Paul wrote to the Galatians: “Ye were running well: what did hinder…?”
Something had broken in and interrupted their running in the spiritual
This was extremely serious and disturbed Paul to the depths of his
They seem to have been of that temperamental constitution which
corresponds to Christ’s words in the parable about seed falling into
The seed was received quickly and earnestly, but did not
go on to produce a harvest.
There are some people who make an
enthusiastic start in this way and make quite a stir about it, but then
do not go steadily on.
These Galatians were like that; they made a
tremendous response; they loudly protested their devotion; and then they
were very quick to drop out of the race.
Because they lived on
their emotions, on their feelings, and these were changeable.
well be a matter of temperament, but in fact something of such a
characteristic can be found in most of us.
We respond to an appeal, come
under the power of a great emotion, and then slack off.
In the words of
the Lord Jesus: “When tribulation or persecution ariseth…he is offended”.
Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Clearly, then, if you and I are going to persevere to the end we must
have a greater power than that of our natural emotional life.
hope is that it may be true of us, as of Paul: “The love of Christ constraineth”.
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
There is all the difference between the natural
and the spiritual in this matter of the energy of love.
translated ‘constraineth’ is the same one used over the arrest of Jesus when it says: “the men that HELD Jesus”
Luk 22:63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
So it is that the love of Christ should hold or grip us, conquering our natural emotions by the mighty power of the Spirit.
feelings come and go.
They may be strong at times but they can also grow
If we do not know something of the mighty grip of Christ’s
love, we will never go right through to the end of this strenuous race.
After all, it is the love of Christ which makes for the fullness of
If we finally come to that fullness it can only be by the constraint and holding power of His love.
Ye were running well: who did hinder you?
The answer is:
you ran in the strength of your own emotions; you ran as your
enthusiastic response to God’s call because it affected your feelings
for the time.
The letter to the Galatians is devoted to emphasizing the
place of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, for He alone can
supply the necessary energy of love for us to go on running well.
~T. Austin Sparks~