PSALM 12:3-4: “May the LORD close all lips that don’t mean what they say. May he stop every tongue that brags. They say, “What we speak with our tongues will win the battle. What we say with our lips will keep us safe. No one will have victory over us.” (NiRV)
OBSERVATION: Is the battle won by “Grit” or by “Grace”? When I think of “Grit” my mind immediately goes to someone like John Wayne, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In movies, they both portray the type of character that wins the battle at hand by sheer grit and guts! They are self made men. Strong, unwavering, determined, and fearless. If I am honest, this is what I want to be, but in reality, I am not. I am so thankful that God offers grace!
These two verses in Psalm 12 are not speaking of God’s people, but of the sinner that boasts. The person pictured here is the person who boasts of winning the battle through his own effort, strength, and determination. What he says – is what he does. And it is what he says that wins the battle. It is like a mixture of Tony Robbins and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson combined. Nothing can withstand this “true grit”!
But – is this the reality? Is this the secret to living that we are missing? And one of the most important questions is – have we turned our life of faith into a life of rules, confessions, and steps? Is it our effort that brings forth the victory, or is it God’s grace? When Paul exhorts us to take heed lest we fall, he is not thinking of falling back into grave sin and debauchery. Rather, Paul is concerned with the believer exchanging “grace” for “grit”. This is what the religious system of Jesus’ day had done. They had taken God’s perfect law and overlaid it with the commandments of men. These became the test of “true grit”. And these became the very stumbling block that kept them from the kingdom.
So if it is not our “grit”, then what is it?
It is grace alone, and the provision of Jesus’ completed work on the cross!
- “You foolish people of Galatia! Who has put you under an evil spell? When I preached, I clearly showed you that Jesus Christ had been nailed to the cross. I would like to learn just one thing from you. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law? Or did you receive the Spirit by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? You began with the Holy Spirit. Are you now trying to complete God’s work in you by your own strength?” Galatians 3:1-3 NIRV
- “Look at the big letters I’m using as I write to you with my own hand! Some people want others to think well of them. They are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do it for only one reason. They don’t want to suffer by being connected with the cross of Christ. Even those who are circumcised don’t obey the law. But they want you to be circumcised. Then they can brag about what has been done to your body. I never want to brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through that cross the ways of the world have been crucified as far as I am concerned. And I have been crucified as far as the ways of the world are concerned. Circumcision and uncircumcision don’t mean anything. What really counts is the creation of a new nature.” Galatians 6:11-15 NIRV
Is there a place to hold fast to our profession of faith and proclaim the promises of God? Absolutely!
Is there a place to speak to the mountains of life that stand before us, and command them to be cast into the sea? As the Holy Spirit leads and empowers – Absolutely!
Is there a place to take credit for the victories in our lives that come when we do so? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
There are only two things we can boast about – the cross, and the grace of God!
Lord, forgive me for the times when I begin to rely more on “grit” than on “grace”. I humble myself before You today. Give me grace to live in You, with You, and for You! Through the power of Your Cross – help me walk in the fullness of Your victory in my life.
In Jesus Name!