How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 2

How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 2

We all know it would be good to read the Word of God (or….add any spiritual discipline here). But how come so many Christians go by weeks, month, even years without reading it? The enemy is good in making us believe his lies “you already know all the stories”, “you don’t have time”, it’s boring” etc.

But also anything we “ought to do” gets us to rebel. We might even say “I am not legalistic” as an excuse to not to read the Bible. And to tell the truth, forcing the law on us really isn’t the way to go. Legalism has never produced good and lasting fruit. What to do then? Whenever you don’t know how to proceed: pray. God will reveal his truth to you.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4: 6-7, MSG)

Legalism tries to bend Christianity into something it’s not. Christianity is not a set of rules or certain ways to behave. Christianity is about God’s love towards his children. Legalism in some ways tries to force us to believe that fun is not good. But life is meant to be enjoyed! Just check out this saying of the Jerusalem Talmud: “Every man must render an account before God of all the good things he beheld in life and did not enjoy.” We are meant to seize life and enjoy. Don’t let your days go by in a haze! Life doesn’t have to be extraordinary to be enjoyed. If you live your ordinary life using all of your five senses fully, you are already seizing the day by being strongly present in each moment.

The same goes with Bible reading (or any spiritual discipline). If you read it because you have to, you fly by the verses and nothing stays with you. But if you are reading your Bible using all of your five senses, if you contemplate the Word, let it sink in, let the Holy Spirit open it up for you, there is no end to your joy.

The more we let the Word read us and our lives, the more exciting the Bible comes to us. The more we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we read the Bible, the more exhilarating the process comes and we can’t keep away from reading the Word of God. Because when we have experienced first hand the radical power of the Living Word in our own lives, there is nothing else than will satisfy our spiritual needs. Then we are not reading the Bible because we ought to but because we want to. That’s grace in action. And grace will bear beautiful fruit in due time.

 

Gracious God,
Take away everything that keeps us away from you.
Give us real hunger for your Word.
Let us fall more and more in love with you.
Enable us to understand that you truly love us.
Fill us with your grace, joy and peace.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you fight against legalism?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you bask in God’s grace!

Photo courtesy of Adrian Rodriguez

How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 3.

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