Drew and Bree tease me continually! You see, I am a rule keeper. For me, order in my life keeps me grounded. My books are in alphabetical author order, as were CD’s, my DVD selection is in order of categories, science fiction, crime drama, adventure, romance- well to the extent that I can put DVD’s in order they are. This has therefore been a challenge for me to consider, is control an idol in my life?
In the Old Testament we read and wonder why Israel would get freedom from Egypt and want to return to slavery again. Why would the Galatians of the first century with freedom in Christ want to turn back to the regulations of the law? Paul’s point to them: Your salvation is God’s initiative. You did worship dead idols in the past but now you worship the living and true God. Why turn back?
Did the Galatians think that the new faith in the one true God required these forms of worship to be acceptable? Formally the Galatians lived as slaves in spiritual bondage. The Galatians worshipped false gods. In Acts 14:8-20 we read that Paul healed a crippled man in this region. It attracted a crowd and the Galatians mistakenly thought that Paul was a god who had come down in human form. They called Barnabas Zeus and they thought Paul was the god Hermes. The crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But Paul called them to turn from these worthless things to the living God (Acts 14:15). Now these other believers have come along and required certain things that made worship orderly, and controlled. The Galatians were now in Bondage to the Old Testament law. They started observing special days and months and seasons and years, because they believed that this was what they had to do to worship the God they had come to know!
Our faith resides in Christ alone, who he is, and what he has done. Other things may help us to live the life of faith, but they are not the substance of our relationship with God. Are there things in your life of faith that have become so important, that without them, you feel that you cannot worship the one true God you have come to know and love? Do you impose these restrictions upon others? Has like and preference turned to control, for you, and an imposing onto others?