i mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. in the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. [galatians 4:1-3]
anticipation. the Lord gives us the gift of waiting for things, so that we might more realize that we are not in control, but he is, the next verse galatians 4:4, (But when the fullness of time had come…) is the culmination of the waiting.
i remember waiting for my children to be born–a mix of excitement and fear–and i it occupied my thoughts. i put an undue amount of hope in what was not certain, i was enslaved to my thoughts about something i had no control over. when two of those pregnancies ended in miscarriage, and a brain scan of one of my children revealed multiple cysts (which ended up disappearing in a subsequent scan), i recognized that God was showing me that he was absolutely sovereign to do what he thought was right: it was a wakeup call to teach me that my worrying was in vain and my trust was not in the right place–myself.
we were once underage, jews were enslaved to the law, that is–they were God’s chosen people, but most had hope that by fulfilling all of it, they could earn heaven, instead of looking to God in faith. gentiles like me were enslaved to the hope that they could be good enough to earn God’s favor. we are, by nature, enslaved to the elemental forces of this world (power, recognition, money, stuff, sex) and all of those things are corrupted by the prince of lies. that isn’t a place to put your hope.
take some time and read all of psalm 27 and saturate in its truth–it is so encouraging, and it ends:
wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! [psalm 27:14]
let us be ‘the people who wait for the Lord’. we exist in between the “already” and “not yet”. we no longer have to be enslaved to hopes that will fade and the treasures and pleasures that will pass away–we are the people who are witnesses through the Word of the promises of God–and because we have Christ in us, the hope of Glory, we get to make known this promise to others–we wait with anticipation of Christ’s return and reign!
we do not have to wait, enslaved to the law as legalists or to the empty promises of the world as idolaters.
we wait for the Lord as slaves to righteousness!
but thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. [romans 6:17-18]
you have said, “seek my face.” my heart says to you, “your face, Lord, do i seek. [psalm 27:8]
~ conor eastman