I've been taking part in Kristin Schmucker's 31 days of scripture challenge. From the moment I committed to this, God has reminded me to stick to it! I committed to setting my alarm for 6:45am every morning so that I can hopefully spend 30 minutes in solitaire before my little man wakes up. Let me tell you… on the days I didn't set my alarm, I was wide awake at 6:50am. No matter what. God definitely wanted me to dig in and use that time alone in the morning to do it. I chose to read Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians. One chapter a day, digging into the words of truth.
Galatians chapter 5 was one that I could not stop writing in my prayer journal about. There was so much truth a goodness that Paul was speaking to these people and those same truths still hold true in our spiritual lives today. I think I copied half the verses down. Here's some that stood out to me:
"Stand fim, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
This was my reminder that it was always God's intention for us to be free in Christ. That's why he sent his only Son to die a horrific death on the cross for the people he loved. He wanted us to be free. Don't let sin make you a slave. Sin can become chains that imprison you and hold you back from freedom. Break every chain and stand firm so that you are not burdened by sin. Verse 13 also talked about how we are called to be free. And in the notes there it says, "True Christian liberty is not license to sin but freedom to serve God and one another in love."
"In Christ, neither circumcision or uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:6
Back in this day, many people believed that following the law was above all else. But the problem was that many people who followed the law were not right with God in their heart. They thought if they followed the rules then they were fine. Not so… it's a matter of the heart and how we love one another. The notes in my Bible say "Faith is a living trust in God's grace that expresses itself in acts of love."
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" Galatians 5:7
I could probably write a whole post on this. It's so good. Paul says, "You guys… you were doing great in your spiritual life with Christ. You were believing, trusting, hoping, and loving Him. You were running a good race. What happened? Who jumped in front of you and made you stray? Who has caused you to disobey?" I pictured myself running a race, knowing why I was running and who I was running for. Then someone cuts right in front of me and starts telling me all the reasons I shouldn't be running, making me questions why I'm running, making me doubt the truths I have known. My friends… has something or someone cut in front of your spiritual run with Christ? What has caused you to disobey or question the God you're running for?
"Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you'll be destroyed by each other." Galatians 5:14-15
Whoo… there's a warning. The command says to love your neighbor as yourself. That means selfless, servant, love. If we continue to tear each other down, be disrespectful to one another, and compete against one another… they we will be destroyed by one another.
"Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desire what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature." Galatians 5:16
When we choose to live our lives according to the Spirit of Christ and His commands then we are not satisfying our sinful nature, or Satan's desire for us. Our sinful nature is completely on opposite spectrums than the Spirit. When you choose to sin, you choose to disobey God. When you choose to obey God, you defy the Devil. Living by the promptings and power of the Spirit is the key to conquering sinful desires.
And finally… the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23