I honestly don’t know when I became such a rebel. Growing up, I was always such a goody-goody, and followed every rule set for me. However, somewhere along the line, I started to question the rules, and decided to bend (and sometimes break) the ones I didn’t agree with. Even in my walk with the Lord, it’s been a journey of listening to where God’s calling me as a last resort, only after I try it my way 100 times. This past week on project, we’ve been studying Galatians 3 and 4. In these chapters, Paul discusses the law with the Galatians. It’s been this week that I’ve realized that I’ve been believing some hard-core lies about the law. Because I had grown to hate rules, I had a very negative view on the law. However, during bible study on Tuesday night, someone brought up that the law is a reflection of God’s character. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this, but at the core, I’ve realized a lie I’ve been believing. I believed that because legalism is bad, all rules are bad.
God gives His people rules for their protection. He desires to protect His children from their own sin. However, we are sinners; we are rebels. We break the rules and then wonder why we are unhappy, in danger, or unhealthy. Here’s what I’m starting to believe – God set the law, therefore the law is good. Obviously, we should not idolize the law or follow rules just for the sake of following them, but they are in place for a reason. My heart has been softened to God’s rules. They exist so I can experience the fullness of His character. I am not a slave to the law, my salvation is from my faith in Christ, not from obeying rules and performing, but by obeying the law I bring glory to God.
One example of this is in purity. In today’s society, and even in my own heart, there is the temptation to believe that purity is not worth striving for. It is pointless; it is impossible. However, Matthew 5:8 states, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Yes, purity is hard, and those who seek it strictly out of legalism will most likely not be successful, but by desiring to obey this command and relying on God to do so, He will reward you. For me, it would be really easy to rebel against this law (not just mentioned in this passage, but also in Galatians 5, 1 Corinthians 6, Ephesians 5 and 1 Thessalonians 4), and fulfill my fleshly desires. However, if I want to see God, if I want to wholeheartedly experience Him, it important to obey the laws He has set for me. He does not love me any less when I fail to obey His laws, He knows I will fail in some way or another, but I want to see Him. The laws are for my good, so that I can experience His love more, not for His good; God does not use the law as a report card, my salvation is not tied to the law. There is freedom in Christ, there is no condemnation for those who mess up, the law is simply in place so I can experience God more fully.
My prayer is that by exploring God’s laws, you may be able to experience God more personally. I pray for my own heart, that I do not use the law as a measure of my own goodness, but that I remember that I am a broken little sinner who needs the law so that she can follow God better.