“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-”
The power of the gospel is intrinsically satisfied in itself, it does not need man to add too it or water it down. The gospel is pure and does not need our help to become “relevant” and we don’t need to strive to “make Jesus cool”. This verse is even further proof of how Satan works, taking the purest gift ever given to man and twisting it into a “different gospel”. I was reading through Galatians 2 about a week ago and a verse seemed to really stand out to me more than any other time I had read it. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” WHOA WHOA WHOA. So basically, if I try to earn my righteousness by obeying the law then it’s basically like I’m saying I can do this life without Christ and basically he died for no purpose. I’ve always hated my pride, but this verse made me despise it, which is a good thing. My pride really isn’t “oh I’m so amazing, I’m so righteous la la la” my pride is more “it’s okay God, I got this one, I know you know what your doing but I can handle this.” I tend to try to carry the weight of everything, try to handle it all. I’m a jack-of-all-trades, master of none because I tried just about all of them. Growing up the way I did, I did have to grow up in about 5 minutes. I will never forget when God really broke into my life about my pride in such a tangible way. I had just found out some rough news, I ran out the door, I had no destination, I just started running. Running for me has always been the best way to think and the best way to put life into perspective, reminding myself the race of the Christian faith. So there I was, alone, planning how I would solve the situation, if that doesn’t show how far off I was, the next part will. I was sitting on a bench, in a park somewhere, just crying. I out loud said, “God I’ve already been through so much and this one I just can’t handle, I’m done, I can’t carry this one.” and in a still small voice I heard, “my daughter you were never supposed to carry any of it” baffled I rambled onto God the list of things I had to do and the problems of my current life and everything I had to bear and then asked him where he had been. I realized something, the same way I got to the bench was my relationship with God at the time, I was running trying to find perspective and peace, literally searching for it, all the while running farther and farther from it, from God, from the place I knew where to find it this whole time. I had turned to the gospel of trying to do everything on my own, not even trying to earn His love or favour, just trying to survive on my own. In Isaiah 3:18-26 God describes how he is stripping down Judah and Jerusalem down to nothing. God has to do that to us a lot as his people to get our attention. He won’t leave us stripped down and alone, he picks us from the ashes, in verse 4 of Isaiah 4 it says, “when the Lord have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from the midst by a spirit of Judgment and by a spirit of burning,” verse 6 ends the chapter with, “there will be a booth for shade from the heat, and for refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” God is NOT some masochist or evil God who brings us through trials just for pain. He will take our flesh from us, and yes it hurts, but it’s to clothe us in HIS righteousness and so that we would come to the shelter from the storm and take refuge in Him. I can focus on people so much sometimes I neglect God, Isaiah (yes this book has been speaking to me a lot lately) 2:22 says, “stop regarding man I whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?” this is not saying, heyo don’t care for people. Not in the least bit. It’s saying regard God over man, listen to what he says and have your thoughts in tune with what HE thinks. I tend to doubt a lot, I will reach the point where yes I know Gods promises but do I believe them? Then I read John 20 in a whole new light last week. “Doubting Thomas” doubted, ok, and God brought him back to where any man should go when he doubts, back to the scars in his hands and side. When I doubt, I need to go back to the hands of my savior.
Application: I have worn a watch every day on the same wrist for 7ish years, I will wear it on the opposite wrist this week to remember the saviors pierced hands especially when I doubt. It’s something small to do but a good reminder for me.