Tonight I’m going to talk a lot about Grace Turned Outward — why it is our identifier here at the Catch, and why it is so important to who we are. We are Grace Turned Outward, and we are not required to bring anything to this equation except ourselves and a willing heart.
One of the most compelling things about Grace is its complete freedom from any pretense or attempt at holiness or spiritual greatness. Grace takes us where we are and uses us that way. It prefers people who have been humbled by life’s experiences. Grace looks for empty people to fill, hungry people to feed and satisfies those who thirst for righteousness because they know they don’t have it. Grace only asks for honesty and willingness.
When you have a lifetime of trying to be a good Christian or excusing yourself because you aren’t, Grace comes along and doesn’t even care either way. Grace barely has you in the picture. God needs a vessel to pour Himself through, but He’s not asking that vessel to try and approximate His will. He’s only asking for our availability. “I Want You,” Uncle Sam cajoles in the famous Army recruiting poster that goes back to the early nineteenth century, and God wants you, too. (He’s not as mean looking as Uncle Sam, however.)
He wants you, period. He does not have a list of qualifications. He won’t give you a physical. You don’t have to pass a test. He loves you and He wants a relationship with you, and out of that relationship, He will influence others through you. It all happens as you grow in Him.
I write the Catch every day because I believe God gives me things to say every day. I don’t do this because I have arrived at some level of Christian competence that the position requires. I didn’t interview for the job and jump through hoops to get it. I do it out of obedience to a calling, and as I do this, I am aware of many things in my life that are not right. That does not disqualify me from being used of God. I am, like you, in process, and God’s intent is to use me (and you) all along the process. If God asks anything of us it would be described in terms of availability, vulnerability and transparency. These are the qualities that are important to God, and they come through being humbled and broken by Him. We do not achieve vulnerability and transparency, we become this through our losses, not our gains. Our gains only throw us off by giving us false adequacy.
Based on His Grace, we all qualify. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. And when we live our lives as open books, and letters to be read, we are Grace Turned Outward.
Don’t miss my State of the Catch talk tonight at 6pm PDT on Facebook. It will be brief — under ten minutes. It’s important to us all. See you then!