In this chapter of Galatians, Paul isn’t dealing with sin but rather with the relationship between the natural and the spiritual. The natural must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice. Otherwise, a tremendous

In this chapter of Galatians, Paul isn’t dealing with sin but rather with the relationship between the natural and the spiritual. The natural must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice. Otherwise, a tremendoussplit will occur in our lives. Why did God ordain that the natural part of us should be sacrificed? He didn’t. God’s order doesn’t require this sacrifice; his permissive will allows it. What God ordained was that the natural should be transformed into the spiritual by obedience, not by sacrifice. It is sin that made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed.

Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we’ve sacrificed the natural. Abraham had to offer up Ishmael—his natural son, “born according to the flesh”—before he could offer up Isaac—his spiritual son, “born as the result of a divine promise” (Galatians 4:23). We have to follow Abraham’s lead, sacrificing the natural part of ourselves so that then we can offer ourselves up to God for his spiritual purposes.

If the natural part of us isn’t sacrificed, it will mock the life of the Son of God in us and cause continual wavering. Confusion is always the result of an undisciplined spiritual nature. We go wrong because we stubbornly refuse to discipline ourselves—physically, morally, and mentally. “But I can’t help it,” you protest. “No one disciplined me when I was a child.” You must discipline yourself now. If you don’t, you will ruin the whole of your personal life for God.

God isn’t with our natural life when we pamper it. But if we will put it out in the desert and resolve to keep it there, he will be with it. He will open up wells and oases and fulfill all his promises for the natural.

Wisdom from Oswald

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed. Our Brilliant Heritage