Are you trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Are you trying to fulfill God’s promises without Him?
As we grow, we venture out on our own, away from our Earthly parents, but we must not do this with God as we grow in our faith, and remind ourselves of our constant need and dependence on Him. Wisdom and discernment are given to mature believers for the purpose of activating our faith – faith is allowing God to fulfill His promises in us and through us to reveal His Spirit that gives freedom to the world around us. This requires we are constantly dependent in receiving His grace, gifts, guidance, direction, and everything needed to be His ambassadors. Furthermore, if we try to fulfill His promises on our own (apart from Him) we will be judged by the law, as we will be enslaved to it, and none of us are perfect. Just as Paul says in this passage- “Where is your joyful and grateful spirit?” This is an indicator of our trying to bring about God’s promises or fulfillment on our own by being controlled by the law (legalism), instead of the Spirit (freedom.) Faith breathes joy, gratitude and Christ likeness. Legalism breathes sadness, a solemn attitude, and a critical spirit (none of which reflect 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 3:3 NLT
“Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing.”-Galatians 4:8-11
“Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then?” -Galatians 4:15
“’Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?’ The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.”-Galatians 4:21-23
“And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother.” -Galatians 4:25-26
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” -Galatians 5:1 NLT