ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS COMPLETELY FREE The freedom of God, is also called divine freedom. God is not constrained by anyone other than himself. He does what he pleases and therefore he is always free. He is not bound to the dictates of anyone else. He does make promises which obligate him to do certain things, but he makes those promises voluntarily.
Psalm 135:6 The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.
Praise God for His Divine Freedom
Praise God that he cannot be manipulated. Praise God that he always acts according to his good, just, wise, and loving nature. Praise God for the specific ways that he has freely acted in your life.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Afghanistan – Ask for repentance to happen in people’s hearts, both in the hearts of the Taliban and in the hearts of the civilians. Pray for a humble turning to God, and that the Prince of Peace would reign in people’s hearts.
Galatians 4 Christian Standard Bible
Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elements of the world. 4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8 But in the past, since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You are observing special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
12 I beg you, brothers and sisters: Become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have not wronged me; 13 you know that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a weakness of the flesh. 14 You did not despise or reject me though my physical condition was a trial for you. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself.
15 Where, then, is your blessing? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then, have I become your enemy because I told you the truth? 17 They court you eagerly, but not for good. They want to exclude you from me, so that you would pursue them. 18 But it is always good to be pursued in a good manner—and not just when I am with you. 19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don’t know what to do about you.
Sarah and Hagar: Two Covenants
21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, don’t you hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman. 23 But the one by the slave was born as a result of the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born through promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery—this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
Rejoice, childless woman,
unable to give birth.
Burst into song and shout,
you who are not in labor,
for the children of the desolate woman will be many,
more numerous than those
of the woman who has a husband.
28 Now you too, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as then the child born as a result of the flesh persecuted the one born as a result of the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.”[i] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of a slave but of the free woman.
There are many ways that we can subtly go back under the yoke of slavery. There are many ways that we can turn a father-child relationship into a sort of business transaction. “God, I’ll give money, I’ll go to church, I’ll have a quiet time, I’ll try to be nice at home and work…in return I expect you to hold up your end of the bargain. I expect relatively good health, financial security, and…at least most of my dreams to come true.” When we become disillusioned by what God does and doesn’t do in our lives then we reveal that we are living transactionally rather than relationally with him. Pursue the disciplines of a growing Christian in order to experience Christ. Lay aside doing anything in order to compel God to do what you want him to do. He doesn’t work for you but he does love you. He may or may not do what you think he should do but he is, in fact, much smarter than you are. We don’t often live with the larger picture in mind but he always relates to us with the full picture in mind. God always sees us through the lens of both time and eternity. Ask God for what you want, trust God for what he gives. This is how children live and thrive when they trust their father.