Ordinary Means of Grace
Sometimes, I think we try to make life more complicated than it really is. I think we imagine that our problems are bigger and badder than other people’s, so we need some new or unheard-of solution. So we search and search and read and read and worry and worry, when all the while, the simplest solution is best.
In a recent and excellent article by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, she has this wonderful reminder of the solutions that work:
Why does sin lurk in the minds of believers as a law, demanding to be obeyed? How do we have victory if sin’s tentacles go so deep, if Satan knows our names and addresses? We stand on the ordinary means of grace: Scripture reading, prayer, worship, and the sacraments. We embrace the covenant of church membership for real accountability and community, knowing that left to our own devices we’ll either be led astray or become a danger to those we love most. We read our Bibles daily and in great chunks. We surround ourselves with a great cloud of witnesses who don’t fall prey to the same worldview snares we and our post-19th century cohorts do.
The article talks more about the incredible power of reading to change a person, for better or worse. The things we read matter, and we need to be aware of what we’re “feeding” in our hearts. Anyway, I thought Rosaria’s words were profound and such a good reminder of the “ordinary means of grace” that God has provided for us to be able to overcome sin.
P.S. I read Rosaria’s book last year and was astounded not only by her story, but also at her level of wisdom and obedience to Jesus. I highly recommend it.
(Photo by Ryan Booth on Unsplash)