God's Grace Will Chase You Down in 2018!
February 15, 2018
A few days before New Year's Day, I heard the Lord challenge me to "expect more in 2018!" I immediately became excited as I thought: "Well, sure...I need to expect more—more breakthrough, more finances, more favor...more of whatever I might possibly need!" I began to make a mental note of all I needed to do to keep my expectations high. I concluded that more time in Bible study, quoting more Scripture passages, and making godly decrees would be a jump start into breakthrough.
After a few minutes of brain-storming, the Holy Spirit inserted something profound. He said, "Sandie, this will not happen because of what YOU do. This will all happen because My grace will chase you down in 2018." Now, I have heard spiritual leaders refer to God's grace overtaking us—but this was the first time God actually said it to ME! It was almost like His audible voice speaking loudly and clearly.
Then I had an a-ha moment. I remembered the numerous times I had heard Believers sadly confess, "... surely there's more to living the blessed life. I have tried everything I know to do and I can't seem to experience the needed breakthroughs!" (Notice all of times the word "I" was used?) I knew immediately to what they were referring—we should ALL be experiencing the fulfillment of so many of our promises from God! But, now I was beginning to see breakthrough a little differently.
It would occur not because we are working hard to achieve it, but also by simply believing for the grace of God to make it happen. Grace is greater than our past...and grace will continue to work to bring us from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). Yes, His grace is going to literally chase you down. Believer, stay with me—this message will change your life!
Jesus is Our True North
"Just as we could not save ourselves by our own efforts, we cannot bring about change in our lives through our own efforts. We are not saved by God's grace to be changed through religious works!"
Each of us, as Believers, has a built-in compass and knows our true north in Christ. When we've sinned, we know it. When we have bad thoughts, we know it. When we stray from God, we know it. And when we know we are not experiencing all that God has promised, yep, we know it! Our internal compass always points to Jesus Christ.
The name of Jesus is from the Hebrew word meaning "to save, rescue and/or deliver." To say the name "Jesus" is to say, "God saves" or, "God sozo!" Jesus, our internal compass always points toward sozo—the Greek word for salvation. But sozo is more than having a born-again experience. Sozo means that we get so much more because of all that Jesus accomplished on the Cross. Jesus died to give us healing, deliverance, restoration, divine protection and (I like to say) everything Heaven has to offer! And, speaking about grace, Jesus, Himself IS Grace! Grace is a person and not simply a verb.
Most of us are poised on the edge of something great. We need a door to open. We need a doctor to give us good news. We need a call from our boss saying we have a promotion. We need a child to call and say he/she is coming home. If you are still reading what I am writing, this is for you! If you need hope, this article is a message from the Lord. He is empowering you to hope again!
The Woman at the Well Met Grace
Most of us are familiar with the story of the woman at the well. If anyone needed grace, this woman did. She had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. I have read this passage and even taught from it many times, and now I realize that Jesus "chased her down" to provide divine grace for this woman—an obvious sinner. Let me unpack this a bit for you. See if you can relate to your own need to meet grace this year: face-to-face.
The account is in John 4. Jesus was leaving one place and en route to another. John explains that Jesus "had to go through Samaria." Now, back then, Jews did everything possible to avoid Samaria...but now Jesus "had to go there?" Hmm... It's interesting to me that the Jews did their best to go around that city, but oddly it says that He "had to go through Samaria." Just why is that? Because Grace was about to chase someone down. There was a woman in Samaria headed to get water at a well, and what she really needed was to meet the Well of Living Water and receive grace. Remember, grace is greater than anything—even adultery. There is nothing so terrible that grace does not cover.
Yes, Jesus "had to go..." The Lord is saying to us today, "I have to go right where you are! My Grace is going to chase you down! My grace will overtake every sin, every disappointment, every issue..." It doesn't matter what condition you are in today (sinful, lustful, stingy, gossiper, betrayer, liar, thief, hurting, etc.), His grace is greater. He wants to give you "living water." It's true, we're thirsty for breakthrough, but when we drink from Him there is an eternal satisfaction and "knowing" that we can rest in Him. Yes, we can trust in the fact that He would not promise breakthrough and not provide it. If grace is truly sufficient, this means grace will continue to work in us as we move forward and accomplish divine destiny.
A Year of Grace, Completion and Open Doors!
For those of you who follow the Hebraic calendar, we have just shifted into the New Hebraic Year of 5778. In the Gregorian calendar, we just moved into 2018. One can study out the numbers of both years and get excited! Let's look at the significance of 5778 from a numbers perspective:
The number "5" is the number for grace.
The number "7" is the number for completion.
The number "8" is the number for new beginnings.
On the other hand, 2018 involves the numbers "2" meaning double portions, "1" meaning unity and "8" meaning new beginnings. Therefore, I believe we can easily conclude that we are moving into a season of great grace. Also, double portions await us as we come into greater unity with God and His Word. It's time to "agree" with Heaven and step into our new beginnings.
