Scripture Galatians 3:1-5
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4 Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. 5 Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
- Bewitched: Greek word means “to malign” and “to fascinate by false representations”
- Repetition of word “foolish”
- Contrasts, contrasts: works of law vs. belief in words heard, Spirit vs. flesh, repetition of works vs. belief
- What did they receive: Spirit, working of miracles
- Spirit is “supplied” and “received”
Many of us work too hard at faith. Or at acting out our faith. When I was a candidate for ministry completing the initial mentoring process, the mentor assigned to me wrote in a letter that I struggled with grace. By extension I think with faith too.
Paul chastises the Galatians for their sliding into believing that their works under the law of Moses were what mattered. Am I much different? I work hard and there is always more to do. I try and try and end up frustrated at the results. But God is into the Spirit-giving, miracle-working business. Not the law.
Where, today, do I need to work less and trust more? Where, today, do I need to receive more and reach for less?
Come, Holy Spirit, and replace my striving with your presence and power. Nothing I do matters apart from your presence and my having acted not out of a need to do but out of response to your presence in me and your miraculous doing. Come and do today what I cannot. Come and bring your peace and your rest through faith and not through anything I can do or attempt. In the name of Christ. Amen.