Jesus not only paid the debt we owed for our sin, but He also caused grace to be released so we can live a victorious life. One of the best definitions of grace is this: it is God’s supernatural empowerment to do His will. This flow of divine strength is available to all of us who are in Christ, but it is not automatic that we will receive it and walk in it.
So how do we plug in more to this divine empowerment so we can walk in greater victory? Here are five ways to do so:
- Humble Yourself – “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). Those who think they are better than others, and who believe they don’t need God, will block grace coming into their lives. It is the wise person who recognizes that God and other people have been the prime causes of any success experienced in life. As we humble ourselves through thanksgiving to God and people, and as we remain dependent on God, we will receive this “more grace” James talks about.
- Hear Edifying Words – “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Words are not simply containers of information, but, more importantly, they are vessels of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). One of the reasons I make declarations of God’s promises is to increase the amount of grace being imparted to me. Also, as we regularly hear teaching based on these promises, we will receive God’s power to propel us into greater victory. If we only hear “change your behavior” messages, we will actually be influenced to sin more. “(God) also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).
- Receive Grace – “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). This is a verse to memorize and meditate on. “Reigning in life” is obviously victorious living, but we are told we need to be one of “those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.” We receive this by faith, not of works (in the same way we receive every other kingdom benefit).
- Recognize and Function in the Ministry Gift You Have – “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8). As we are able to identify and walk in our gifting and assignments, we will experience greater grace coming to us. Just as David did not find grace through Saul’s armor in 1 Samuel 17, we won’t find grace through Christian duty. Yes, we will all at times need to do things we don’t believe are our prime gifts and purpose, but ultimately we need to “stay in our lane”, as the part of the body of Christ we are.
- Stay in New Covenant Grace – “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). Earlier (Galatians 3:1-5), Paul had rebuked the Galatians for starting “in the Spirit” but then continuing in the flesh. He identified “flesh” as the belief God’s hand is moved through our behaviors rather than beliefs. In Galatians 5:4, he comes back to this and says grace’s flow will be cut off if we think God is more concerned with our actions (works of the law) than He is in our believing what He has said and done. In this verse “fallen from grace” is not a sin issue but a wrong doctrinal emphasis issue.
These truths are so exciting to me.
Why don’t you ask God right now which one of these you are to focus on, to increase this supernatural empowerment coming to you. It will help you overcome sin, live victoriously, and increase your influence.
For more on this, please listen to my podcast here.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.