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8 Signs You Love Legalism More Than Jesus

And here’s what legalism knows but won’t tell you. As long as you don’t believe God likes you, you won’t draw near to Him. Legalism never allows you full access to God’s presence. At some point, the “I’m not good enough” or “God isn’t pleased with me” voices will speak to your heart, forcing you to retract.

If you’re a Christian, God doesn’t look at you with a “Lee Trevino in Happy Gilmore” face. God is pleased with you. And, unlike most of us, God isn’t fickle. When you suck at life, his disposition doesn’t change. You can blame Jesus for this. Way to go Jesus. No, seriously. Way to go.

You see, when God sees you, He sees Jesus. Check out Colossians 3:3.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

The cross says God’s favor is on you. God likes you! Rest. In. Him.

2) You have never been sure about your salvation.

“If you died tonight, where would you go (heaven or hell)?” If I heard this question once, I heard it…well…once. After the first time, I placed imaginary muffs over my ears. While I’m not denying the question has sincerely brought people to Jesus, it uses unhealthy fear as the entry point to Jesus. And that’s…unhealthy.

Don’t misunderstand me. You must fear God to experience life in God. But the question above isn’t about fearing God. It’s about fearing hell. This was my entry point to Jesus. And, for years, I thought more about not spending eternity in hell than spending eternity with God.

Years later, here’s what I realized. It’s entirely possible to run away from hell and not run to God.

Again, legalism doesn’t care where you focus as long as you don’t focus on Jesus. Focus on hell, go ahead. Yeah, God saves you from hell. But legalism knows you can’t focus on hell and sustain a relationship with God.

Here’s the irony.

I’m afraid if I asked many Christians where they would go tonight if they died, they might say heaven, but they wouldn’t be entirely sure. They might even tell you they’re sure, but if you asked their heart, you would receive a different answer.

I say this because, as a recovering legalist, I struggled with salvation for years. I thought (kinda, maybe) my salvation was secure. But, in the back of my mind, I wasn’t sure. In reality, my salvation was only as secure as the present day’s actions.

But slowly, Jesus changed my heart. Today, I’m learning to rest in what Jesus has done, not what I did.