Recently, in a burst of domestic creativity, I was making myself a big batch of what I cheerfully call ‘orange soup.’ This title distinguishes it from my brown, white, and green soups so, as you will have probably guessed, the titles have little to do with the ingredients, there is no orange in my orange soup, and everything to do with glorious colours which come when I blitz all the ingredients together. This particular orange soup was made with swede, butternut squash and carrot, and all was going well, as I chopped and prepared the vegetables to pop them in the pan to cook, until I got to the carrot at the bottom of the bag which was somewhat soggy. There is always one isn’t there? I wondered about disposing of this sorry specimen as it did smell and I wondered if it was it was going off. But, from deep within me, I thought ‘I shouldn’t let anything go to waste, and I ought to be a good steward of the things God had given me’. So I dutifully chopped it up and in the pan it went. Cooking time over I blended the vegetables and stock to make the kind of smooth soup I like and tasted it. Oh dear, oh dear! The soup tasted foul. That little piece of soggy carrot had continued to ferment in the cooking process and had spoiled the lot. With a very heavy heart I had to dispose of it all and I began to talk to the Lord about my wastefulness with His resources.
As I talked to the Lord I was reminded of the Scripture about a little leaven leavening the whole lump. In this Scripture Paul was dealing with a difficulty in the Galatian Church where some teaching had come in that it was necessary for all believers in Christ to strictly follow the Old Testament laws as well. Paul was strongly encouraging the believers to stand firm in the fact that Jesus came, not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it, and that in relationship with Him there is true freedom.
I know that I have freedom in Jesus, but in making my soup He showed me I have some strange laws written on my heart, some ‘should, ought and must’ laws that aren’t from His heart or from walking with Him. I found another one the other day when I was really quite tired. I heard myself say, “I really must have my quiet time; I should get on with it; I ought to do it”. Then I heard Jesus simply say, “come and rest in this green pasture.” My Lord, my friend and my shepherd knew just what I needed and He loves me enough to want to meet me, not in law, but because of love.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Jesus fulfilled the law and that I’m free to have a loving, close relationship with Him. Please show me if there are any false hidden laws written on my heart. I don’t want to come to you out of duty, but because You first loved me and because I love You. Thank You Jesus, that when You show me something not quite right You will also show the way to resolve it and will bring me closer to You. Amen.
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