“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of His grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. Every day should be a day or relating to God on the basis of His grace alone.”- Jeremy Bridges.
In Chapter 5 (“A Rooster’s Crow: Coming Out of the Cage of Guilt”) of Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson states that conditioned reflexes dictate much of our behavior. Because we’ve been consciously and subconsciously conditioned our entire lives. Furthermore, over the course of our lifetime, Mark notes, we pick up an elaborate repertoire of conditioned reflexes.
While some of those reflexes show up as minor idiosyncrasies, others develop into major personality traits. So, the author contends, one thing is certain – we don’t realize just how conditioned we are. Therefore, part of spiritual growth involves recognizing that conditioning and allowing God to recondition those reflexes in need of change.
Hence, Pastor Batterson contrasts the effects of true guilt and false guilt:
“When we sin, guilt is a healthy and holy reflex. . . . But some conditioned reflexes are like psychological straitjackets that immobilize us emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. False guilt is a great example . . . . And our feelings of guilt become the cage that keeps us from chasing the Wild Goose. Whether you are experiencing true guilt that is a by-product of unconfessed sin or false guilt that is a by-product of confessed sin, both forms of guilt dull your spiritual sense of adventure.”
Finally, after Peter denied Jesus three times, Mark wonders if Peter felt a twinge of guilt every time a rooster crowed. Certainly, as Scripture says, Satan prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). However, Mark believes, Satan also crows like a rooster. As the accuser of the brethren, Satan’s tactics remain unchanged since the Garden of Eden. While Satan wants to turn you into a reactionary, Jesus reconditions you through His grace. Into a revolutionary!
Today’s question: When have you felt beyond the reach of God’s grace? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The full extent of God’s grace”