9:Obstacles to Grace

Key points:
  • All Christians encounter obstacles in their life of grace, and it’s not a sign of personal failure or weakness.
  • Temptation itself is not sin; knowingly departing from God’s way is sin.
  • Temptation is not from God.
  1. Sin leads to alienation from God. This does not mean that he loves us less, it means that his love is ‘blocked’ by ourselves.
  2. Obstacles arise from living in a society with un-Godly values (the World); from our human instincts and desires (the Flesh); and directly from forces of evil (the devil.)
  3. Overcoming obstacles to grace is not automatic: there are things that can help us, but ultimately it depends on us to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in overcoming them.

It would be the stuff of fairy tales to imagine that once we accepted Jesus as Lord, the whole of our lives would be carried forward on a floating cushion of protection from all evil. It is the experience of most Christians that the more you put your head above the parapet and strive towards God, the more you experience opposition from the evil one. You might say that if you’re not bothered about God then satan doesn’t need to be bothered about you. So, it’s important that we realise that if when we leave this Cursillo time together we do so with renewed enthusiasm, we may also expect and be ready to recognise such opposition.
This should not be daunting! We will carry forward not just St Paul’s armour (Eph.6) but some new Cursillo ideas and techniques to help us unleash the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat the enemy. Remember – there may be battles still to fight, but the war has already been won by Christ on the cross.