Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Restraining Grace

From my Turning Point devotion:
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7

Mary Mapes Dodge was an American who wrote the story of the little Dutch boy who saved Holland by sticking his finger in a hole in the dike, thereby keeping the ocean from breaking through and flooding the low-lying country.

The little boy's finger was a restraining device against a powerful ocean. There is another restraining "device" at work in our world today against a powerful ocean of evil ready to flood the world. That restrainer is the Holy Spirit, who lives in this world in the life of every born-again follower of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers Christians to be salt and light in the world today, holding back darkness. At the Rapture of the Church, when believers are removed from the earth, the Holy Spirit will be removed as well, and lawlessness will be a mystery no longer.

Don't quench (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or grieve (Ephesians 4:30) the Holy Spirit. Rather, live in submission to Him and in His power. He not only protects this world from evil, He protects you as well.

We need restraining grace as well as saving grace. William Tiptaft

Sometimes I want to "kick" my conscience because I don't want to be reminded that my thoughts or motives are unpure. But that would be grieving the Holy Spirit. How desparate we'd be (and pathetic) if we had to live life without the Holy Spirit talking to us.

As confirmation, here is a verse I read this morning that I was going to blog about: Deut 30:19-20 - Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Thank you Father for giving me the restraining grace as well as saving grace. Thank you Holy Spirit for loving me enough to tell me when I've moved away from Father's will. Thank you for desiring that I obey you and choose life.

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