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The Biggest Barrier to Having the Life You Want

Most of us face a huge barrier to believing we can have a wonderful life. This hurdle can keep you mired in mediocrity, paralyzed by the fear of both failure and success and stuck doing lesser things instead of pursuing the real agenda of your dreams. That barricade? What the Apostle Paul calls “falling from grace.”

 I’m not talking about sins in your life. Most of us have heard far too many condemnatory sermons on that already. Rather, few things hinder us more than our failure to receive God’s grace as freely as it’s given. I don’t just mean your initial moment of forgiveness. Bonhoeffer said grace must be sought again and again. Whenever you forget that God’s grace is sufficient for all your sins, you will hold yourself back both in your thinking and actions and it will be impossible to fulfill your divine destiny

 The Apostle Paul struggled with grace in his own life so he labored to make it comprehensible for us, and he’s a good one to do it. He called himself the chief of all sinners. That’s because he tried to kill off the early Church. Think about that. If he succeeded, Jesus’ death would have been in vain. Once Paul realized who Jesus is, he was appalled by his former life. There is no better person to teach us about grace.                                      

 Paul said some amazing things about law and grace, things that almost no one dares to preach about. “To the pure all things are pure” (Titus 1:15, Romans 14:20) he taught; “nothing is unclean in itself” (Rom. 14:14); and for true Christians, “All things are lawful.”
Is this too much grace? Won’t we slide into real depravity if we cut ourselves this much slack? On the contrary, Paul knew that “the law kills but the Spirit gives life.” He warned that “If you seek to be justified by the law you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:14). Paul taught that sin shall not dominate our lives because we are not under law but under grace (Romans 6: 14).
In the early church Paul confronted a daunting religious problem. Legalists infected it, threatening to drive it into religious bondage and ultimately into the downward spiral of sin and depravity that he called the “law of sin and death.” To counter that, he explained that the law is not for the righteous but for the wicked. This is why Augustine could encourage us to “Love God and do as you please.” If you love God, you will eventually do what pleases Him. The law is merely a tutor to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). Once we come to Him, God’s grace is adequate to shepherd us to our heavenly home. Paul, the legalist of all legalists, learned this the hard way. He discovered that sin was stubbornly lodged within him, prodding him to do what he shouldn’t and didn’t want to do (Cf. Romans 7:14- 8:2). Thankfully he also learned that God looks on your heart. You are sanctified once and for all (Hebrews 10:10-17).

 Truly God’s grace is big enough for your sins. A famous Bible teacher likened God’s grace to a sparrow holding its breath for fear it would use up all the oxygen while God lovingly whispers “Go ahead, breathe little sparrow, there’s enough air for you.” When Luther discovered such grace he shouted “Sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more boldly still!”

 God’s mercy is renewed every morning (Lam. 3:22-3) because that’s how often we need it. All you must do to appropriate it is confess (I John 1:9). Don’t make promises to never sin again. They aren’t necessary and you probably can’t keep them. Once you discover how great God’s grace truly is, you can stop beating yourself for your sins. It isn’t helpful. After all, Jesus already took those beatings for you. Better yet, you can dare to attempt great things for God. His power working in us flawed vessels can achieve greater things than anything you can imagine. 


Ken Unger is President of and founder of, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "
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