Unlike mercy which is obtained, Grace is to be found. As we saw in the previous article, (CRYING OUT FOR) THE MERCY SEAT, mercy cleans us up and makes us appear ‘white as snow’ before God, but the place of Grace must not be overlooked. Grace is what fills up after mercy cleans up.
When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first… Matthew 12:43-45 (NIV)
From the above scripture, we see an eye-opening picture painted. What mercy does is to put our spiritual house clean and in order but from the above, we see that just that is not enough. In order to keep that house in order, we need grace. Grace is what fills our ‘house’ up, so we don’t leave in empty and put ourselves at risk.
Now, it’s important to note that none of this can act as a substitute for the other. The house must first be clean and then it must be filled. This is why mercy and grace go hand in hand and cannot, or rather, should not, be craved for without the other.
This means that for us to stand in grace before God, we first must access the key of mercy.
And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Exodus 25:22 (KJV)
From the above scripture, we also see that the Mercy Seat is our meeting place with God, and only those who perfect themselves as vessels of mercy qualify for the filling of grace.
One of the profound statements made by Bishop David Abioye is, “Mercy covers our errors and grace colours our efforts.” This statement cannot be any truer because before we can enjoy the colour, we first must be erased of the errors and so, this paints a beautiful picture of what mercy and grace truly do for us, as believers.
Now, not everyone enjoys the same level of grace.
This is because the depth of mercy we access, determines the height of grace we attain. It is the proclamation of His mercy that releases the grace of His hand.
What makes mercy so important in accessing grace is that, mercy is for the unqualified. Therefore, until we understand that we do not qualify for God’s grace but only enjoy the grace by His mercy, we are not entitled to enjoy this grace.
Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. I Corinthians 8:2 (NLT)
The above scripture reiterates the last stated point. From all of the above, we see that mercy qualifies us and grace empowers us, and you cannot be empowered if you don’t qualify.
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. I Timothy 1:12-13 (KJV)
Mercy starts the work and grace completes it. By this, we understand that mercy takes care of the past while grace takes care of the future.
Following the previous article, (CRYING OUT FOR) THE MERCY SEAT, we see that we can come near by the Blood and we can stand by by mercy. Also, from the above today, we see that by grace we can go up, ensuring our access to His glory which makes us shine forth.
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it! Zechariah 4: 6-7 (NLT)
If our mountains must become plain, then there must be shouting of grace!
Therefore, go with the consciousness that as you’ve obtained mercy, you now can be filled with grace; to whatever level you desire.
Until next time,