Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value…
Colossians 2:16, 20-23
Legalism. I run from that word. Legalism is NOT the same as being disciplined. Where legalism throws its own weight around with external displays wrapped around fulfilling expectations of what a walk with God “should” look like, discipline comes from within. Spiritual discipline is a personal thing. My conviction is that… it’s a conviction! Discipline comes from being led by the Holy Spirit; God residing within His child, leading, teaching, directing, guiding, challenging, molding that child to become more and more like their Heavenly Father. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). God’s Word teaches; the Holy Spirit guides.
So why do others feel that they must impose their external displays onto other in the name of spiritual discipline? Why do God’s people have to judge others by how others line up with their expectations outside of God’s Word? Where’s the l♥ve in that attitude? I’m accountable to God (and, as appropriate, my hubby, family, employer, etc.) for how I use my time and God-given abilities, talents and skills. Why is it that, when a child of God feels led to do something that’s not against God’s Word but may not line up toe-for-toe with someone else’s perceptions, they have to be challenged?
The Holy Spirit deals with each one of His own in totally unique ways. If someone feels led to observe anything as unto the Lord, shouldn’t they do it? If I feel led to do something as unto the Lord, why do I see a frowny-face looking at me? Is that right? Is that good? Is that how we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1).
According to Second Samuel 16, King David danced as unto the Lord “with all his might”. He literally jumped for joy with abandonment before his Lord, as unto the Lord. Later, his wife annoyingly ridiculed him. Where’s the l♥ve in that attitude? I’m not condoning total stupidity and sheer exhibitionism outside of the Holy Spirit, yet in the name of worship. I am, however, a tad weary of legalism and the thou shalt not’s and thou shall’s that ride on its coat tails. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, and do it with all your might (1st Cor. 10:31, Col. 3:17, Eccl. 9:10).
Sometimes when we experience a great victory and breakthrough, as King David did, Satan is on our heels to attack in the most bizarre ways. Sadly, it can be a family member – or loved one, or close friend, or respected “Christian” – who sticks in the proverbial knife! It was no exception for King David. Because of her proud attack, upbraiding her husband, coming out to scold even before he reached his home, God heard… and closed Michal’s womb. She opened her mouth in hasty anger. The Lord’s response? Womb closed.
It was that simple in God’s eyes. Don’t mess with my children when they worship Me.
Be aware. Misguided legalism has consequences. Judge not, because you will be judged by the same standard (Matthew 7:1). Vengeance is mine, says the Lord (Romans 12:19).
Let’s find the l♥ve in our attitude towards others and in how God is leading them, and let’s do THAT as unto the Lord, and do THAT with all our might.