Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 13, 2020
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? Galatians 3:1-3
As a child, I absolutely loved the story of the tortoise and the hare. I can still remember the feeling of shock and wonder as the tortoise crossed the finish line, much to the surprise of the hare and anyone who’s ever heard the story. Why? Because every indicator points to the hare’s certain victory! And yet, simple as the story may be, it contains within it several profound lessons: It’s not how you start but how you finish. Do not over estimate yourself or your abilities. Do not despise how God has made you. Victory is found in steady faithfulness, tending to the gifts you have been given. That’s a lot of wisdom for such a simple story!
In Galatians 3, Paul offers a strong word of correction to a group of Christians that started their faith journey well, yet were now fading and falling away halfway through the race. To their credit, they began the journey where each of us must begin- empowered and animated by the life-giving Spirit of God. Life in the Spirit is the only hope you have of finishing well. We know this to be true because the Spirit is not only our strength and animating power but he is the goal and destination itself! Our final destination is communion with the Holy Trinity, and God begins that work of relationship right here and now, guiding our steps to this perfect end.
Yet, like the Galatians of old, how tempting is it for us to turn away from the life of faith and trust and take matters into our own hands? Though the law was unable to deliver the life it pointed to, it was safe and secure. Freedom in the Spirit is a process of transformation, and change is disorienting and uncomfortable. When you and I feel unsettled and vulnerable, we are tempted to grasp for the known and familiar, rarely stopping to ask if it is actually for our good!
The life of faith asks of us stability and faithful trust, day in and day out. We must resist the urge to rush ahead and trust in our own abilities and natural reason, learning from the folly of the hare. Instead, if we can learn to be attentive to God’s still small voice, following the Spirit as he leads, we will, like the wise tortoise, journey with peace along the way and unspeakable joy as we reach our final destination.
Father, teach us to live by the Spirit, each and every day finding you to be our life and the way of peace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Does your journey through life right now look more like the tortoise or the hare?
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Victory is found in steady faithfulness, tending to the gifts you have been given. #WisdomHunters #Spirit #truth #Jesus
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