“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.” (Galatians 5:1)
Our personal development into emotional health and spiritual health takes time. It does not come overnight. Children develop emotionally over time and eventually learn to think in abstract concepts. Before that day arrives, they are literal thinkers; rules and regulations guide their behavior along with an understanding of the consequences which failure brings. Sometimes, it happens like that for us spiritually, too.
When you are young in the faith, it’s all about doing the right things. You get consumed with the “do’s and the don’ts” to the place where you believe that if you are able to follow the rules, you are just fine and dandy. When you live there, you are often tough on yourself and tougher on those around you who aren’t living up to your standards. Like a modern day Pharisee, you become a spiritual sheriff, while at the same time, you have difficulty keeping the very laws you are enforcing. That’s a painful place to live. It’s painful for yourself and you can bet you are creating pain in the lives of others. It’s almost like being in chains which you have forged for yourself and others. As long as you can hear the clanging of rattling chains, you feel all is right in the world.
This is not how God intended it to be. Jesus has set you free! I mean, really free! Because you are loved in Christ, completely acceptable to God in the finished work of Christ on your behalf, you are secure. The chains are gone and now you can spread your wings and fly. However, if you have lived your life by the “do’s and don’ts,” then that becomes your default plan. When in doubt, find the rule and if you can’t find a rule, make one up. God doesn’t want you to live that way. Do you understand?
Because He placed His Spirit within you, which happened at the moment of salvation, He wants you to live in that freedom and flow. It’s completely different from the way you navigated before! Your freedom in Christ is where you must stand firm…not in self-imposed rules. Many find their feet standing firm in the rules of legalism rather than standing firm in the freedom which Christ has provided. If this devotional makes you feel unsettled, it may be that you are standing firm on the wrong foundation. Take a look at your footing today and evaluate just where you are rooted.