After I read my devotions this morning, God led me over to the book of Galatians. With only 6 chapters, I was able to read it in one sitting. I really tried to sit there and let God teach me what he wanted me to learn. Thinking back on yesterdays post of how I have been feeling straggling behind in my walk; God quickly reminded me in Ch. 1 v.15 that just like Paul, we are set apart from birth by God, and called by His grace, who reavealed His son, that we may preach the good news among the gentiles. In Ch. 2, Paul continues, “Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem… ” That gave my impatient heart a bit of a breather. It reminded me again, that indeed, God takes his time with us, preparing us for His purposes. I know too, from recalling some old testament stories, that it was many times in a man’s or profits old age, that they would finally fulfill the call that God had put before them. This life of following after God and His righteousness is clarified in Ch. 2 when Paul has to distinguish the difference of living under the Law and Living unto the Spirit of God through Christ Jesus. v.20 capitulates this when it states “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. v. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.” Ch 3. continues this explanation inv. 5 “Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? v 6. Consider Abraham “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”. I can’t tell you the number of people I know that think that if they are just good enough they are going to make it into heaven. If I Just volunteer, am a kind, loving person. This is especially hard when I have to deal with fellow Christians who are not fully grasping the full potential of their faith, and live in loneliness, doubt, fear and anxiety for tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with life issue too, but I have learned that when the storms of life do come, to automatically turn to Jesus. It’s something I’ve had to learn over and over and over again, but I think each time I learn to surrender, I get stronger, and bolder. I think the hardest part of being a Christian sometimes is watching others not overcome in their faith; not taking seriously the importance of Bible study, of spending time with God, of just letting God in when there is a need to be met, or maybe even a spiritual nudge. True, I don’t know peoples hearts, but I am a firm believer that our faith will be displayed in how we walk out our lives. This too, I have been reminded lately to be on my guard as a Christian. I’ve realized that when you step out in you faith and start getting bold in The Spirit , people will start taking notice and start watching you ever so closely. This happened to me this previous week, and I found myself defending a minor issue, but none the less, God was reminding me at a few different times throughout the week to be on my guard and to really try and discipline myself with righteousness, because people will be quick (as I found out), to call you out on your faith. Going back to Galatians, in Ch. 5, this is exactly what is warned to us. v 7. “you were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? v 8 that kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. v 9 A little bit of yeast works through the whole batch of dough”. As Christians taking a stand for Christ, we need to be watchful of things that will not only lur us away, but make us stumble in the eyes of everyone else who is watching us so intently. This is a real scary place to be in our faith, when we abandon it all for Christ, but it is what He calls us to do, and we have to remember that we will be able to accomplish all things and truly live righteously for Him when we rely on His Spirit to not only guide our understanding, but to take control of every area of our lives; our thought, our words, our actions. I think V. 16 in Ch. 5 sums this up pretty good: “so I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. V 17. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. We need to continually be aware of the acts of the sinful nature and desire the fruits of the Spirit: v 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. v 25 Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit. Lord help us to remember that even though through your son Jesus, our Savior, the law of old has been abolished and we live freely through you, and you in us by your Spirit. Help us to live in the righteousness that you have called us to, and let us become strong in all thing that are Holy, Pure and True of you. In The Power of The Name of Jesus, Amen.