Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
Many Christians are worn out trying to live the Christian life. They’re trying to produce fruit, trying to do the right thing, trying to live up to the standard. But it’s just not happening. They feel like yo-yos – up one day, down the next. When they fail to perform they promise to try harder and then they fail again. Eventually they just quit trying.
And that’s when Real Life can begin!
Here’s the good news: Only One person ever lived the Christian life and it wasn’t you. Christ is your life. He wants to live his life through you so stop trying and start trusting. You can work or you can rest but more gets done when you rest.
Life is not meant to be a series of mountain-highs and valley-lows. You are seated in heavenly place with Christ! Religion would have you climb Mount Sinai and impress Jesus with your performance. But he wants to impress you with his.
Religion says “Do! Do! Do!” but grace declares “It’s done! Done! Done!”
If you’re worn out, burned out, or just plain fed up, then you’ve come to the right place. What you misdiagnose you mistreat so let’s start by diagnosing the problem. Take a look at the table below. The posts listed in the left column will help you identify the source of your frustration. Then when you’re ready to throw open the windows and let in a little fresh air, check out the posts on the right. The good news of God’s grace will change your life!
|The Problem||Some Solutions|
If you want to know a little about my story, read this: How well did I understand grace before I understood grace?
We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. (Rom 5:2, MSG)
Just awesome =)
THANKS PAUL. Just reading this I could feel the tension in my body start to relax.
Thanks Paul. we’re all sort of getting used to this, at least us younger folk in the faith. It’s wise it seems to give other people a shot, but taking part of the frustration. But there are intolerable levels of frustration.
Again, very grateful.
thank you for lifting me up with your message.
I’m just fed up with self righteousness.
Tnx for your teaching on grace it really helps me alot
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Paul for writing this, and Jesus for doing it all. Hallelujah, unending love, amazing grace.
I just wanted to ask what Paul thought of Joseph Prince, who, I believe, through the Holy Spirit, lead me to this site.
I am fan.
Everybody talks about stop trying and start trusting.. It’s so easy to say, but how do you really do it..how do you stop trying to overcome sin..how do you stop trying to live out the Christian life, but at the same time doing your part in obeying God..
Good question, and one that is answered many times in the New Testament epistles. How to overcome sin? Short version: reckon yourself dead to it, said Paul. Don’t engage with it, don’t struggle with it, but reckon yourself dead to it and live to Christ. So many people get hung up on saying no to sin when they ought to be saying yes to Jesus. The first approach relies on willpower and is doomed; the second relies on Christ. But you are spot on when you say trusting is not easy. It isn’t. We have been conditioned to try, not trust. This is why we must labor to enter his rest.
Thanks…Its really difficult to differentiate whether you are not trying but trusting or whether you just don’t care at all.
Thank you Paul..freedom freedom and Grace upon Grace…
The Christian hamster wheel can stop now…God bless you and your family…:)
i once felt God;s forgiveness (after i saw a website saying we will all be saved). since then…after tasting the good word, and experiencing a physical healing and feeling God’s presence…i fell from it, went insane, and dont know how to find my way back…i used to bea blasphemer….i hated Jesus, but one day i became afraid …very afraid, i was baptized, went to church, studied my bible, but still struggled with sin. once i felt God’s grace….sin had no control over me, i felt drawn to resist out of honor to God…until i was led astray by thoughts in my mind, i started talking to spirits….i started seeing things…hearing things….SCARY THINGS!! i been in andout of the mental hospital..haD MANY INTENSE DELUSIONS, I BEEN TOSSED BY JUST ABOUT EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE, doubted the bible, questioned where tongues came from ( a thought came in my head…maybe they came from satan). i’m afraid i blasphemed the holy spirit. i once felt great love and compassion…couple times (God was melting my heart)…now i want to find my way back to that love…but i dont know how. is it too late for me? please say satan hasnt won….i was given over to an insane mind…but there have been times of renewing from that
If you’ve been following on the rest of this blog, you will notice that there is a calm on both ends.
We believe in Jesus. He’s Jesus, he can save everybody.
