The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

Gospel Transformation

3 Comments

As I have posted before, I have been going through a kind of spiritual drought for some time now.  No matter how much I don’t want to, I keep wallowing in self-pity and imagining a life better than the one I have.  I keep trying and trying to be pure, but the more I try the more sinful I become.  The more I put forth effort, the more I get frustrated and want to give up altogether.

Bill and I have been praying for my discouragement for quite some time, and though I can’t pinpoint a specific time, God is now (in His perfect timing) answering that prayer.  A few weeks ago, I broke down weeping in prayer and realized not just my sinfulness, but God’s grace and the power He has to change anything about me. 

I began to really see that I am a “do, do, do” person.  Because Bill and I feel so strongly about gospel-centrality, I will be the first person to teach that you can only change through the grace of God; however, I am the last person to live by that principle.  I still want to read the latest book about how to be a great mom, wife, mentor, friend, etc. and follow the amazing principles to succeed.  I’m still determined to use the “if/then” method.  “If I only do this, then this will happen.”

I know I’m thick, but I am just beginning to understand the reality that I absolutely cannot do anything apart from God’s grace.  We just began membership classes at our church, and our lead pastor was talking about the different personalities of people who are not focused on the gospel.  One was the person who is always focusing on his/her sinfulness apart from the gospel.  I realized my pastor was describing me.  I have just begun understanding the gospel in the past year, and I knew one of the first things to do was to realize your sinfulness.  Well, I stopped there.  I eventually came to the point of despair.  This despair has led to legalism, trying to prove I’m good enough since it’s obvious to me I’m not.

What has happened is that in my pursuit of humility, I have forgotten the most important and freeing part–my sins are paid for and my God is more powerful than my sins.  Of course I’m unable to do anything good.  I’m a finite human being.  But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  All I have to do is rely on His grace and trust Him to do it. 

I know to several of my amazing, godly girlfriends who read this blog, this is a “duh” statement.  You may be wondering how in the world I’ve missed this.  I’ve missed it because I don’t have faith like I should.  I want my own glory and praise.  God, though, is revealing it to me in spite of myself, and I have been enjoying the sweetest fellowship with Him I have ever known.  My eyes are being opened to freedom, true freedom and weightlessness.  For the first time, I am preaching the true gospel to myself, and my life is being transformed by leaps and bounds.

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3 thoughts on “Gospel Transformation

  1. Thank you (again) for this blog Courtney. I too have been feeling the “I still want to read the latest book about how to be a great mom, wife, mentor, friend, etc. and follow the amazing principles to succeed. I’m still determined to use the “if/then” method. “If I only do this, then this will happen” blues. Actually, all of what I want to say I should probably call you about – or meet with you again. 🙂 Regardless, thank you. We’re going through our own lil’ humbling experiences in this neck of the woods at the moment and even though we try to see the positive, and work more diligently for the kingdom, we get bogged down in ourselves. Pity parties for us (lately) have lasted longer than the 5 minutes we allotted…
    Hee, as I write this, God has just shown me how good He is yet again. I’m at work and was getting discouraged about a particular person I have to work with. Thank you Jesus! Okay, I’m finished rambling for now. I’ll call you soon! Love ya!

  2. that’s really good. thank u for posting it

  3. Thank you Courtney! I just finished reading “The Cross Centered Life” (by none other than the esteemed “homeboy”) and am now in the middle of “The Discipline of Grace” – a blog post about the centrality of grace and the gospel has been stewing in my mind as well. 🙂 I’m definately a “legalist” in so many ways, but have found a new freedom in the message of the gospel. It’s so simple and yet we forget about it so easily (and quickly).

    I’m so happy that you have been renewed by God’s grace. Thank you for sharing God’s work in your life.

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