Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? (Galatians 4:21)
When people do not really hear what the law of God is saying, they may still desire to be under the law. Those who are lost and dying in the world often underestimate the message of the law. They may imagine that it is only calling them to attend religious services or to join a religious organization. Thus, in missing the message of the law, they choose to remain under it, trusting in their own best behavior to somehow enable them to pass any final judgment concerning heaven or hell. This is a matter of “not hearing the law.”
Many who are redeemed, having found new life through faith in Christ, also want to remain under the law concerning spiritual growth and service. This is another case of “not hearing the law.” Any believer who expects to make progress in a life pleasing to the Lord on the basis of one’s own best efforts does not really hear what the law reveals as God’s will for lives.
The law of God is not suggesting that we “be better;” it is demanding that we “be holy,” as holy as God. The law is not implying that we “be nicer;” it is requiring that we “be loving,” as loving as Christ. The law is not proposing that we “try harder;” it is insisting that we “be perfect,” as perfect as our Father in heaven.
The law of God is not asking us to improve ourselves or to be better than the next person. Many times this inaccurate statement is heard: “Just do the best that you can; what more could God require?” Well, God is demanding far beyond our human best. His law is demanding that lives “be holy,” “be loving,” and “be perfect.” Moreover, He Himself is the standard of this holiness, love, and perfection.
Dear Lord God, You are holy and loving and perfect. In and of myself, I am none of these. I stand before You without any human assets that could measure up to these heavenly realities that You alone possess. I thank You for Your mercy. I praise You for Your grace. I humbly bow beforeYou, asking that You work more and more of Your holiness in and through my life.With no other hope than You, I ask that more and more of Your love might fill my life. Admitting my complete inadequacy, I look to You to be transforming me more and more into Your perfect image, through Christ I pray, Amen.
Copyright © 2004 by Bob Hoekstra. Used by permission. All rights reserved.