Over the past few months as I have been studying the book of Galatians for my new devotional journal, God has been teaching me so much. Before studying the book of Galatians so in depth, I had certainly read it many times, and even memorized several verses from the book. I don’t think I had ever realize how much depth was in the book though, and how relevant it is to my life, as well as the church today.
The book talks so much about the freedom and grace that we find in Jesus. The book talks so much about how salvation is only by His grace, one of my college professors even summarized the theme of the book as, faith plus nothing. But, here is the problem…we as people tend to be doers. We know that our position in Christ is based on grace alone through faith alone, but somehow we think that we need to do certain things, or keep to a list of standards and rules to stay in God’s favor. We think that our spiritual maturity is measure by how many rules we follow, and how many things we don’t do. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that one someones life has been transformed by Christ that there will be things in their life that will probably change. But it is so easy to focus on producing outward changes that have not reached the heart. We live a life trying to try harder, and do better, when we should be living a life resting in His grace and constantly drawing near to Christ. We should be asking Him to make us more like Himself, instead of trying to do the things that will make other people think that we are more spiritual than we are.
When we walk with the Lord it will affect the things that we do, but doing things does not make us have a walk with Him. We get it backwards so often. We try so hard to change ourselves, to do what we are supposed to do to give an outward appearance of righteousness. When really it is all Him, when we stay close to Him, He will change us. The gospel tells us that we can do nothing in ourselves to make us holy, it must be Christ working in us.
Instead of being consumed with following a list of dos and don’ts, I pray that we will instead run to Jesus. I pray that we will cling to Him, spend time with Him, and let Him transform us. Instead of being obsessed with trying to make others think we look spiritual, and holy…let us run to the Holy one.
The new Freedom and Grace study on the book of Galatians will be available Thursday, July 31.