There are enemies of grace.
Over the past few years, as I have taught about grace, I have noticed that some people simply don’t want to hear. Others hear but don’t believe. Still others hear and believe, but they find little peace and victory. It can be a frustrating and saddening puzzle.
But this process is familiar, isn’t it? Some hear and get nothing. Some hear and respond and still get nothing. Only a few hear and respond and find the freedom and victory.
Jesus told a parable about the sower who found this same thing happening. Let’s be sure we are in the right perspective. In those days, seeds were scattered by hand, strewn over the prepared soil. That’s what this man did. He reached into his pouch, took out a handful of seed, and threw it over the soil. Then he moved on to wait until harvest. But what happened to the seeds? Well, this is their story.
In order to get to the very edge of the garden spot, some seeds fell on the path. The path was hard and simply would not allow the seeds to take root. And the birds were waiting for the seeds. They came to eat whatever they could grab. Finally, even the seeds that did take root or sprout were choked out by the weeds. Only a percentage of the seeds would survive and produce.
Through the next few posts, I want to look at enemies of grace, the things that work against the message that could change people’s lives. Using the Scripture illustration, I want to group these enemies into three categories: the establishment, the predators, and the competition.
The work of the enemy is part of the story of grace and we will do well to seek to understand it. In fact, this may help all of us to understand why the grace message is so often met with opposition and why some people just don’t seem to care. Some of us have watched formerly good friends walk away after we share the message. Pastors have watched their congregations dwindle or have been asked to leave. Counselors have been told not to use a grace-based counseling method—even in the church. I hope this series of posts will explain what is happening.