Galatians 2:17-21 The Message
17-18 “Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.
19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.”
Wow! The Message, though an interpretation of the Bible, really spells out my “Christian efforts” without Christ: try… fail…Try…Fail. How about you?
Galatians was the next chapter to visit on my journey through the Bible. What I thought was going to be a book of what not-to-dos, flipped to “spiritual rules, regulations, and prayers won’t/can’t save you.” If that’s not clear enough checkout the last verse of chapter 2:
“If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
What the what?!?! Have you ever seen the movie The Passion? The Bible says Jesus was beaten until he was unrecognizable! I can’t even begin to imagine that he sacrificed to that degree for me to feel like I can’t trust him. That somehow, if I break some sort of rule, I need to throw him back up on that cross to die again because obviously he didn’t pay for that sin once and for all.
It’s not about my efforts. I can’t want to be good, because I will fail. The part of this verse that jumped out at me was ‘rebuilding the barns’. I know sometimes life feels like it’s going awesome, then it falls apart and I turn to God. How many times do I feel, “I need to rebuild my life.“ Yeah… Previous life: how did that work out for me? According to this verse if I try to rebuild what I had, I’ll end up getting what I’ve always gotten and end up in the exact same place I am now. Why start a new journey just end up back at the same place?
The question comes up, what else can I do? Low and behold, God gives us the answer:
“I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.”
What if I stop listening to everybody telling me how to act, talk, what to do, what not to do but just hang out with Christ? What if I read His words, act like him, and speak to him as if he’s always with me – because he always is? Treat him like the person and Father that He truly is and recognize His Omni presence? What if I treat Him like he is everywhere, all the time, and there’s nothing I can’t do with his help?
Better yet, what if I get up every morning to be more like Him no matter how anyone else treats me–WHAT?! What if I trust God to be other people’s “ever present help in time of need” and let myself off the hook to please others or think it’s my responsibility to make everyone around me happy? What if I embrace that feelings are a choice? Don’t believe me? How many times have you loved on someone so completely you are exhausted only to hear them say, “No one loves me or cares.” Have you ever been seen the worst customer service EVER and the customer was so sweet and caring to the rude employee that you want to fight for them because they HAVE THE RIGHT to be upset?
Truly…like it or not, you cannot MAKE anyone FEEL anything–we all choose our feelings.
What if I stop to LISTEN to Him? Am I hearing Him say, “ I know you love others. Stop letting them lean on you to make them happy so they can lean on ME. I love you. Let ME be their God, Father, Provider, and Protector. You, without meaning to, are being their god and you are more concerned about pleasing them than you are of pleasing Me.”
I need to let Him Father me❤️
Wow… Treat God like God? Who would’ve thought? It’s a new year and a new journey. Away we go!
Until next time: Blessings!