DAY 14

READ GALATIANS 4:16-20

(Extra Reading: Galatians 4:12-15)

UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED

The people who want you and I to add the works of the law into our lives are usually strong, forceful people. They will exclude you from their inner circles because you are not spiritual enough. They will manipulate you into adding Jewish culture into your life and by demanding that you try harder, work harder, get more disciplined and keep more rules. There is very little to no conversation about the Holy Spirit. The conversation is more about what they say. If you fall for this, your conversation will be more about what they think and what they allow in your life than what the Holy Spirit is saying and leading you in. 
There is no experience of the Holy Spirit in these kinds of circles. There is just more self-effort disguised cleverly as deeper spirituality. You will hear people talk about great spiritual revelations and how the Church is deceived and missed the truth. We need to be extremely careful of anyone who tries to pull us away from genuine church community. We must guard against this with everything inside of us. These kinds of legalistic manipulators will prey on our side to be holy and to know more about God and go deeper in Him, and they will tell us that they have the true revelation. Watch out for anyone who tries to lead you down this road. 

    Paul said to the Galatians that these kinds of legalistic people who made themselves out to have deeper spiritual revelation were zealously courting them, so that the Galatians would be zealous for them in return. Paul goes on to say that being zealous is good, provided that it is zeal the right direction. We should be zealous in our faith, in persisting in faith, not allowing anyone to derail us into some other kind of spirituality that generally excludes the power of the Holy Spirit. The pastoral heart of Paul is so strong here, using the analogy of giving birth to describe how he feels about Christ being formed in the people he loves and cares for. Christ being formed in us is the litmus test of whether we are zealous for the right things or not.

     

      QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

      1. Are the people in my life inspiring me in my faith or adding more burdens to my life?
        2. Do I find myself caring more about what a certain person thinks about my spirituality than about Jesus being formed in me?
          3. Am I more passionate about right and wrong than about the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life?