Sweet Simple Faith | Galatians 3

Welcome to Real Life. I’m pretty good at complicating simple faith.

“After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” 
(Galatians 3:3, NIV, 1984)

In the weeks leading up to the writer’s conference, I was preparing like crazy. For at the conference, I'd have the rare opportunity to meet one-on-one with publishers, agents, and editors to tell them about my book, Do You Really Love Me, Lord? It’s God’s story really. The story of how he convinced me of his unconditional love.

I thought if I could craft the perfect pitch, maybe I could interest a publisher. I was feeling the pressure. I have to make this happen!

Or, do I?

While preparing for the conference, I was also reading Paul’s letter to the Galatians. They had come to sweet, simple faith in Christ. Then, some rule-keepers infiltrated espousing a new message: Do you really think faith in Christ alone will save you? Paul’s wrong. You must be circumcised. You must keep the Jewish law. You must do more. It’s all in the Book.

Word got back to Paul. He shot back a letter,
Oh, foolish Galatians! . . . Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:1–3, NLT, emphasis mine).
The pressure the Galatians felt is what we feel every day. What I felt before the conference. Do more. Do better. It’s not enough to write; you must publicize your writing. It's not enough to work; you must launch an upwardly mobile career. It’s not enough to be smart; you must pursue higher degrees. It’s not enough to exercise; you must run marathons. And on it goes.

In this world, our value is tied to our performance. This easily invades our theology. I can begin to think, “If I perform well for God, he will value me more, approve of me more, love me more.”

The truth is quite the opposite. God values us—period. No performance needed. God’s not seeking more and better of us. He’s seeking to give us more of himself. Daily devotions are not daily performance reviews. Rather, it's the time when God beckons each of us to escape the pressure of more and better and enter his holy place of rest and love.

Back to the conference. Yes, it’s good to do my best and prepare. But I can’t make this thing happen. Only God can. God called me to write. If anything’s gonna happen, it’s gonna be him leading the way. After beginning with the Spirit, would I now try to attain my goal by human effort?

Me and Amy at Write-to-Publish Conference, Wheaton College
So, I went to the conference. Not confident in me. Confident in God. And three publishers are interested in my book! Woohoo! Can you even believe it? Yes, I know. Interest is only a beginning. But what a beginning! Though I can’t make it happen,

Nothing’s impossible with God!

What are you trying to make happen? Perhaps it’s time for some pure, simple faith.

Dearest Lord,
Help me rest in you.
I'm following your lead.

I lay my book, my writing at your feet.
May it bring your glory!

Take It Further
  • Are you feeling the pressure that you need to make something happen? Leave me a comment about it. I consider it a privilege to pray for you.
  • For my Christian writer friends, I highly recommend the Write-to-Publish Conference held annually in June on the campus of Wheaton College, Chicago; www.writetopublish.com. It's not too early to begin planning to attend next year. 

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  1. We really are living in a performance driven society. And, we all get caught up in from time to time (if not all the time!). Thanks for this reminder. As I prepare the best of my ability, God blesses and turns it into fruit!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Ronnell! Praying for a bountiful harvest of fruit for you. :)

  2. Good news about your work. And I think you are exactly right about our typical reactions, too. At least mine. Count me as a customer WHEN your book is published...

    1. Hi, Sean! Great to hear from you. Thanks for your faith and encouragement!


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