Dot your T's and cross your I's.
Sounds pretty silly doesn't it. Read it again if you missed it. It's easy to do if your read it or someone says it fast. It sounds like it's supposed to, until you realise that it's backwards.
It sounds like the saying that means get everything perfect and do it just the right way. But it actually makes no sense. If you did that - put dots on t's and crosses on i's - you would be achieving the opposite of getting things perfect.
Religion can be like that. We think a set of rules and doing everything just the right way will make it all work. But it's actually backwards. Religion can actually sometimes cause us to achieve the opposite of what we are meant to.
But the enemy likes to say it to us fast. Make us skip over it quickly, so we think we are seeing and hearing all the right things, so it must be right. He makes us miss the fact that it is all in the wrong order. All the right parts in the wrong places makes a big difference sometimes.
Rules cannot take the place of relationship. Doing all the 'right' things doesn't take the place of a right heart. Ritual doesn't take the place of devotion and love.
The devil likes to make us believe his version of things where we are still sinners in chains, who have to get the paperwork right to get free. And then he reminds us constantly that we don't know how to get it right.
Striving to get everything perfect actually gets in the way of what God has for us - because we never can get it perfect. We'll never attain that goal. Trying to will only distract us from really knowing God.
Because God is the only one who can make things perfect. God is the only one who can put things in the perfect order, the right parts in the right places. He has already done that for us.
Grace means that God's got everything covered. If and when we mess things up, it doesn't matter because God has already done it all. He's already crossed those t's. And he has won. He has triumphed over sin and death.
Because of Jesus, when God looks at us he doesn't see a messed up person who can't manage to live up to His rules. He doesn't see a failure in need of punishment. He sees a child, a pure, white, cherished creation. And he loves you.
Don't you just want to lay down everything you've been carrying and searching for to get it right, lay down the lies and the misdirection you've been struggling with, and just bask in that love?
Peace and joy. (Romans 5:1-11)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.