A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Galatians 5:9
What is the leaven? It is human striving. What is the lump? It is my whole Christian experience. It includes my sense of God, my ability to pray and to care for others with abundant love. Paul is teaching that a Christian life based on self-effort will lead to the corruption of the whole plan of salvation in my life. In other words, my Christian life simply won’t work! Whether we like it or not, the Christian life is based on God’s life in us, not on what we can achieve for the cause of Christ. If only we can find the secret of letting the Holy Spirit be the power of our daily life then we will find the secret of Christ’s life. Christ lived in fellowship with the Father, allowing Father to be the power of His life. We are to do the same. We think of ourselves as either good or bad, and try to end each day with a balance on the ‘good’ side. We need to begin each day with the yieldedness to Christ that allows Him to fill us with power through the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-centred life. No amount of human striving can ever attain this, and Paul here teaches that even a pinch of human virtue will spoil the whole taste of my daily walk with God. Let God fill each moment. Let circumstances be the setting for the revelation of God’s provision of power and grace. Imagine being at a performance of Handel’s Messiah, and humming, whistling and joining in with all your favourite bits, thinking that it will add to the performance – how long would it take the ushers to come and escort you to the exit!
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