Grace is God's Ability in Us!
It's so important that we understand what grace really is. For many years, the Church has defined grace as "God's unmerited favor." This is a true definition however, it doesn't really explain what it really is or does; it tells us only that it is free. I love this definition that I found: "Grace is God's divine ability working in us, making us able to do what we cannot do in our own ability."
Paul encouraged us in Phil 2:12-13 to "...work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." For years I believed that it was up to "me" to "work hard" to not displease the Lord. However, Paul was pointing out that we should work out what has ALREADY been worked in us—our own salvation. The Greek word used here is soteria which is the noun form of sozo! This actually means that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling because of the distrust we have in ourselves—realizing that only the grace of God can empower us to fully accomplish this task.
Have you ever tried to change yourself? At the end of the day have you been frustrated and overwhelmed because you failed to witness change? One of my favorite passages concerning the message of grace is Rom. 6:14: "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."
"He wants to give you 'living water'. It's true, we're thirsty for breakthrough, but when we drink from Him there is an eternal satisfaction and 'knowing' that we can rest in Him."
If any of you know my past, you might recall that I have been a Christian for close to 60 years, but most of those years were tainted with religious legalism. I tried very hard to be pure, holy and pleasing to God—all in my own strength! At the end of every day, I was exhausted and frustrated. Why? Because I did not fully acknowledge this fact: it wasn't due to my works that I was holy and acceptable to God, but rather that I needed to accept the grace of God and the finished work of Christ at the Cross.
I was holy only because I was a new creature in Christ. What I needed was to experience peace, joy and victory...and to do that was to receive and continue in God's grace. I needed to rest in the fact that God's grace would continue to work in me what I needed to be! I tried for years to open my own doors rather than resting in God and knowing that His grace was always working on my behalf.
Our greatest change in life happened at the moment of salvation. In a split second everything about us changed. How did this happen? Simply by believing. The very instant that we believed God, His divine grace came into us and we were forever changed! If the greatest change we have ever experienced came because we simply believed, then why don't we continue with that simple, child-like faith? Well, could it be that we have allowed traditions of men, religion and legalism to influence our belief systems? Are we like the Galatians who Paul rebuked? Gal. 3:3-4 reminds us of the downfall of human effort: "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"
Bottom line: to negate the finished work of Christ is sin. Yet, to remain empowered to not sin is to receive and continue in grace. Expect grace to chase you down! You may have heard this phrase before—I know I have—but this is the "NOW" time to receive it!
This article is hopefully reminding all of us that when we came into salvation, the Spirit of God began a good work in us. Should we think that since we are now saved that we can finish the work in our own ability? Absolutely not! Just as we could not save ourselves by our own efforts, we cannot bring about change in our lives through our own efforts. We are not saved by God's grace to be changed through religious works!
New Beginnings 2018 and 5778
We notice the number "8" (New Beginnings) in both Hebrew and Gregorian calendars. Jesus Christ desires to open every prison door that has held you captive. Allow 2018 to be your new beginning of right believing! Allow God's grace to not only empower you to change, but run to the person, Grace, today. He awaits you. He desires to answer you. Don't allow the shame and condemnation of your past to hold you captive any longer. The Scripture is clear concerning how to receive help for every need:
"Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]." (Hebrews 4:16 AMP)
Limitless Living in 2018
As I mentioned, I want each of you to remain hopeful! To have hope means that you have an expectation of good things to happen. Expect more than ever before.
Believer, it is time to take the limits off God and yourself! God reminds us that nothing is impossible for Him! It is the year to speak to mountains that hinder your forward progression. It is the year for limitless faith and limitless living. I have written two books that I am sure will empower you in 2018. The first is Letting Go of Your Limitations: Experiencing God's Transforming Power and the second book is Faith After Failure: Reconnecting with Your Destiny. Both books will transform your life and help access power for change. You will receive grace to move past these areas:
–Reliance on self
–Efforts to please God on your own
–Never measuring up
In closing, I want to encourage you again by confidently assuring you that there is absolutely nothing that is greater than God's grace. Grace is greater than everything! "But even greater is God's wonderful grace..." (Rom. 5:15). It's going to be an awesome year for you! Expect it!
Dr. Sandie Freed co-labors with her husband, Mickey Freed, doing the work of the Lord as a ministry team. In addition, they are the founders of Zion Ministries Training Center in Bedford, Texas, and Lifegate Church International. Sandie has traveled nationally and internationally teaching dreams and visions seminars and on spiritual discernment. Her ability to adequately prophesy and discern spiritual strongholds over regions has released numerous breakthroughs for individuals and ministries. Sandie has authored Dream On, and eleven other books, most of which are in several different languages. Dr. Sandie and Apostle/Pastor Mickey are ordained with Christian International Ministries, serving on their Board of Governors. They have been married since 1973, and have one daughter, Kimberly.
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