Galations, Chapter 5; Praying God’s Will

I’m back! 😀 One of my daughters asked to look through my WordPress back office. She pointed out to me how many posts have been prepared, but not shared, and scolded me. Well…

Baby Melody is turning 5 months old this coming week.

Melody CCCA 4 months

She is a joy, but is one of our more fussy babies. And no wonder! Being #9 is a lot of work… she has to make a loud noise to compete with all the other noise (or so she thinks). Praying this crying someday turns into singing like her name implies. I pray her life will be a joyful noise for the Lord. Meanwhile, keeping up has been more tiring for this homeschooling mama. I may not be posting as often as before summer, but I’m going to heed my daughter’s scolding and try to share something at least once or twice a month.

I had planned to complete this study of Galations in June, but every time I sat down with chapter 5, I felt like I was just running up against a wall. I have read it many times! Going through it later, I saw how much of what God taught me over the summer impacts the depth of understanding I have for Paul’s teaching here. Though it was not ideal to leave the study unfinished, this timing is so much better.

In review, Galations is Paul’s appeal to the church in Galatia, that they would stop listening to certain men who were teaching them that faith in Christ’s death and resurrection was not sufficient for salvation. Instead they insisted that the Galations follow the Old Testament law of circumcision.

Praying Notebook Galations
My Notes:

Galations 5:1– Paul tells the Galations to stand fast in their their freedom in Christ, and not to submit themselves to slavery again by submitting to the law of Moses.

vs. 2-4–{Rabbi’s at that time taught that the law was a whole, and one had to keep all of it. Rejecting one part was the same as rejecting the whole thing.} Therefore, Paul told the Galations that to accept and seek justification through circumcision would obligate them to keep the whole law. This would sever them from Christ, and from God’s unmerited grace…

vs. 5-6– Cirucumcision and un-circumcision mean nothing to those who are in Christ. Only faith working through love counts.

vs. 7-12– A little error, or spiritual malignancy within the church will mislead the whole church (Just as a little yeast will leaven a whole loaf of bread–if you’ve made any of my gluten-free sourdough recipes, you understand this in a big way!). Whoever mislead the Galations would be held accountable.

vs. 13– We are to serve one another in love {Agape}!!

vs. 14– The whole spirit of the law is summed up in the commandments to love God and love others. Again, this is agape love.

vs. 15– Paul tells them to watch out–that if they bite and devour one another that they should look out that they are not consumed by one another. Ha, reminds me of a book I have read to my children called, “No fighting, No Biting”. The “children” in the book are alligators, but any parent can probably identify with those crabby days when it feels like they are biting and devouring one another. How about that person whose moral compass does not lead them to restrain their tongue and we reference as one to avoid confrontation with, lest they “eat you alive.” This is not how we are to conduct ourselves!!

vs. 16-18–Paul says to “walk in the Spirit” so that we will not “gratify the flesh”. In the Old Testament, walking meant “behaving”. Because God has placed His Spirit in us, we are able to live according to His standards rather than giving in to our weak human nature.

vs. 19-21–Here are examples of natural “works” of the flesh, which we are not to engage in because they are against God’s nature: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these.

vs. 22-24–But because we have been given God’s Spirit, our nature has been made new in Christ and our fruit should reflect/be consistent with His nature: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

vs. 25-26--“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Don’t become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” The depth of our relationship with God, and how well we Agape Him directly determines how well we treat others. The two go hand in hand. “A deficit in our love of neighbor always points to a deficit in relationship with God.” ~Wilken, In His Image. If we love God well, we will love one another well.

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Agape is the word that scripture uses to describe the love of God. However, we are made in His image! When we are saved through faith, we are restored to that image and commanded to love as God loves. The word agape is used 259 times in scripture.

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his agape for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Luke 6:35 “But agape your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Agape is not romantic or brotherly love. The giver doesn’t act out of need, and does not require that it be returned. It can be given freely, extravagantly and without expectation.

Love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13, is agape.

Lion and Child

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“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

How can I use these observations to pray according to God’s will?

These apply to my personal prayer life and can also be prayed for the church, the world over.

vs. 1-4– Lord, I pray that I will understand my freedom in Christ. May my works ever be a result of my love for You and gratitude for that freedom, and never be an effort of legalism.

vs. 5-6– God, thank you for the justification/righteousness I have received through faith because of the work Christ did on that cross–giving himself as payment for my sin.

vs. 7-12– Please give me wisdom and discernment to recognize error. Give me boldness to come against that error so that it will not spread, but that the Church will remain a pure light, sharing your truth in love.

vs. 14-26– Grant that I may lean in to your Holy Spirit so that I can deny my human tendencies and instead your “fruit”/character will be full in my life.

Lord, draw me closer and enable me to agape love you well. Let this be evidenced by my love for others. Give me your heart, God.

Amen.

God bless you, Friends, as you wrap up this week and head into the next!

3 thoughts on “Galations, Chapter 5; Praying God’s Will

  1. Pingback: Galations, chapter 6; Praying God’s Will – Growing Grace-Full

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