Media, pop culture, and that which is widely accepted in today’s society, is a lure to legalism and a thief of joy.
This can hold true in two extremes. First, there are those who attempt to fit into the world to win the world, but alas, the draw of the world’s wooing becomes too much. On the other hand, those who shun the world and create a laundry list of “thou shall not’s”, have allowed their joy to be removed through a return to legalism. Neither option places the focus where it ought to be – on Christ.
The joy of our salvation stays present in struggles and sorrow when we hold fast to our faith in the Father. Christ does not use guilt to correct, but rather He shows us in love. Our Creator wants humility, not self-hatred. God is all about relationship, not performance. Our Father wants to show us how far we have come by the grace of His Son, not how short we have fallen.
Let not your joy,
be taken away;
avoid the lures,
presented each day.
Don’t allow guilt,
to direct your path;
God guides in love,
turn away from wrath.
Look to relate,
to the Lord above;
not to perform,
freely He gives love.
Don’t dwell on faults,
or on past mistakes;
look to the cross,
and move on in faith.
(Responding to Galatians 4:8-20)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to have life in You. Thank You Jesus, for showing us how to love God and love people. Thank You for taking our place on the cross, so that we are now covered by Your grace. Thank You that we do not have to perform to be pleasing to You. Thank You that You love us, unconditionally, as sons and daughters – coheirs with Christ. Forgive us for falling for any form of legalism, as it attempts to steal the joy of our salvation, and help us to grow in our faith through Your glorious grace, so that we may more clearly reflect Your radiance as we hold steadfast to the security of the joy found in You alone. May many come to know You as the Lord of their life. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
King James Version (KJV)
39 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,
4 Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.
5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9 I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.
10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.