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Brother Love
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« on: July 09, 2004, 04:48:14 AM »

By Steve McVey

Legalism -- it's killing many in the modern church.  As they did in the ancient church.  In the first three verses of Galatians 3, Paul sets diplomacy aside and attacks the cancer of legalism in the church at Galatia.  With determination and passion, he wrote:

"You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you?  Have you taken leave of your senses?  Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.  Let me put this question to you: how did your new life began?  Was it by working your heads off to please God?  Or was it by responding to God's message to you?  Are you going to con- tinue this craziness?  For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God.  If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?"(The message)

I wonder what Paul would say if he visited the typical American church today.  Driven by duty, many Christians are burning out trying to jump through enough hoops to gain God's blessings.  It's not love that motivates many, but hope that they can somehow be blessed on the basis of what they do.  They have unknowingly become slaves of the law, trying to achieve by self effort a quality of life that God says can only be experienced as a free gift.  Paul plainly states the purpose of the law:

"It's purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God, and therefore to show us the futility of devising some religious system for getting by our own efforts what we can only get by waiting in faith for God to complete His promise.  For if any kind of rule -- keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time" (Galatians 3:21-22).

If trying harder isn't the answer, then what is the answer?  It is an answer so simple that many contemporary Christians won't accept it. The answer is -- trust.  It's that simple.  Our role is simply to trust in God to accomplish in and through us all that He has promised to do.  As has been often said, God loves you and has a plan for your life.  But it's a plan you can neither work up nor pray down.  Your part is to rest in Christ, knowing that "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it."

"But don't we have to do our part?" work-a-holics will ask.  Of course we do.  Our part is to trust.  It isn't a passive lifestyle at all.  If you think it is, I challenge you to try it.  Trusting continues to be one of the most challenging aspects of my faith. It's easier for me to do something, to do anything, than trust.

I'm like Abraham, when he thought going to Hagar made more sense than waiting on God to give him a child through his aging- faster - by -the - moment wife, Sarah.  I'm like the disciples in the upper room who said, "Let's vote on a new apostle," when all they had been told to do was tarry.  I'm like Peter chopping off a soldier's ear, blind to the big picture.  Do something, even if it's wrong.  That fits more comfortably for me.

However, that isn't what we're called to do. We are called to trust.  We act when, and only when, God says to act.  Anything more is wasted efforts that fall under the "wood, hay, and stubble" category.

Are you burning out trying to do something for God.  Stop. Don't knock yourself out for nothing.  Wait on the Lord.  Trust Him.  He will accomplish everything that He has planned for your life.  In the meantime, put your eyes on His face.  Sigh a sigh of relief and rest.  Some are killing themselves trying to do what God never asked them to do.

Don't let legalism kill you.  Relax, enjoy Jesus and enjoy the journey!



Posted By Brother Love Smiley

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Brother Love
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2004, 12:05:27 AM »

Don't let legalism kill you.  Relax, enjoy Jesus and enjoy the journey!


Read it on line for "FREE"


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