The other end? For reducing our own anxiety, we share the gospel of salvation every chance we can. “Jesus accepts you. Do you believe he accepts you? ” Don’t be frustrated by the results friend. Remember He’s Jesus. Ultimately people are dealing with him, not us.
It’s not too late. You are forgiven. Jesus’ death in the cross was payment enough to cover you past, present and future. Praying for the demons to flee from you in Jesus’ name.
Yes, I’m frustrated. I’ve been struggling with understanding the new testament, with so many questions piling up which nobody can answer. I’ve written to so many people and ministers asking for help and nobody is responding. There are so many different interpretations of the new testament with every preacher teaching something different. I got discouraged to the point that I just stopped listening to them. I’m done depending on preachers (charlatans?) to give me answers. Either God will reveal it to me or I’m walking away from this christian thing.
You remind me of my four year old.
I believe God led me here, but my life has been such a mess I’m struggling to take this in. I’ve been taught that I have to forgive to be forgiven. So I keep going round and round in circles because of some things that have happened, forgiving in my head but struggling so much. Also because I was so under law from exposure to past teachings, I’ve been estranged from my adult child. I’ve had mental illness for many years, and stayed single because of a belief and confirmation from others that remarriage after divorce was wrong. I’m wrestling here with my emotions, can you offer any advice?
Yes. (1) Stop drinking poison (toxic religion that condemns), and (2) get more grace in your diet. Be blessed!
I have recently discovered E2R. I was a pastor’s wife for 20 long years in one of the most legalistic churches you could even fathom. I was saved alone in my home at 21 after just another long night of cocaine and nonsense as I cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, if you are who I’ve heard you are, help me. I hate what I’ve become.” At that moment, I met Him and exclaimed, “You are real”. And I was delivered from drug addiction and all that goes with it. Still, I landed in abject legalism because I thought these people, mostly male leaders, knew more about God than I did and I’d better listen or end up in hell due to rebellion. I would find myself telling people the party line when they came to me for advice. I remember once the Holy Spirit telling me,”Don’t tell her that”. I said, “But that’s what I was taught to say”. That moment scared me, but also helped me because I realized that He was not always backing up these dogmatic leaders. I am out now, still learning to let God pick up the pieces,not even living with my husband who is learning, but still struggling with remnants of kool aid in his veins. We have the Holy Spirit. John 16 says that He convicts believers of righteousness. He sees what we don’t see about ourselves. I have blown it greatly in trying to heal from years of abuse, yes abuse in Jesus name. Yet, He has never felt more present than when I was in my darkest place. John’s mention of walking in darkness does not apply to a true believer because no matter what we go through, He is light in our darkness. Confess tonheal yourself and relationships, but do not dilute the work of Jesus Christ on the cross! It is finished.
Steven. A dear friend told me a story once. She flipped over in a boat and went under the water. Her feet got tangled in the underwater plant roots. She struggled at first tonfree herself, but could not. Then she remembered her Red Cross training and went completely limp. She just quit struggling and as her body relaxed, the roots let go of her feet. She rose to the top of the water and took a deep breath of life giving air. I hear you saying, “I did, I wrote, I tried, etc…” Stop! “BE STILL AND KNOW HE IS GOD!! We make this about us. This is Jesus’ party and we are invited and then we talk about ourselves the whole time. Stop, drop and just think about what Jesus has done FOR YOU! God’s unfailing, perfect love is comoletely foreign tonus. Don’t try and figure it out. You honor him when you receive. All is well, friend.
Our frustration comes at church. We arrive full of life and grateful for this amazing grace. But by the time we’re done singing songs (pleading with God to come fill the building or that we need more, more, more of God) and listening to messages (saying that if we just get involved in more church programs, that’s where we’ll find freedom) we leave discouraged. Churches that have a revelation of grace are so hard to find! What should we do?
How do I find a grace and spirit-filled, Word-based church? It feels like the more charismatic and exciting churches require a lot of effort on my part. On the other hand, the less charismatic ones, are more dependent on God’s grace but definitely feel more stiff and dull. How do I find a balance? Are there any tips? Thanks so much.
You could try Ted Nelson’s Locate Ministries website.
Thank you. But, sadly, the nearest church listed is hours away from my location.