Remember the old saying, “The devil made me do it?” Okay, that might age you but the point is does the devil really have the authority to make you do anything? He temps, deceives and lies but he can’t force us against our will.
Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Christ set us free so our focus could be on Him and not caught or entangled in distractions.
There are many ways we can be caught up in a yoke of slavery. Everything from sports to social media vies for our attention. Verse 1 reminds us to “stand firm” in the freedom we have been given and “do not let yourselves be burdened.” We have a choice; follow Christ or the world. That doesn’t mean we are to isolate ourselves from society, simply do not to become entangled in its values and lose focus of the One who set us free.
Too many times it is not the devil that makes us do something; but we allow ourselves to follow worldly desires. Verse 16 provides an answer, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
How do you “live by the Spirit” to avoid becoming entangled in worldly things?
I reclined in the chair with my little grandson, Liam, asleep on my lap and watched his peaceful face. My heart overflowed with love. Of course, he was my grandson and I felt a close bond. I would do anything for him.
This is the type of love I believe Mother Teresa must have felt for all God’s children. She worked with the under-privileged, the sick and the destitute as if each were her own. Jesus said in Matthew 25:45, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” To this dedicated servant every person represented God, who created all.
I work to help feed the homeless and the hungry. I care about them but they don’t stir the same feeling in my heart as Liam does. Sometimes I don’t feel any love for them until after I have reached out to help. God gave me a desire to help the needy. And He will fill me with His love for them. But can I really except to love them like I do my precious grandson?
Has God given love for someone who you didn’t think you could love? How did that affect you?
Psalm 119 says in verse 2, “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” The author is referring to believers who make studying and following God’s word their first priority. Their efforts will be blessed. With riches? Power? Fame? He doesn’t explain his blessing until verse 35, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”
The author is blessed because he finds delight in following God’s word. He continues; verse 42, “I trust in your word;” verse 49, “you have given me hope;” verse 52, “I remember your ancient laws, O Lord, and I find comfort.”
Delight, trust, hope and comfort; are things we blessed with in our Christian life. But sometimes we can take them for granted. Have you ever forgotten about your delight in the Lord when someone cuts you off in traffic? Have you relied on your worry when waiting for an important answer instead of trusting God? Has your focus on problems ever stolen your hope and comfort?
Chaos and busyness in our lives can take our focus away from our Lord and Savior. We allow the challenges of our day to distract from our relationship with God then we give up our delight, trust, hope or comfort.
You can reclaim your blessings by studying his word and seeking him with all your heart.
Has there been a time when you were unhappy because you were not allowing God to be a part of your life? How did you reclaim your blessing?