Do What You Want? – Galatians 5:1

Vol. 2, No. 27 – 7-2-2017

Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 5:1

Neat passage is it not? Christ has set us free! No one can ever put a harness on you. We are free! Bring on life!

St. Augustine spoke a paradox: Love God, and do as you like. Wow, really? We have that kind of liberty? Well, yes; but . . . no.

We have a liberty that is constrained, yet unconstrained. It is constrained as conditional: we are to love God. It is unconstrained with the possibility of doing what we want to do. Puzzling?

What God is doing is limiting us within the confines of love so that He can give us unlimited freedom.

We live in a world of yokes. A yoke is used to join a pair of beasts of burden; a wooden frame fitted around the neck intended to make sure they would remain in subjection, bondage, and enslavement (tough words!). Farmers used yokes for their oxen. Interestingly, if the farmer were to free their oxen, the oxen would not willingly work for the farmer. We are not oxen, but man’s religion is like that.

  • The way of religion is the yoke of the law—legalism
  • The way of grace and mercy is the liberty available only in Christ
  • The way of the yoke is man’s traditions; religious stipulations—it loads down with unbearable pressures of obligation
  • The yoke with man-made rules is in confrontation with the inner discipline of God’s grace

Our relationships and leadership can become a yoke to others.

Quite in contrast is the inner discipline of God, (it is of and) by grace, which yields to God’s Spirit, lives for others, and seeks to glorify the Lord—Warren Wiersbe

Do not let us always be hampered, like poor, half-hatched birds within the egg. May we chip the shell today and get out into the glorious liberty of the children of God—C.H. Spurgeon (in his Volume of Prayers)

How do we lead; how do we relate to people? How do we respond in our emotions, and restlessness?

Jesus says:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.

If we stay in the company of Jesus, we will learn to live and work and serve freely and “lightly.”

How do we speak and make demands of our team, our family, and those we would have serve with us?

Every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. Matthew 36-37

Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders. These are the things which defile the man. Matthew 15:19-20a

What do you want; to love God with His mercy and grace, or to have “freedom of choice.” His love is the liberty of release and victory that comes through our relationship with Him. No other condition is able to free the soul.

The yoke we serve under is quite different than man’s yokes. Jesus makes sure we know the difference. If we are a leader, we are in the process of developing following leaders. What does that look like? Us. Then, it is important that we model the life of Christ so that in our relationships our followers will look like our leader Jesus, — that is a different model than what we often look like.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Scarbro

    We are free to do so much (like an all inclusive resort) but focus on some things that we shouldn’t do (like drink the bleach in the janitorial closet). Things that hurt us and our relationship with God are what we seem drawn to…sin. If we were more thankful for what we have, we wouldn’t worry so much about what we shouldn’t have.

    Reply

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