“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” ~ Galatians 4:8-11
I stumbled on this passage tonight. In it, Paul is warning to the Galatians about returning to the practice of obey the laws and rules demanded by their previous religion and the worship of false gods. But, as I was reading it God impressed something on my heart. In the day when those words were written the culture around the Galatian Christians was worshipping all of these false gods. What was happening was that these Christians were returning to their old ways. They were beginning to look more like the culture around them and less like Jesus Christ.
As I read this tonight, God didn’t speak to me about worshipping false gods, he spoke to me about thinking and returning to my old self. He gently reminded me that I should look different than the culture around me. Before I was a slave to a lot of things: work, stress, anxiety, lust, laziness, selfishness, pride, and materialism. But now I know God, or at least he knows me. Why do I continue to embrace these miserable principles? Do I want to be enslaved to them again?
Jesus Christ is victorious over all of those things that I let enslave me! His power, the very power that raised Jesus from the dead, is in me! If I live in Christ I have victory in these things. I must claim it. Praise God.
Jesus, I claim your victory over my sinful inclinations, over stress and anxiety. May I live through your power tomorrow, for your purpose. Amen.
“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. . . So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” ~ Romans 6:4-7, 11