8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have laboured over you in vain.
Galatians 4:8-10 English Standard Version
What are you doing to make yourself acceptable before God?
After being deceived by the Judaizers, the Galatians went back to the works of the flesh by following the law. They were attempting to earn favour from God by considering certain days and periods more sacred than others. This Old Testament distinction between sacred and secular spaces is obsolete because the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within us shows the wall between the two no longer exists.
The Holy Spirit goes and follows you wherever you may go. This is because you are the sacred temple where God Himself dwells, and as such, you carry God’s presence and power wherever you go.
If we limit or restrict our encounter and experience with God to particular days and locations, we bring ourselves back to trying to gain acceptance with God based on our self efforts and actions in what and how much we do for Him. That means that we have not truly understood the gospel, for it reveals to us that we are acceptable to God because of what Jesus has done at the cross.
Knowing that God inhabits within you through the Holy Spirit transforms how you live your life, and also outwardly how you treat others around you. So whenever you go and no matter how “secular” or “unspiritual” the setting may be, you can transform it into a sacred space. You can bring God’s presence into the situation, and where He is present, His power is more than enough for anything. This explains why Jesus could heal a demon-possessed man living in a cemetery or why Paul did not die after the snake had bitten his hand.
It is not where you are but God who is with you and inside you that makes the difference.
God is never hindered or held back by your surrounding circumstance but through your surrendering and trust in Him, you will see His manifested power through your obedience and actions.
Are you trying to be accepted by God through your good works? Or have you learned to rest in His grace and favour?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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