If on the one hand you want to experience God bad enough but on the other hand don’t realize how miraculous this is, your supposed quest for deep spirituality, your quest for God’s presence, will not really be a quest for God’s presence. It’ll be a quest to control God. It’ll be a quest, not to be with God, but to be God.
So if we in any way claim that achieving this deep spirituality is an act of ours, we deny the very grace that we seek. Grace is skittish in this way—as soon as you try to grasp grace with your own power, you’ve destroyed it. If grace isn’t free, it’s not grace. And to think otherwise is not just wrong. It’s not just an understandable mistake. It’s a hostile kind of evil that quietly but viciously combats the very heart of the gospel.
You see, God’s grace isn’t free because it’s cheap. It’s not free because He’s just trying to make life a little easier on us. It’s free because it’s priceless. It’s un-purchaseable. You cannot buy it. You cannot earn it. You cannot coerce your way into it. You cannot manipulate yourself or your life or your appearance or your God into giving it to you. And this may sound like bad news, but this is the best news. We get far more than we could ever imagine, much less accomplish. Grace gives us better. Grace gives us more. Grace gives us the fullness of God Himself. Grace means Jesus did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. Grace means Jesus became like us so that we might one day become like Him.
This grace is extravagant. This grace is truly good news. This grace is what Simon the Magician finally came to understand in Acts 8:4-25.