Here are some quotes from these chapters. (I'm reading in the Kindle app for iPad so no page numbers.)
- It means they already were like God, made in his likeness, bearing his image. Satan was promising something to them that God had already graciously and lovingly provided. Satan convinced them to forget God's gift and try to work for it instead.
- They didn't just want to be like God, bearing his image. They wanted to be God, self-sufficient and independent.
- The Spirit and the flesh are in opposition. It doesn't matter if your flesh looks bad or good; it opposes the Spirit within you, and this struggle can rob us from living out of our true, Jesus-made identity.
- Mercy protects. Grace provides.
- Guilt says I did wrong. Shame says I am wrong. Guilt deals with behavior. Shame deals with identity. Guilt leads to repentance. Shame leads to hiding.
- Shame is what happens when we let guilt fester and sink deeper and don't deal with it.
- instead of taking our inabilities, weaknesses, and shortcomings to God, we choose to try to deal with sin ourselves and hide behind try-hard masks.
- But good girls who hide have to experience two rescues, much like the two-sided cross in the previous chapter. The good girl understands the basic foundation of her salvation: forgiveness of sin. That first rescue happens at salvation, the initial transfer from darkness to light. In that moment, her life is hidden with Christ in God (see Col. 3:3). The rescue is actually, factually complete. But the good girl doesn't know about this hiding with Christ. She does not understand the depth and breadth and height and width of this Lover who came for her, and so this rescue seems inadequate. She lives on the forgiveness side of the cross and then begins to work to earn the life.
- she needs to be rescued from herself.
- Jesus came to save me from myself. He came to save me from self-effort. He didn't just die for my sin to give me forgiveness; he rose again to give me life.
- But Colossians 3 so beautifully outlines what it has looked like for me: Receive “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” (v. 15) Remain “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” (v. 16) Respond “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (v. 17) Remember “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (vv. 2-3)
- They worked, they chased, they strived, and they feared, all in an effort to get what they already had.
- In the same way that the joints in our body can't function properly without the life-giving marrow, our soul can't function properly without the life-giving spirit.
- The truth is true whether I let it be or not.
- God offers his peace to act as my umpire, to release me from having to be the authority and keep it together.
- Let fear dominate or let peace rule.
- In order to receive, we have to first let go, to honestly release our right to hold on to those things we trust in for life, those counterfeit sources of truth and security, those false hiding places that seem to offer peace but leave us feeling restless.
- we fear exposure more than we long for freedom.
- He asks us to open our hands, receive the gift, and then live as if it were true.
- Are you trying to be who Jesus wants you to be? Or do you trust him to bring out who he has already created you to be? It is vital to recognize the difference between these two questions because one leads to death, the other leads to life.
Protected from good.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil stood in the Garden to protect us from both good and evil. Have you ever thought about needing to be protected from the knowledge of good? Why would God protect us from the knowledge of good?
Before the Fall, man didn't have to choose between good and evil. We were protected from that. We could simply trust and follow God. We didn't know what we lacked and we were protected from the Law.
Now, I make everything about what I do. Trying to be good to earn what God has already freely given me. But that mask is purely me. Completely flesh. And I cannot please God from my flesh.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17
I didn't understand that my need to be perfect was actually holding me back from God.
Law vs Truth.
I loved Emily's illustration using The Wizard of Oz. All of the characters in the story already had what they were looking for. According to Ephesians 1, I've have been given spiritual blessings, been chosen, am holy, blameless, adopted, redeemed forgiven, given God's will and an inheritance. I have been given all these things. When I read this list, I was almost shocked by the blessings. But, I'm held back by the rules and fear. I think I have to work for these things that are already mine.
I live in the Law, striving to get these blessings rather than living in the Truth and reacting because I have received these blessings. I continue to strive for what God has already freely given to me.
Because of the Fall, my spirit is dead. I am in need of the Holy Spirit to revive my spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, my soul (made up of my mind and emotions) cannot function properly. I must peel away the masks and allow the Holy Spirit to renew my spirit and guide my soul. This is letting peace rule. This is letting go of the good girl.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Missed a week of the discussion? You can start here for the whole series.