Letter of the Law

I spent a lot of my life as a doer. Even as a young child, I was a stickler for rules and had to share the rules with others who I noticed were not complying. To me, there was a right way and a wrong way. There were boundaries, rules set in place for a reason. But in my pursuit of trying to do the right thing, I often found myself building my life around the doing. I understood my identity in Christ, and yet placed a great deal of worth in my work and my good deeds. What I did was who I was, and I was lost without it. Living this way kept me restrained. I was so fixated on doing the right thing, on getting everything done well, that there was no room for power to make a way. There’s no room for the Spirit to move if you are holding everything so tightly to steer the ship in your own direction.

Today’s verse speaks about what ministry and life is supposed to be about — not about the letter of the Law, but about life lived through the power of the Spirit. Yes, we have commands. We have a path we should take, and it is a narrow one. But it is important to remember that life must be lived through the power of the Spirit, and nothing should get in the way. Sadly, even when we know that grace is a free gift, we still try to earn it. We attempt to get others to earn it as well. When someone enters church, rather than offer grace and the love of Jesus with no strings attached, we try to uphold the person to the mold we have created. If the person doesn’t fit, doesn’t follow what we deem worthy, they are treated as an outcast. How dare they enter the church dressed like that? Can you believe they don’t know that we stand to sing? Their kids are running around like animals. They only come a few times a month. 

One of the hardest things for me is letting go of the rules and what is right, or what I think is right. The letting go doesn’t mean we are forgetting the commands. The letting go doesn’t mean that we are neglecting them either. We still should follow with faithful obedience. We are simply not holding them so tightly that it keeps us from loving on people and sharing the Gospel. Remember, that’s what it is all about for us. We are called to share the Good News, that Jesus died for you and I, and He rose again — He not only paid the penalty for our sins but also offers us life anew. This is good news. Paul reminds us that the law kills. It’s simply there to let us know that we cannot uphold it in it’s entirety. We can’t. When we see the law, we are reminded of our sins. At the same time, he boldly claims that the Spirit pours out life. It is this life that we all need to receive. Let us today and always drink deeply from the Spirit and receive the refreshing life and power of the Spirit. May He bless you with a fresh outpouring so you can be empowered for that which God desires from you today.

“He alone makes us adequate ministers who are focused on an entirely new covenant. Our ministry is not based on the letter of the law but through the power of the Spirit. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit pours out life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:6 [TPT]

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Law. Lord, we know that Your law is holy, perfect, just, and good. May my tongue continue to speak of Your Word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. May I continue to live by the power of Your Spirit, for Your Spirit helps in my weakness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen! 

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