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Devotional - week of February 20, 2011


 

FREEDOM FROM DESIRE FOR RECOGNITION

   

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

 

 

Paul’s words indicate that there was a time in his life when he sought to please men. Also, Paul seems to imply a passion to be noticed by others when he writes in verse 14, “And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.” In both passages Paul refers to his non-Christian days.

 

In Romans 7b-8a, Paul indicates that even after he became a Christian he had desires to be recognized by others. He writes, “For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.” The word translated “evil desire” in this verse means “covetousness.” It is likely that one of the things Paul began to covet was the reputation he had coveted before he became a Christian.

 

This happened to Paul because he was serving God in the flesh. The result was failure. In Romans 7:9, Paul calls his emotional and spiritual state “death.”

 

We are never told when or where it happened, but in this state of death, the Lord revealed to Paul that when he was saved the Holy Spirit baptized him into spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).

 

Also, we are never told when or where it happened but God also revealed to Paul that he could experience spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Paul began to experience his oneness with Christ and legalistic living was taken away. Covetousness was taken away. He no longer had the desire to be approved or applauded by man. The experience removed the death he writes about in Romans 7:7-9.