Fun activity: Go to www.biblegateway.com (I LOVE this site!) and choose a book of the Bible. Turn up the speakers and let Max McClean read it to you. Have some paper and a pen and just write the phrases (don’t take dictation) that stand out to you – words that sizzle and pop in your heart!
Today I listened to a book with 6 chapters. You could listen and hear a totally different message, but you can see, for me, with a lifelong history and struggle with ‘fear of man’ (approval addiction, craving affirmation, jumping through people’s insatiable hoops, strong need to please) the power-phrases are about living to please God and God alone. In this book, the church was being led back into bondage through the issue of circumcision, but in our day it can be a prayer meeting (people either inviting you and treating you like less of a Christian if you don’t go, or even being told there is a prayer meeting going on that you are not invited to because it is only for deep intercessors) or your giving record or your church attendance or serving or lack thereof, really, any psuedo-super-spiritual way one Christian uses to make another feel less holy, condemned, enslaved. But here, God is saying You’re free. You’re a child and heir to the Promise, born to a free woman. Live a life of faith expressed in love. Receive grace and walk in the Spirit (not man-made law and control). There is good fruit there!
Guess which book of the Bible I was hearing and receiving….
sent not FROM men nor BY men…grace and peace from God and Jesus…who gave Himself to RESCUE us…I am astonished…you’ve turned to a different gospel…if anybody is preaching a different gospel – let him be eternally condemned…I received by revelation from Jesus…zealous…I did not consult any man…I went in response to a revelation…sent to spy on the freedom we had…to those who seemed to be important – they meant nothing to me…recognized the grace given to me…REMEMBER THE POOR…afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision…faith IN Jesus Christ, not by observing the law…If I rebuild what I destroyed I prove I am a lawbreaker…Who has bewitched you?…Are you trying to attain your goal by human effort?…believers are children of Abraham…The righteous will live by faith…Christ became a curse for us…To Abraham and his seed – one person, Christ…the law did not do away with the promise…the law…was because of transgressions…if a law had been given that could impart life…locked up until faith should be revealed…Baptized INTO Christ…Abraham’s seed and heir according to the promise…full rights as sons…no longer a slave, but a son, an heir…WHY ARE YOU TURNING BACK TO THOSE WEAK AND MISERABLE PRINCIPLES?…What has happened to all your joy?…zealous…for no good…It is fine to be zealous provided the purpose is good…slave woman – free woman…The women represent two covenants…(Be glad, o barren woman, Is. 54)…YOU…are children of PROMISE…we are NOT children of the slave woman, but of the FREE WOMAN…it is FOR FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE…you have fallen away from grace…the ONLY thing that counts is FAITH expressing itself in LOVE…as for those [circumcision] agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves…live by the Spirit and you’ll not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…but the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS…Keep in step with the Spirit…
His yoke IS easy and His burden IS light. Just trying to keep in step with the Spirit today, joyfully, freely…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Lift my standards and demands off people’s necks, too, so they can stay free. If I am requiring anything of them God doesn’t, I become the ‘bewitcher’ – the yoke-inducing controller and manipulator, the one Paul curses to eternal damnation for preaching any other gospel…