*I believe one of the big reasons God introduced the Old Testament laws to His people was to show them, and us, that we would never be able to live up to them. As the law was perfect and we...well, we weren't!
So, in the human - small picture of things, the perfect law was a guide on how to live God's way...which is why many people memorize the 10 Commandments or have them on a plaque on their wall. But in the big picture of things the law's perfection was meant to highlight our imperfection and our huge need for a perfect Savior! Then, since this perfect Savior was able to save perfectly, this granted us the ability to be able to fulfill every single one of those laws by obeying just ONE...the New Commandment! Yes, I am still mindful of the 10 Commandments, but it is the one New Commandment that has become my focus, as it fulfills every one of those 10.
Please follow this link, as it not only shows this wonderful Galatians 5 verse that we will talk about, but many of the other verses (in the right-hand column) that tell us how important this New Commandment truly is and what it covers.
Wow, how perfect for us, huh!? And we are even empowered to do that ONE command by the Holy Spirit who has been given to each person who asks the perfect Savior to do for them what they could never, ever do for themselves!
So, why am I using the word perfect so often? Well, it's because we humans use it so often. "Well, no one's perfect"! Like, somehow, deep down, we think we ARE supposed to be perfect and so we are trying to talk ourselves and others into being OK with not being that way! I dunno...I just know we are not perfect...and it's OK not to be that way. God never made us to be robots that act perfectly...as God wants us to deeply understand!!
Trying to perfect our behaviors only keeps our eyes on ourselves and hinders our ability to love others. Think about how it was for God's people in the times before Christ. There were over 600 laws and commandments to follow exactly...so, no way was there time to do much else. There was very little time to serve and be available to those around you. Take some time in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The law was perfect, and perfectly good! However, an imperfect people cannot obey a perfect law so as to satisfy it...as the human nature is too prone to satisfying self. And God says that if we fail one of them, then we fail them all.
"If someone obeys all of God's laws except one, that person
is guilty of breaking all of them."
Come, sit among the roses,
Let's chit and chatter
About what life supposes
Come, sit among the flowers
Lets wonder about the times
As we while away the hours
Come, sit, relax in my garden
The thorns will be few here.
The welcome will not harden.
Come, sit ’n sip some tea.
In this ofttimes scary world
You’ll find a safe place to be.
Come, sit, please be at ease
Patience and kindness reside here
Though, they’re my only guarantees
If you read my poem, (As you can see I really enjoy writing poetry) you will have noticed the last stanza (the last 3 lines). I share this because I truly believe that this is essentially what God wants from us. He wants us to get to the place where we absolutely stop trying to be perfect. Where we can sit with one another and be OK with being imperfect...because God does not expect or ask that we have perfect behavior. What He asks or commands is that something else gets perfected. Our love. To the point where He commands it. So, we need to change our focus.
Change our focus?? Yes. From law to love...then, in so doing, you better believe that our behavior will follow, as it says in Galatians 5: 16-18...
"Let me explain
further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will
never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants. What your corrupt
nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your
spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are
opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do.
If your spiritual
nature (love) is your guide, you are not subject to Moses' laws."
If I am focusing on loving God and the people He created, then my urges to harm them become less and less.
If my heart is directed at what God values, then my behavior is much more appt to follow in kind.
If I am living my life learning to obey this one command, then I begin to sin less and less, and become helpful and have good behaviors more and more...which begins to satisfy the reason for the law.
Romans 13:10 "Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor.
Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law."
When you are endeavoring to follow a law...then you are keeping your focus on yourself. You are making sure you do this right and do that right so as to stay within the parameters of the law. Just like when you are driving your car and the police, who make sure the law is obeyed, are out watching: You watch your speed very closely. You keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. You cannot have your eyes or mind on the conversation going on with the people riding with you. No, your job is to drive within the law.
However now, God said in Galatians 5:13-14 that the freedom we now have from having to focus on obeying the law doesn't mean we can now put our focus on anything we want. No. God says to use our freedom for focusing on love....because in doing this, we ARE fulfilling the law. We are now driving carefully, but even more so, because of the love we have for the people (which includes ourselves) in our car, as well as the people in the cars around us.
"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers
and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead,
use your freedom to serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love
your neighbor as yourself."
*Please take time and get into the written word yourself. Seek God and follow His Son's life as your example. It's important that you also do your own study and never just rely on what others say, teach or preach.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman
that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.