Summary: The Galatians were doing well and then they got off course. Paul said, "Ye did run well. Who did hinder you from obeying the truth?" We often allow people and things to sidetrack us. How can we get back on the path?
Valley Grove Assembly of God
May 4, 2014
Dr. Marilyn S. Murphree
Who Hindered You?
Several years ago I knew a woman named Julia who said, “My life is EXACTLY the way I want it.” She was a retired school teacher who was about 85 years old. This surprised me to hear her say this because most of us have SOMETHING in our lives that could be changed or improved, but she very matter of factly said, “I have my life EXACTLY as I want it.” In reading today’s scripture, I wondered if this is how the Galatians felt about their life? Everything was exactly in place.
Paul was speaking to BELIEVERS here when he said, “Aye did run well—who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth” (Galatians 5:7). Another place he called them FOOLISH Galatians. He said, “Oh, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently (clearly) set forth, crucified among you?”
He told them, “you were doing great but someone or something has gotten you off track. The Message Bible says, “You were running SUPERBLY.” In their case teachers were coming back teaching the old legalistic ways to them, and they were losing their freedom which Christ had brought them into by faith. They were being brought once again into slavery to rules and regulations. Maybe they thought that their life was exactly like they wanted it to be even though they had lost their focus—Jesus. Paul was trying to get their attention here. Who had hindered them after they had been doing so well?
We also live at a time in history where we are surrounded by many people and things that try to get us off track in our walk with the Lord. The media bombards us all he time with a variety of ideas that attempt to lead us off course and often, we, like the Galatians, fall for it and don’t at the time realize what is happening. Down the road a ways we wonder, “What has happened? “I’m not serving the Lord faithfully like I used to be. We need to evaluate where we stand with the Lord so that if we have let anything lure us off course, we can get refocused and back on the path again.
Sometimes we think that if we don’t commit some BIG sin like being addicted to drugs, we are doing OK; but things that hinder do not have to be any BIG sin—little things that distract you will hinder your walk with the Lord. As little as 5 minutes running late will keep you out of church another Sunday. Allowing people to define your schedule will keep you from priorities. Letting family and grandchildren to keep you so OCCUPIED that you don’t have time for church will cause you to be robbed of God’s blessings. Scripture identifies such things as “the CARES of life.” Matthew 13:22 says, “The CARES of this world…choke the word…’ The cares could be anything that draws you away from what God has in mind for you.
My aunt used to say, “I can’t go to church because I have to stay home and cook dinner.’
My dad said, “The people down at that church all are hypocrites.” I remember saying, “Do you think Mom and I are hypocrites
and he never answered.
A friend said, “Once I get over this accident, “I’ll be in church.’
That was probably over 20 years ago and she is not there yet.
God was counting on King Saul to be a king who stayed focused, but he didn’t/t. Samuel said, “The Lord has sought him a man after his own heart” (I Samuel 8:14). Did God ever find such a person? Psalm 89:20 says that He did. This person was not PERFECT, but he was what God was looking for. Psalm 89:20—“I have found David MY SERVANT—with my holy oil I have anointed him.” David’s heart was right before God in WANT”ING to do God’s will. Sometimes he missed the mark BIG TIME and had to go back to Square One and start again, but David as a person that God could count on. Are you a person God can count on? Am I a person that God can count on because we genuinely WANT to. Psalm 40:8 David said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yes, thy law is within my heart.”
Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”(John 4:34).
1. DECISION: We have to make a DECISION to do the will of God or else we will let people and things hinder us and we will never finish the work he has called us to do. We may not FEEL LIKE IT.