Life Journal (11/6/2015) – Working Too Hard

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! 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? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. 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?

Observation

  • 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”

Application

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?

Prayer

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.

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