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Wrestling with the Lord

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Galatians 6:14 KJV Paul is finishing up his letter to the Galatians when he writes these words. He is reminding them and us that it is easy for us to be tempted to take something like their circumcision or the works of the flesh, into account for our salvation. This becomes man’s work which is something that is so near and dear to all of us. We desire to have some hand in our own salvation. We feel good about what we have done for God.

One night I was watching our fourteen year old “wrestle” with his two year old brother. Whenever there is that big of an age disparity, the older brother usually manages to make the little one feel like he actually has a chance in this contest. As the contest progressed, eventually the older brother wrapped the toddler up like a pretzel and declared “ I got you”. Instantly the two year old proclaimed the same message back “ NO, I got you”. A comical turn of events for sure. A show of bravado that is admirable for someone outmatched in every way.

This is like the “Old Adam” in us. God reaches down to us and wraps us in his love. What was prophesied in the Garden of Eden, and then culminated on that glorious Easter morning when His Son overcame death, Hell, and the devil in our behalf, is that He “has us”. So often at the same time we turn to him and echo those same words back to him. We haven’t heard the message. We desire to glory in our flesh, feeling we are able to handle ourselves just fine. Unlike the brothers wrestling, this show of bravado is misplaced and is not admirable. The longer the two brothers wrestled, the more frustrated the younger one became. The possibility that he was helpless against his older brother began to seep in, but his two year old brain didn’t want to accept this for a fact. He had been conditioned by all of us in his family to think of himself as tough and able to handle whatever was thrown his way. This is perhaps a natural way we treat youngsters, but as he ages he will learn that he isn’t as tough as he thinks he is.

We can act the same way as adults. We hear the message over and over, that there is nothing that can be done that hasn’t already been accomplished for us by Jesus. Unfortunately even for myself, I don’t learn this lesson very easily. This is why it is important to read and be under the hearing of the Word. To see what Paul and others were led to write. Just before our verse, He warned the Galatians to not become entangled in the yoke of bondage, but rather to be free and to stand fast in the liberty where Christ has made us free. It is to the cross that we can look and be thankful that God has wrapped our helpless selves up in his love and praise him for his unspeakable mercies to us in Christ Jesus. Hans Lampinen

Submitted by Pastor Stan

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