We all love a good fairy-tale. The beautiful Jasmine and her flying carpet hero Aladdin, or my favorite, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, or the classic Cinderella and her Prince Charming who sweeps her off her feet. Cinderella worked tirelessly her whole life, and then love changed everything and her “dreams came true.” She didn’t work for Prince Charming’s love. In fact, she ran away from him, ashamedly afraid of what he would discover was hiding behind the glass slippers.
But the prince loved her and it didn’t matter what she did, where she came from, or what she wore. He wanted her.
Somewhere between being the twirling princess and having our own little princes and princesses, we stop believing in fairy tales.
We find out that life requires hard work and if we expect to achieve anything worthwhile, we are going to have to go at it with all we have.
But when it comes to Jesus, it’s different. That’s where we need to take a cue from our classic princess with the glass slippers. Yes, as good students of scripture, we understand that salvation comes through “grace alone, not by works lest anyone should boast.” Jesus did all the work and paid a debt we could never pay with any amount of hard work – to give us eternal access to the perfect Creator.
But, just like in real life where fairy tales fade, somewhere between humbly giving Jesus our hearts and living out our faith, we stop believing that Christ has the power to continue transforming our hearts.
We start taking the load back.
We start believing that we are responsible for our own “fruit” and we lose the wonder of being pursued, paid for, and empowered.
The truth is that, just like we can never earn salvation on our own power, we can never produce a Christian life that honors God on our own strength. It’s often said that the Christian life is difficult. But, I disagree. It’s impossible. That’s exactly why the Bible is chock-full of treasure verses that declare beyond all doubt that our day-to-day power for transformation comes from His power working in and through us.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might… Colossians 1:11
From his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you… Ephesians 3:16
I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength… Philippians 4:13
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… Galatians 5:16
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy peace… Galatians 5:22-23
Next time that you catch yourself working over-time to be more patient, trying to “stuff-in” more godliness, or guilting yourself over how you don’t have enough “self-control,” remember that you’re taking back something that Jesus paid for with His precious spilt blood.
Within marriage, you know that the more time you spend with your spouse, the more you understand what is important to them, what makes them feel loved, and, as a result, you grow into a better wife.
With your children, the more time you intentionally spend with your child, listening to their heart, finding their passions, and learning to love them for who they are, the better mom you become. Not because you’re reading parenting books, attending conferences, or trying to be a pinterest mommy, but because You Love Them.
Bottom Line: The more intentional time you spend with someone, whether spouse, child, friend, or Jesus, the more you find yourself loving them… deeply.
Yes, you have to choose to be intentional, but it’s the mysterious resurrection power of the Godhead working in you, empowering you, transforming your very heart, so that at the end of the day, it’s all about Jesus working through you, not you building yourself up.
“Not by works, lest any one should boast.” It’s true about salvation, and it’s true for our daily lives. Perhaps, like me, you are ready for a little more grace, and a little less heavy burden. The best part is that this isn’t a fairy-tale. This is real life!
Jesus plus nothing equals everything – take that truth and go dancing in your glass slippers!Leave a Comment
Thank you for this reminder Rebecca. I have been feeling weary from the load of self imposed transformation-which hasn’t been going so well. I am reminded that I don’t have to go search for my other glass slipper….the prince is seeking me out with it in hand.
Kerry, you are so right. It just doesn’t work out very well when we go at living for Jesus on our own power. I’m praying that You will be wrapped in the reality of Jesus’ love today, sweet sister!
Rebecca. Thank you for these beautiful words. Being intentional in loving & spending more time with your spouse, children & Jesus. Those words really jumped out at me! so true!! Grace Grace & more Grace that’s what I always say.
Thanks, Carol, for sharing what stuck out to you. I’m so thankful that we can encourage each other on this journey of grace!
Joanne Peterson says
This strikes a cord with me. With small ones just trying to keep the chaos manageable is overwhelming, and a quiet time and bible reading does not happen as often as is necessary. When I am up, no matter the time, they are up and being loud and making messes, etc. I’ll have to pray to work a way to do this with Jesus, and I KNOW it is necessary. Also, to spend time with my husband and intentional time with my three and four year old.
Thank you Rebecca!
i know your chaotic life as my own and I also struggle with finding time for deeply investing the way I long to, Joanne. Take comfort that the Lord knows your struggles and sees your heart even better than you do. Rest easy knowing that He finds you just as righteous on the days you can barely hold on as the days when you spend time reading His Word and basking in His presence. Praying that you sense His delight over you in a deeper way today!
Thanks for sharing that, Karyn!
Jodi Michaelides says
God is soooo gracious to us. May we always remember to surrender it all to HIM.
Good word, Jodi. Surrender is desperately needed! Thankfully, our God is loving and gentle in heart 🙂
Beth WIlliams says
What powerful words. It can be hard to have a quiet time in the midst of busy schedules. It is imperative that we spend some quality time with God daily both in scripture and just being and listening for that still small voice. Then when the chaos and trials come–and they will- you will be able to withstand them.
Thank you for the reminder about being intentional with our time spent with God and family!
It can definitely be hard to find that quiet time, Beth…especially if “quiet” doesn’t exist 🙂 Thanks for the reminder that He is our power source to be able to make it through those tough challenges. Wise Woman! Grace and Peace to you!
Jane Macdonald says
Thanks for this! I believe God directed my path to read this today!
Jane, I love how God’s love is so extravagant and personal that He knows exactly how and when to encourage our hearts. Take comfort in being beautifully loved today!
This post blessed me this morning! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for taking the time to comment, Marty. I’m praying for you today that the Lord would show you His abundant love right in the middle of your day. Grace and Peace to you, the Lord’s beloved!
Loved this article the best thing a read in a while and I read a lot. Thank you so much. <3
Loresa, I’m so grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit to meet us right where are and give us exactly what we need in the moment. I’m forever thankful for the “personal” part of our Savior! I pray that He will continue to encourage you as you continue to seek His face. Blessings to you, my sister in Him.
Thank you for sharing, this truly touched my heart where I needed it most… I suffer from many many health issues, and I struggle many times to remember that Jesus doesn’t just put up with me, He loves me so very much, and He did pursue and pay for me. As I read this I was moved to tears, at the reminder, that the reason I can’ succeed at producing fruit, may very well be, because I’m trying to do it, and I will never succeed, because the Lord has to do it. I love Philippians 2:13, For it is God who is working in you, giving you the power and desire to do what pleases Him. Sometimes I have to pray this verse over my heart, and remember that while I can read the Word, and spend time with the Lord, i can’t bring about any change in my own life by my own will or power, only the Lord can do that. And that truth takes away a burden that I’ve tried to carry and cannot carry.
Thank you, Emily, for sharing your heart! I praise God for the work that He is faithfully doing in your life and for the way He is showing you more of Himself. How beautifully He loves you! I’m praying for you as you experience the depths of His grace. Peace, my sister in Chris.
It is lovely to read your words, they really are what I needed to hear today, sending love from New Zealand
Thank you for your encouragement, Jasmine! May you be blessed today as the Father draws you ever closer to His own heart.
This is such beautiful, rich truth Rebecca! “Jesus plus nothing equals everything – take that truth and go dancing in your glass slippers!” Love!