and yet for some reason I began thinking (from where I have yet to find out) that it was religious and legalistic. Thoughts such as, "You're limiting the Holy Spirit," or "You're putting Him in a box," or "Wait for the Holy Spirit to guide you" would creep in and paralyze my attempt to seek God (although not completely for God's glory). Now in themselves, these statements are harmless and warn. Yet, because the enemy was putting fear in me of being a religious/legalistic person, these statements invoked fear.

The Lord has brought this to me once again because I know He wants to bring a balance in my life. If I have a Bible reading plan and memorize Scripture, it doesn't make me legalistic. That is just the way the Lord deals with me.

2. How does legalism manifest in your life? Beth makes a mention of some conditions, but feel free to name your own.

Works, works, works, works, works.

As I mentioned previously, I like to do. Learning to trust in the Lord and WAIT on Him, was made more difficult for me because of this. These days all I want to "do" is being a doer of His Word!!!

3. How has legalism hurt you from being free?

Legalism hurt my life because it brought self-condemnation and torture. It made me think I was not doing enough. Just yesterday, I was thinking of how the devil uses something the Lord is correcting in my life to torment me with it. For example, I was sharing with a sister how I want to be a good steward of the time the Lord gives me. We tend to go to sleep late. Sounds simple. The enemy would make me feel so guilty when I would look at the clock and notice that once again it is past 12:00 a.m. The Lord doesn't bring condemnation. He brings godly sorrow that leads to repentance. When He speaks, it's not overwhelming. He speaks and corrects to bring about change in our lives that we would look like Jesus. There is always hope in Him!

Like all the other obstacles, legalism can be deadly and subtle. When I think about the passion in which our Lord Jesus spoke against legalism, it makes me shudder at the thought. He doesn't want a bunch of robots that praise automatically from a pre-recording nor quote Scriptures with out any conviction regarding them in their own lives. Jesus said the Father is looking for worshippers that would worship Him in spirit and truth. He wants our lives to be a worship to Him through His Holy Spirit and living His Truth. Lord help us!

Father, I thank you that we are not alone. You have promised to be with us always even to the end. You have been showing us obstacles in our lives that hinder us from drawing closer to You. With Your help and Yours alone, can they be removed. Show us the strategies for each one. Tell us when we have to act and when we must wait. In all things, let Jesus be exalted! Our desire is to be like HIM. Help us with the guidance and direction of Your Holy Spirit. Continue to give us ears to hear and eyes to see and a willing heart. Help us to pray for one another throughout this journey. Help us to stand in the gap for one another declaring Your Word over their lives. For we do declare complete and utter VICTORY! We give you all the glory and honor for all that You have done, are doing, and will do. In Jesus' name. Amen.


  1. God is Faithful! His love endures forever! I'm so glad that the enemy has a losing battle in bring self condemnation in your life. Truly is by Grace and also surrendering to the Lord. Which I am grateful to see from front row what God does when His children allow Him to be God in their lives.

    I thank Jesus you have surrendered and I know that His Holy Spirit will balance every area of our lives as we surrender.

    Glory to God!

  2. Truly surrendering to the Lord and HIS voice is all that matters!


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14