Galatians | Week 9
Faith is enough
In Chapter 4 of Galatians Paul is trying again to convince the Galatians that if they would only keep the faith instead of taking matters in their own hands, they would avoid getting themselves into a big mess. To do this he uses the example of Abraham. God promises him a son…and he starts seeing his hair getting grayer and grayer and he starts questioning if God is going to keep his promise. He starts to say to himself, “in order to bring about God’s promise I’m going to have to start taking matters into my own hands and sleep with another woman.” And he does! I think most of us probably would agree that the best way to bring about God’s abundant life is not to deliberately sin. But in some ways this is what a lot of us do when we are faced with having to wait for blessings. Now, I don’t know what you might be waiting for, but whatever it is, stay strong, have faith, the master is coming for you! Paul makes it very clear in this passage that we are NOT descendants of the slave women that Abraham slept with. We are not members of the “Take Matters in to our own hands” family. We are members of the “God is faithful to fulfill his promise” family. You see the Galatians were not trusting God’s promise and we’re attempting to bring about their own righteousness by choosing to live under the law instead of the freedom of Christ. So this week, let’s be people full of patience and faithfulness that God will fulfill his promise. Let’s not take things back into our own control because it’s not happening as fast as we’d like. After all, if the matters are in God’s hands, that is the best place for them to be!
Take a personal inventory of the promises in your life that you are still waiting for God to fulfill. Maybe you are waiting for success in your career, your relationships, your health or some other dream you’ve carried in your heart for years. Ask God to help you stay strong and faithful as you place it in His hands.
Questions for Reflection
- Is there something you have been thinking of taking action on yourself because you don’t think God has paid attention to your prayers? If you wait on God, what is the worst that might happen?
- Do you know anyone personally who might be considering taking matters in their own hands rather than waiting and trusting God for an answer? Pray that God would strengthen them, and be an encouragement if you have the opportunity to do so.
Read Genesis chapter 17. In this chapter God changes Abram and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah, institutes circumcision as a sign of the covenant and responds to Abraham’s request for God to recognize Ishmael. Consider how this all relates to our being under the law versus being under grace.