Always remember, your focus determines your reality. —George Lucas
In Christian living, I believe there are two directions of focus:
You can either focus on the law, or you can focus on grace. You either focus on performance, or you focus on freedom. You either focus on you, or you focus on Jesus.
There is no in-between.
Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. (Galatians 5:3)
Do you see what Paul is saying? Once you bend to one rule, you are obliged to keep them all. And in the case of historic Judaism—the root of the law—this would be a list of 613 points of law that you must obey every day.
Maybe you aren’t all about the 613, but you are devoutly devoted to the Big Ten Commandments. Listen carefully, you can’t bend to one point of legalism—not for even one point—one unshakable adherence to the law obligates you to the law in its entirety.
Paul lays out the consequences of choosing to focus on law over grace. If you choose even one point of obligation to the law, then:
- Christ is no longer of value to you.
- You are obliged to the entire law—every day, every rule.
- You have alienated yourself from Christ and fallen away from grace.
Get this: God has given you freedom. His grace flows to you freely like water from a garden hose. You can put a kink in the hose, if you desire, but His grace still flows toward you. Don’t obsess over the rules but rejoice in your freedom.
It is for freedom that you have been set free. The rest—the honoring of God and esteeming of others—will flow naturally from that love of God that dwells in you.
So choose today what your focus will be. Either you are fixated on the freedom that lies before you, or you are fixated on the slavery that was left behind you. Only one can be your reality, so which do you choose?
God, here I stand in this freedom You gave me, and I’m tempted to look over my shoulder at the days of defined rules and regulations. Sometimes freedom intimidates me because I don’t know what to do with it. So Lord, I release everything to You now. I’m ready to freely follow Your lead, ready to let You live Your life through me. Today, show me the steps to living out this one thing: this faith expressed through love. Amen.