For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore…
When Frank and I read Anne’s post (shared on Monday), our perspective shifted yet again. We are in the midst of moving and making some repairs to the home, and had been planning to put carpet in the bedrooms (that currently have finished, stained concrete floors.) But, we could swap that money and use it to feed the hungry.
It had seemed like a “reasonable” expense…but then our view of “reasonable” changed. We could have comfy feet–our flesh desires this. Or our neighbors around the world could eat–the Spirit desires this. The two desires are opposed to each other…to keep us from doing what we want to do!
In this battle of the wills, we are told to stand firm and to choose to use our freedom to love others. Stand firm–anticipate the opposition from our flesh, be resolute, resist, don’t waver. Once we’ve stood firm, we discover our flesh has been defeated, the Spirit has won, and we are brought into even greater freedom and joy! Such a paradox…
Is there something you can swap, so that another person can live? The money you save doesn’t have to go to Remember the Poor. That’s not the point. The point is that through our giving to the Lord’s work, we are changed and set free, needs are met, and God is glorified.
Christ did not give us commands to make life miserable or that are impossible for us to keep! He gave us commands that lead to freedom.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself…”
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5