But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Thoughts for Today:How many times have you struggled with your New Year's Resolutions? You may write them down, know you really need to keep them (this time), but still fail. The flesh is like that. It works in opposition to our best intentions when we try to overcome it in our own power. The fact is, we will never truly overcome the flesh in the strength of our own effort. Why? Because even though our spirit may be willing, the flesh is simply too weak. (Matthew 26:41: "[Jesus speaking] Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.")
Unfortunately, our fleshly tendencies are not overcome by our resolve or even our religion. So trying to gain victory over the flesh by keeping a set of religious do's and don'ts (the law) is equally futile. In our passage today, Paul uses the word "but". I really like that because it gives me hope. "But" if we're led by the Spirit we're not under the Law -- not theologically or practically. The Galatians were still trying to live the proper Christians life, "but" they were going about it in the wrong way. Just like we do from time to time.
Questions to Ponder:The Spirit's ability to deliver us from sin, and as a result, discover the freedom and victory that Paul speaks about, is quite different than the failure we will experience when we try to control our fleshly desires solely with self-effort and self-dependence. Which direction are you taking? Your own rules, regulations and intentions, or the Spirit's?