It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
This verse has been a comfort to me this month for a lot of reasons. It's from Paul's letter to the Galatians, one that I have read time and time again in my six years walking with the Lord. But this particular section has never been more impactful to me than it has been lately. At the beginning of this month, I felt like God put the word "freedom" on my mind. I prayed about it, talked to Garrett about it, but then tucked it away in my mind without putting much stock into why. And then I read this the first verse of chapter 5, "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free". I read it again and again and still didn't really understand why God would want me to take note of it. And then in our New Testament class with Ronnie Worsham (we were studying Galatians at the time), he asked us to share things that were sticking out to us from the book. I told him this verse was something that had been on my mind a lot. His response was "Hannah, do you know what type of personality you are?" It caught me off guard, and I wasn't sure what answer he was looking for, so I stayed quiet. "Amiable". Amiable... someone that is typically likable (and in my case, someone who likes to be liked!). He went on, "that leads you to be a people pleaser. Do you know who that makes you a slave to?" Really hesitantly, I responded, "... people?"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
I was right! Then Ronnie went on to talk to me about that, in front of the whole class mind you, but I didn't mind. I'm in tears just writing about this. As he was speaking to me, I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking to me through him. It was exactly why God had put the word on my mind. I have so much freedom to not have to please people, or be the most liked, or try to justify myself before God with anything else than my submission before the cross. What's even cooler, is that this verse is something that has come up so much in my ministry. I've brought it up with just about every girl I spend consistent time with, and we've had such neat conversations about it. I was talking to a girl about it the other day, and in the middle of that conversation, another girl texted me and said, "what was that verse we talked about again?!" I just thought that was kinda funny and sweet.
I am so thankful God works in the ways He does. I'm thankful scripture speaks to us in different ways, and I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit is alive and active inside us!
|Michelle got baptized this month!|
Tonight we have our last Preston Ridge women's Core. We'll spend the night encouraging and affirming one another and celebrating what God has done this year. I love these girls so much. I'm so sad that Core is coming to an end, but I have so many happy memories from all the times we've laughed, cried, danced, eaten, encouraged, and loved one another.
Don't worry, this isn't my last post. I'm planning on writing another one closer to the end of this month. It'll be a cryfest, so stay tuned.
Love you all so much. Thank you so much for investing in my apprenticeship so generously and sacrificially.
|Our last Preston Ridge FOCUS of the year!|
|That's a good lookin' staff right there.|