Galatians 5:13-16 – “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” NASB
There is much said today about “freedom” and “liberty” and rightly so. I hear a lot about “rights” and that’s not a bad topic to discuss. Yet, I must ask, “What shall we do with freedom, liberty, and rights?” If we are talking politically that is one matter. If we are talking socially that is yet another matter. But, if we are speaking spiritually then we find some very clear directives from the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which not only affect our spiritual lives but also every facet of our existence. Here in Galatians he gives us some clear and easily understood guidance:
- We were called to FREEDOM. (Freedom from the bondage and ravages of sin. Freedom from eternity in Hell. Freedom to move from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Freedom to love, forgive, serve, and live the abundant life Jesus purchased for us.)
- He warns against turning our FREEDOM into an opportunity for the flesh. (Instead of making ourselves the center of our universe we are to make our universe – – Christ, then others, then self and through His grace, love, and mercy minister to and serve one another. We are to be Good Samaritans demonstrating LOVE. Loving others as much as we love ourselves and for some that would be an enormous undertaking.)
- He warns us that if we bicker and squabble we do so to our detriment. (So often in Church the squabbles are over petty things, not real issues. That is true in so many areas of life that it would take too long to try to enumerate them. We too frequently major on minors and minor on majors.)
- Then he gives us the key – “Walk by the Spirit, and you WILL NOT carry out the desire of the flesh.”
That is a simple charge but difficult for human beings to do! The only way we can fulfill this directive is to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” We must follow the truth of Scripture that “We must decrease but He (Christ) must increase.” We must submit our will to His will and become a true doulos or bond-slave of Christ, which is not servitude but service and relationship. It is allowing Him to live His life through us and “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Let’s make that our objective as we turn the next page of our life and begin writing the next chapter!
I pray the blessings of the LORD upon you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus. May your day be joyous and filled with the peace, power, and presence of the Lord!