‘…How different from this way of faith is the way of law…’ Galatians 3:12 NLT
To fulfil God’s will for your life and become the person He wants you to be, you must deal with the ‘me’ you’re afraid God wants you to be. Most people equate spiritual maturity with trying hard to follow the rules of the Bible. But as long as you think God’s aim is to produce rule–followers, spiritual growth will feel like an obligation rather than a desire of your heart. Paul writes, ‘How different from this way of faith is the way of law, which says, “If you wish to find life by obeying the law, you must obey all of its commands.”’ (Galatians 3:12 NLT) Rigid adherence to rules and regulations produces a desire–smothering, emotion–controlling, self–righteous person. The Bible says, ‘…The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.’ (2 Corinthians 3:6 NCV) There’s a big difference between following rules and following Jesus, because you can’t follow Jesus without cultivating the right heart. Jesus didn’t say, ‘I have come that you might follow the rules.’ He said, ‘…I have come that [you] may have life, and…have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10 NKJV) Until you understand that spiritual growth is about God conforming you into the image of His Son Jesus, the question, ‘How’s your spiritual life going?’ will intimidate you. A nagging sense of guilt and deceit will prompt you to say, ‘Not too well. Not as good as it should be.’ People are apt to use external behaviours and devotional practices to gauge their spiritual health. For example, they measure by how early they get up to read and pray, how long their quiet times are, or how often they attend church. That’s not what spiritual formation is about. It’s about your relationship with Christ, not rule–keeping!
SoulFood: 2 Ki 24-25, Luke 19:1-21, Ps 116:1-11, Prov 8:8-9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2015