E-votional  Stand Firm
July 2, 2001
"For freedom Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
- Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)


Order, direction and boundaries, we all seek and want them.  Though they may differ from person to person, a relative truism of life is we seek to explore and find the direction, one way or another.
Hear the Good News, through Christ we experience order direction and boundaries through the truest freedom of all.  A freedom of our own spirit.  As the Hebrew people were being led to the promise land they cried out for law, order and direction and were given a simple law, identifying who God was, who they were and how they should relate to others.  Over time the Law did not change, but the response to the Law changed.  Instead of the Law reminding people of who they were and whose they were, it became more about what to do and what not to do.  What can I get away with and can I not.  Instead of focusing God it became a focus on the self.  But through Christ we are freed to focus on the New Covenant embodied by Christ: Freedom through and by Love.  The letter of the Law is no longer the focus, now the Spirit and the presence of the Spirit changes everything: new life, a new foundation. 
Paul continues by sharing the difference of living by the flesh and living by the Spirit.  As an interesting aside, we might be able to see that living by the letter of the Law is much like being yoked by the flesh and living by the Spirit of the Law is freedom from the flesh.  To be yoked or to be free.  And an even deeper question is the "freedom" a yoke in and of itself?

Gracious Father, never let me look past the presence of the Spirit in my life, let me always stand firm in my understanding and embodiment of Christ.  And though I will stumble and make mistakes, let them be out of love instead of selfishness.  Finally, I am very aware that I will and do have selfish intentions from time to time, by Your grace, forgive me and allow me to move past those mistakes that I might focus on You.  Thank you Father, for all You have done and all You will continue to do in my life.  Amen.