Monday, 28 June 2010

Living in my new nature

Well as it turns out, our caterpillar was an impostor! Yes that cute little visitor we took into our home -was not a caterpillar, but in fact a bottle brush saw fly (wasp) larvae.

These are  the picture from our book "The Wonderland of Nature", by Nuri Mass.
This was the caterpillar saw fly larvae we had in our home.
 Look at him rolling around and being all cute and stuff.
This is what he grows into. A wasp.

Now in my sons defence who identified the caterpillar saw fly larvae incorrectly- the photos are in black and white and the description reads, "Here is a real giant of a caterpillar, with a fierce-looking spine at his tail." And if his Mama had taken the time to read the word's "green and purple giant," and to maybe google 'hawk moth caterpillar,' we would have found this information out a little earlier.

Our first caterpillar saw fly larvae had failed to cocoon and had passed away. When I found a second caterpillar saw fly larvae I googled 'hawk moth caterpillar' to find out what food our visitor preferred to see if we could get this one to cocoon. That's when I found out the truth. That will teach me to pay more attention!

Another impostor had been in my heart for years. I had heard the word 'grace' in the Christian circles I mingled in, but I had not fully understood it. I understood a little of the grace that our King has shown me. But my understanding of it was that it was a "get out of hell free card". I even understood that His grace was extended to me for a period of time when I turned away from Him. Just like the story of the prodigal son. But I didn't understand that I was not living under His grace in it's full meaning. In fact, after having lived as a time as the prodigal son, I had now begun living like his elder brother in the story. I was a lot like that wasp in the photo hurting others as I tried to live under the law, becoming self-righteous and judgemental.

It wasn't until I watched a Joesph Prince DVD from a seminar where he had spoken at Hillsong. As he spoke and explained that we are not meant to live under the law but under grace, it was if my eyes were seeing and ears were hearing true grace for the first time. I realised that I was living under the law and that the law was not for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (Galatians 3:23-25) A weight lifted off me as I threw my life of striving and trying to earn His favour and ran into His arms of grace and entered His rest.

In my attempts to be a good Christian and read my bible everyday, and condemn myself if I didn't reach the mark, I was living under law. By serving in the church because I thought I owed God for all He had done for me, I was living under the law, and not under grace. Now both these things are not bad things to do, in fact they are great if the love of God compels you to do them. But I was doing them out of obligation. I had not yet died to the law. I was still in a prison of my sinful nature and was not living by the Spirit. The law was too heavy burden for me to carry, and I wasn't meant to carry the burden.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

By living under the law (or legalism) I was being controlled by my sinful nature. But now, under grace and understanding how much He truly loves me, it has become increasingly easier for me to walk in love and not sin. I still sin, but not as much as I did when I was living inder the law. And His grace covers me. It is easier for me not to sin under grace, than under the law. The more I understand how He loves me (He is crazy about me and He feels the same way about you!) I no longer have any desire to sin. But under law I was controlled by my sinful nature. By dying to my old nature, I am free to walk in my new nature of Christ.
 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:4-6)
 
Now that I am learning to live in my new nature in Christ. I am no longer living as an impostor - but as my true self. I am embracing my new life under grace wholeheartedly. I finally understand the words of Jesus:
~"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." ~Matthew 11:28-30
I am learning the unforced rhythms of grace and being free and light instead of being weighed down by the law and expectations I had for myself. I am recovering my life - to live as He destined me to be-under His grace. It has freed me to be 'me.' I had been walking as an impostor for so long that living under grace feels weird at times, but day by day, I am feeling more and more comfortable in my new nature.

Still taking lessons from the King,



17 comments:

  1. It's amazing how the things we discover and observe in nature can teach us lessons in our every day life.

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  2. Grace... ah the soothing peace that is grace. The tremendous power and awesomeness of grace... loved your post dear princess Jo.

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  3. ah haaaa we'll have to be on the watch for impostor catepillar saw fly larvae.
    Great grace post Jo.
    xx

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  4. Grace is definitely AMAZING! I still have days where I strive and it is a constant reminder to stay abiding in the vine! I love what you are unveiling about Grace, we need to hear MORE of it! xx

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  5. I love how God uses everyday occurances to teach us life-lessons! How glad I am not to be an imposter anymore, attempting to live by the law. But now, in freedom, I can live in Him and He in me. Praise God that His grace is sufficient!

    Living for Him, Joan

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  6. I'm so glad you're sharing your story. It is a blessing to read. Thanks. :)

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  7. Beautiful post, Jo. god is leading me through the trials I am having at the moment and many times he has brought up Romans 8:1-4. I think maybe he is telling me something. :)

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  8. Okay friend, I'm reading and enjoying every bit. Thanks for sharing and being real too.

    And thanks for doing the happy dance with me. But I have no idea how to fix any URL thingie.

    Happy Day,
    Sara

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  9. Hey, my friend, what a beautiful post you have made, what a beautiful picture you have painted.

    As you know I am learning how to walk in my new nature. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. The freedom and release of finally being able to see that I do not have to get this life right... has left me undone.

    Loved reading your heart here today!
    PS. How did you do the tabs at the top of your blog???

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  10. Hey dear so so true about Grace. Grace is so amazing and so sufficient for us. I love that blessing. May the Lord continue to grant you more of His blessings, and may your eyes open up to even more grace in your life. Love you

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  11. Oh my! - good thing you discovered the mix-up before the stinging reality! heehee

    Loved this post! It completely made me think of the radical difference I've seen in my own life in regards to service in church. Years ago I served in children's ministry because I knew I was gifted in teaching... but head-knowledge was all that got me there. Fast-forward a number of years through the time when I fell head-over-heels for my Lord and now my time spent serving in children's ministry is literally a high-light of my week. And how did this transformation come about? Not by my concentrating my energies on improving my attitude - but by clinging to my Father through the storms of life and consequently knowing Him more and resting in the fact that He knew me so intimately. It could almost seem unrelated! But what a pleasure it is to serve a God who has been so gracious and giving to me.

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  12. What a great post....and words that are so familar to my own. I can feel your freedom, because I, too, was once held captive by legalism and all that comes with it. Thankful that we have been set free to live the lives we were meant to live!

    It's my first time here...I found you from Michelle's blog where you received an award...Congratulations! :)

    Feel free to visit me anytime! :)

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  13. Yes, as Shelly said, you have an award waiting for ya mate!

    I haven't been able to write to anyone before now!

    This was a beautiful post! It's neat to be reading this because I was just reading from Galatians this morning!

    We have sawflies here too in the U.S. I know them well because I spent an inordinate amount of time last year on the web trying to identify them! Such work!

    I have spent a lot of time researching legalism too and the different ways Christians tie themselves back down to the law! Also lots of work!
    Have a blessed Independence Day!Lots of hugs!

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  14. Hi, I've just found your blog via Jeanne's (a peaceful day). [I'm also on the AH forum]

    Thank you for your post. I am in awe of how you are so free in your faith. "Free and light" is exactly how you come across in your post. I have much to learn from this.
    What bible translation are you using? Certainly not the one I have :)

    Blessings,
    Rebecca

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  15. Hiya Jo, I have found my way here via Susan's blog (Kerugma).

    I love your passion for Him and for the lessons in nature that He is showing you. I love learning about Him via things of creation/nature. Just beautiful!

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  16. Ever feel like you've met someone who is walking on the same path. You might not have seen her face, but you can hear her footsteps as they dance along next to yours.

    Thanks for stomping with me today,
    Sara

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo