There’s No Comparison!
Read Galatians Chapter 4
Gal 4:29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Today’s thoughts will be closely related to our devotion of October 23. There should be a distinct, recognizable difference between the children of God and the children of this world. In this passage from Galatians, the writer draws a picture of that difference, using the sons of Abraham as his analogy. The child born to Abraham, who was of the world, was Ishmael. The child born of promise by the Spirit was Isaac. As the two of them related to one another, there was enmity between them (Genesis 21:9). Just as Ishmael and Isaac were at odds with one another, the writer of Galatians wrote that there was enmity between the sons of God and the sons of the world.
That has been the case from the beginning of time as we know it. Those who choose to follow God are at odds with those who have chosen to disobey or ignore God. Jesus Himself echoed that truth.
Jn 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
My dear SSA friends, we should be able to tell the difference between those who are Christians and those who are not. If we are not in conflict with the world’s ways of acting and thinking, then we are not representing Christ well. We cannot allow ourselves to blend in with the world. If they are comfortable around us, and we are comfortable around them, something is amiss. It’s not that we don’t mingle with them; it would be impossible not to. But there should be a distinct difference that is easily recognized after a short period of time.
We could list many examples. God’s people should not be griping and complaining all the time, about worldly things which have no eternal consequence. “Four letter words” should be noticeably absent from our speech. And certainly, sexual innuendo should not be a part of our conversations. It should be easy to tell who belongs to Christ and who doesn’t. But not all differences are evident in a situation where comparisons can be drawn.
When we are alone at home, sitting at our computers, there should be a difference in our behavior, unnoticed by the world. Only the world should be expected to open that porn site. Only the world should be engaged in that unholy chat room or private chat with a stranger. What has happened to Christianity today, that in our private times, we find it so easy to act and think like the world? It should not be.
Fortunately, there is some good news. I feel very certain that everyone reading this daily devotion senses the enmity between the flesh and the Spirit. Within each Christian, there resides an internal conflict of ideas. The Holy Spirit cannot peacefully reside side by side with our fleshly desires and actions. Each one of us has this spiritual battle raging within us; God’s Spirit constantly doing battle with our flesh. There is no peace treaty between the two. Therefore, take heart that His Spirit gives you no rest when you willfully disobey Him and act like the world.
What are we doing to resolve that conflict? We don’t have to act like the world. We don’t have to open that porn site. We don’t have to lust after that handsome man or beautiful woman. It is time for us to realize who we are. Just as the writer of Galatians says, “We are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.” Don’t we know that? Do we not consider that and say to ourselves, “I am so eternally grateful. I must recognize my lofty position, and begin to act like my Father and my Savior.” We really should, and now is a good time to do it.
Prayer: Oh Lord, I am so guilty! Help all of us to be so aware of our right-standing with You, that we will lose every desire to satisfy our worldly, fleshly, desires. They are of absolutely no value; yet we haven’t trained ourselves to think that way. Forgive us. Do not let us be satisfied until everyone we meet will know we are Yours. And do not let us be satisfied when we are alone, when we act the same way this world acts. God forbid that we live like the world any longer!