Grace Over Guilt

Busy. Preoccupied. Scatterbrained. Overwhelmed.

Welcome to my life when I don’t prioritize my relationship with God, when I don’t seek Him first.

I often forget there’s a direct correlation – when I’m secure in my identity as a daughter of the King, when I’m consistent in spending time with my Heavenly Father (no matter how full my schedule gets), when I’m faithful to guard my heart… life is just better. My circumstances don’t necessarily change, but my perspective does. The closer I am to Him, the better wife, mom, and friend I am.

The past few weeks have been busy. Probably too busy. So when my son’s surgery on Monday was cancelled, I was a little relieved that this week would look different than I had originally planned. Calmer. Quieter. Less hectic. And I was given the gift of time to reflect on a few things.

If I miss a day of devotions, or Bible reading, or being quiet before the Lord, I’m quick to run to a place of guilt. Then I find myself in an ugly cycle, because guilt keeps me away from God. Guilt says I’m not worthy to come into His presence.

Guilt has kept me away, but grace always welcomes me in. 

When I come near to God, He comes near to me (James 4:8). Even if it’s a small step toward Him, He is faithful to respond. Two nights ago, I took a step. I was intentional and grabbed my Bible and opened it up. I read the first thing I saw. Psalm 74. (The bold parts are what jumped out at me…)

                Psalm 74: We Need You Now

                Are you really going to leave us, God?

                Would you turn your back on us, rejecting your people?

                We are yours, your very own.

                Will your anger smolder against us forever?

                Don’t forget that we are your beloved ones.

                Wrap us back into your heart again, for you chose us.

                You brought us out of our slavery and bondage,

                And made us your favored ones, your Zion-people,

                Your home on earth.

                Turn your steps toward this devastation,

                Come running to bring your restoring grace to these ruins;

                To what the enemy has done to devastate your Holy Place.

                                                (verses 1-3, The Passion Translation)

I sat in awe of Him, that even after time away He would open up the Word and speak directly to my soul. From there, my prayer unraveled: Wrap me back into Your heart again – there is nowhere else I’d rather be. As I turn my gaze back to You, You run to me, sweeping me up into Your arms and out of my ruins, covering me with Your restoring grace. I am Yours, Your very own. Your beloved, Your home on earth. You have won me. You have captured my heart with a glimpse of Your goodness and faithfulness.

Guilt and fear must go; the devil must flee. Satan’s invitation has been revoked, his welcome worn-out. There is no more room for guilt; there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus (Romans 8:1).

One of my favorite songs right now is “Grace Wins” by Matthew West. The first part of the chorus says, “There’s a war between guilt and grace and they’re fighting for a sacred space, but I’m living proof – grace wins every time.”

There’s another song that I love… it’s called “Greater” by Mercy Me. Yesterday, the bridge specifically spoke to my heart: “There’ll be days I lose the battle, grace says it doesn’t matter, ‘cause the cross already won the war…”

No matter what happens on this earth, we know how it ends – Jesus wins. The war has been won; Jesus is the Victorious One. Death was defeated on the cross. Even on a bad day, in a hard season, during a challenging trial… when it seems we’ve lost a battle… when guilt and grace are fighting for that sacred space in our hearts… we can remember the truth that grace wins. Grace always wins. The One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus is greater than the enemy, because Jesus has already defeated the enemy.

I can make excuses, or I can make a change. Take a step. Seek His face.

I can be overwhelmed by my schedule, or I can be overwhelmed by His presence.

I can be plagued by guilt, or I can receive His grace.

Praise God – grace wins every time!

Here are a few more song suggestions for this week 🙂

IMG_3513I love this picture of me and my girls… All dressed up for my sister’s wedding… Running laps in the grass together. Beautiful and free… ❤

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