Verse: Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God —how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

No one wants to waste Paul’s time. Or be a slave to “weak and miserable forces”. That is definitely a pointed way to put it. It makes me want to sit down immediately and consider to what weak and miserable forces I might be enslaved.

Paul is speaking here specifically about the Old Testament law. Christ came to fulfill the law, and to free us from it. So Paul is understandably upset at the idea that Christians would voluntarily place themselves back into slavery to the law. It is a rejection of Christ’s work on the cross for us.

What does this mean for us? Are we meant to live in any way we choose? How do we live lives that reflect freedom in Christ and still do the right thing? Jesus came so that we would have abundant life. It isn’t about checking off the boxes of the law. It’s about choosing, out of love, to reflect a better way. Jesus told us that the whole of the law is summed up with Loving God with all of our being and loving our neighbor as ourself. I think this is a good measure of how we are living.

How can weak and miserable forces enslave us when we are actively loving God and loving others?

This is the way I want to live. When I think ”Weak and Miserable” I think of self pity, self absorption, pettiness, jealousy, helplessness, just to name a few. But these things are just unable to stand in the face of love. Real, active, practical love. So that’s what I want to hold onto and reach toward today.

Jesus, we need you. We need to be filled with your love so that we can pour it out on others. We also need your help in giving you our whole hearts. So please, Lord Jesus, take my whole heart, make it yours, and use me. Free us from the slavery that we so easily subject ourselves to. We want to be yours, and free.