my rebellious bent is really quite profound.

yep, i adopted a new format for my blog. the number one reason? a bunch of my friends had picked the same theme. and i am a stickler when it comes to being unique.

so i picked a theme that had the MOST options to change. background colors, font colors, link colors, font type and size, border color .... etc. so now i can rest assured that, although it may be similar to another, it's no longer identical.

my stubborn streak runs deep.

i will be the anomaly. i will be the superlative.

knowing how stubborn and rebellious i am, let's just be honest about something: legalism wasn't such a horrible thing for me. i mean, yeah, i didn't like authority and i didn't like the rules ... so it was one of the only ways to keep me in check. it gave me credibility, a kind of righteousness. you know, the self- kind.

and then a funny little thing happened. just as it does with anything it encounters, the unfathomable depths of God's grace wrecked my legalism all to hell. propriety was out the window. judgmental people were now so clearly below my esteemed heights of grace, i was 'free' to do as i pleased.

no more plagues of a guilty conscience. no longer a slave to the opinions of my peers.

but no more happy than before.

this is the no-mans-land between legalism and holy desire. this is the desert of forty years duress where we are stripped of self-righteous legalism but also of self-preserving freedom and self-promoting pride. this is land where every ounce of character and fortitude is laid bare for all to see. where is the strength of faith to be found? only one source can conquer such a place and lead us out still whole.

i came to see that salvation was by grace alone, and this released me from legalism. but now it is time to see that even sanctification is by grace alone, and so be released from indulgent freedom. for He is the author of our faith, and He is the perfecter of our faith. i am not any longer a naughty child in need of a spanking to induce legal obedience. but i am a weary sojourner in need of the fiery desire that induces reckless pursuit. my endurance has proven weak and my fortitude small and my character meager, for they were built on the crumbling foundations of a self-made 'good christian life.' but there is yet hope. the old house was built in vain; but it is the Lord who builds anew. and what He builds will not quickly fall.

so for now i'll learn to walk (ever forward) through this strange land between legalism and holy desire, being diligent not just to meet the requirements, but also to serve the heart of the One who authored them for me in His infinite love and wisdom, even to bring me nearer to Himself.

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