The Prison of the Mind

1371504966_spiritual-prison-of-the-mindWe are trapped in a prison of our own making. Our habits, beliefs, traditions, and perceptions are prison bars of slavery. Our only hope is to trust in a set of habits, beliefs, traditions, and perceptions that are formed through Jesus Christ.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

The church of Galatia imprisoned themselves on a pendulum of extremes. One side swung toward the cage of tradition, and the other side the prison of self-gratification. Paul wanted them to begin to understand that Jesus had freed them from their swinging prison and called to them to jump off the swing and live by faith expressed through love.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  Galatians 5:6

THE PENDULUM
The Cage of Traditional Belonging (5:7-12)
On one side of the pendulum, some of the Church of Galatia was comforted by their tradition. It was familiar, predictable, and very well established. Their traditions served to guide their actions. As comforting as their traditions were, it didn’t change the facts. Jesus had established a better way that focused on a heart that beats for Him (new covenant /uncircumcised), more than simply controlling the actions of the flesh (old covenant /circumcised).

What is familiar, predictable, and well established in your life that could simply be tradition?
How could you allow God to better focus you to be motivated by a heart that beats for Him?

The Prison of Self-Gratification (5:13-21)
On the other side of the pendulum, some of the Church of Galatia wanted to indulge in every selfish action that their traditions opposed. They took their new found freedom in Christ as a get out of jail free card. They assumed it allowed them to experience the life they were previously not allowed. Without realizing it they chose to walk away from one prison, controlled by a set of rules, and enter an equally damning one, controlled by self-gratification.

Jesus came to free us from the prison of our own personal desires too. His freedom offers us the chance to find purpose through sacrificial love rather than gratifying our selfish desires.

What self-gratifying tendencies do you express?
How could you allow God to better focus you to be motivated by a heart that beats for Him?

OUR STORY (5:22-26)
Our Story is no different than the story of the Church of Galatia. We struggle with swinging back and forth from a life that is caged in familiar, predictable, and established traditions; and a prison of self-gratification. It’s time that we jump off the swing and embrace the life that we were designed to live.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

What may God be asking you to let go of so you can live more freely in the fruit of the Spirit?

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