LastCall: bound to fail badly -Jon Courson

And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.


Genesis 21:15


In Galatians 4, Paul says Ishmael is not only a type of the flesh and Isaac a type of the Spirit, but Hagar is a type of the law and Sarah a type of the new covenant. Hagar represents Mount Sinai, where the law was given. Sarah represents the heavenly Mount Zion, from whence grace flows. 

My natural tendency is to say, “The best way to deal with the flesh is to lay down the law. I’m going to set up rules and regulations to keep my flesh in check.”

But whenever I do, I am bound to fail badly because, although the rules and regulations might be wonderful, I cannot keep them. Oh, for a while I might be able to, during which time I’ll say, “What’s wrong with you? Why is your Ishmael running about wildly? Why can’t you deal with the flesh like I have?”

But eventually I will fall under the weight of my own rules, and I will fail miserably. Then I’ll say, “I was doing so well for three days, or three months, or three years, but then I blew it. So why even go to Bible study, why even pray? I’m a failure. The Lord will never use me.”

This is why the law doesn’t work. It makes you either a self-righteous prude or a self-condemned dude. It causes us to say either, “What’s wrong with you?” or “What’s wrong with me?” 

So what’s the answer? Do what Abraham did. Send Hagar away and embrace Sarah. Don’t put yourself or others under regulations or rules. Rather, hold fast to the new covenant, and walk in grace.

Devotions with Emotion

Michael James Stone

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