The freedom God provides
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! Galatians 5:7-9 NLT
How many Christians do you know who once experience the joy of following Christ and the freedom to be the person God wants them to be and now treading taking their cues from those outside of the faith and live their lives accordingly? They used to be Christ’s followers full of life and now had returned to a life of bondage. It is hard to imagine that someone who has been set free would ever want to return to bondage. Certainly, that must grieve the Holy Spirit living within. From the text, Paul is urging Christians at Galatia to remain firm and strong in their conviction living the life of freedom they obtained because of their relationship with God. The freedom obtained provides purpose to live godly lives. It is the Holy Spirit within that ignites the desire to righteous living. “We who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us” (Galatians 5:5). Paul cautions Christians to be aware that there will be forces that will hold them “back from following the truth” (v. 7). This is the case with the Galatians. They are going along with those teaching false doctrines and out of a desire for peace, they go along rather than following their real conviction. At times, we find it easier to compromise than to chart our own spiritual course led by the Holy Spirit. False teachers will come in the guise of friendship turning young Christians away from grace and freedom in Christ. They may sound persuasive, but that kind of persuasion does not come from “God, for he is the one who called you to freedom” (Galatians 5:8). We know where it comes from. It takes courage to stand up against the criticism that Christians must take. We have a God who promised that will be with us. “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6). Let us be strong and take courage because God will lead us in the life He wants us to have. “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).