Because of God's approval, we aren't insecure or intimidated
We probably have all felt less than. We probably have all compared ourselves to someone that we thought had it more together and Paul tells us one of the most beautiful encouragements that you can ever find. He says, now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. We don't need the law because we have faith in Jesus. For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith. You, Gentiles, you, everybody, we are sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ Jesus, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is no male and female for you're all one in Christ Jesus, and if you are in Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring.
Do you know that the identity in Christ supersedes any other identity that we have? The identity God’s given you is greater than if you're a Jew or Greek or a Gentile. It doesn't matter, but it's at the foot of the cross. We are all equal. The grace is distributed evenly. It is yours. I want you to know today that there is not anything, anything in your past, anything in your future, nothing that you do, nothing that's been done to you that will ever be a stronger identifier than being heirs to the promise of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we can be so focused on needing people's approval that we forget the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit within us. See this thing about being accepted in Jesus, it gives us freedom from needing to be part of the in-crowd. I don't know about you, but you probably experienced junior high or high school, and what it was like not having a place to sit in the cafeteria or worrying about being invited to different things. You don't have to have that burden when you have acceptance in Christ. I see it now. Even with my own kids, they're worried about what people are going to say about what they wear or the decisions they make. My son and I just had a conversation about whether or not he should wear a jacket when it's 30 degrees outside because it wasn't cool to wear a jacket.
I think that as we get older, we still forget that lesson that our Father's acceptance of us will always outweigh what other people think. When we're not convinced of that acceptance. It can make us want approval from anybody that's willing to give it. We've seen it. We choose relationships that aren't healthy.
We follow friends that aren't good for us because we want somebody's acceptance. When we're not convinced of the acceptance that we already have in Jesus, we find ourselves in this category that Paul is saying, where we become charmed by something else, something lesser, and then we try to work for this grace that we already have. I think that sometimes the simplicity and thoroughness of God's grace can literally blow our minds. We don't think it can be that good or that it can be that free, and so we create work for ourselves because truly we need some kind of way to measure how well we're doing. It can overwhelm us so much so that we try to work for something that we already have or we forget the suffering and the hardship that we already have had to endure for the sake of Christ.
Paul even asked the Galatians in verse 4, did you suffer so many things in vain? You have a story. You have a past, you have a history, and it's not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. There's hard things that you've been through. Why, in any form, do we want to create those hard things that God has set us free from? He's already delivered us. He's already given us freedom. He's already given us acceptance. So the question I'd like you to wrestle with is, whose approval am I seeking out? Why do I need to feel approved? Why do I need to feel accepted? There's not a promotion or a house or car or status, a husband, a child. None of those things are going to give you the acceptance that Jesus has already given you. And if you don't understand what's pulling for your attention, you might be bewitched by the wrong thing.