so what’s this hex?
Everything I thought I knew about how to live the Christian life turned out to be wrong.
I was clear about my eternal destiny. Heaven is my home. I understood I was forgiven through faith in Jesus. And I knew the Bible is inspired by God. I got that down.
But I misunderstood “the Christian life,” what it is and how to live it. I thought I was saved by GRACE but had to grow by EFFORT. I thought I was supposed to MAKE it happen.
You know, to be a follower of Jesus. Disciple. Mature Christian.
After receiving God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus, I thought I was now obligated to do all the stuff it seemed God expected of me. And the list of stuff I thought I was required to do kept growing.
Soon, my obligations as a Christian became a problem. They crowded out everything the Bible said I should be experiencing. God’s grace. Freedom. Love of God. Joy. Peace. Relationship with Jesus.
Something was missing. Something was wrong. Really wrong.
The pressure of trying hard to live the Christian life began to suck the life out of me. What was once joyful and energizing turned into an obligation.
A big obligation. An unsustainable obligation.
I focused on my own spiritual development. I looked at diagrams that others said would help. I followed principles I read in books.
After all, isn’t that what I was supposed to do? Aren’t we supposed to try hard to be like Jesus? Aren’t we supposed to follow Him? Aren’t we supposed to be a disciple?
Aren’t we supposed to…?
Pray a lot. Read our Bible every day. Share our faith. Tithe regularly. Show up at some/most/all church services. Join a life group. Serve my local church. Listen to Christian music. Support world missions
Is this it? Is this why Jesus came?
Did Jesus leave Heaven, come to this earth, live a perfect life, endure a horrible crucifixion and rise from the dead so that we could live a life of never-ending Christian obligations?
Did I misunderstand how this works? (YES.)
THAT is what this book is about. It turns out I was under a HEX and didn’t know it.
And there is no freedom under the hex.
(HEAVENS TO BETSY!)
Read what Paul tells the Galatians…
How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by YOUR OWN HUMAN EFFORT? –Galatians 3:3 (NLT)
THE GALATIAN COUNTY LINE
Welcome to Galatia County.
Galatia County is a nice place to visit but you would NOT want to live there. Galatia is a big county with numerous cities and towns.
It’s doing well financially. Lots of hustle bustle.
There are lots of Christians here. Several notable congregations.
(But there is a BIG PROBLEM here.)
You will find that the people here are religious.
They believe in Jesus. They know He is the Son of God. They understand that Jesus was crucified for their sins. They know He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.
The Christians in this county are under…well…a spell. Some would call it a “curse.” Others would call it a “hex.”No matter what you call it, it’s not good.
It is odd, because the people here are not practicing the occult. There are no psychics. No witchcraft. No fortune-telling. No crystal balls.
And yet…the Bible says they are under a hex. How is that possible?
It turns out that the Christians in Galatia County are not doing anything weird. In fact, they are doing something almost every Christian does on a regular basis.
They are trying to add to the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
They don’t know Jesus killed the way of religion on the cross. They never saw the obituary.
They think if they try a little harder, do a little more, then God will notice and bless their extra commitment/dedication.
We call it the TRY-A-LITTLE-HARDER-DO-A-LITLLE-MORE SYNDROME.
Or as the book of Galatians calls it: “the hex.”
They just think they can use their religious efforts to complete what Jesus started. They want to do stuff to get closer to God.
No big deal. (Scratch that!)
It’s a VERY BIG DEAL!!!
Actually, they lived in the first century Roman empire so we don’t know exactly how they were trying to do this. But we can easily speculate about how they would do it if they lived in our day.
They would have discipleship programs. Christian life principles. Bible reading plans. Charts and diagrams to learn. Services and schools to attend. Ministry strategies to master.
And anything else to…make them more like Jesus, help them be better Christians, grow them into spiritual maturity.
You see how this works? Add-ons. Do more stuff. Press in. Try harder.
Do NOT make your home in Galatia County. This place will beat the joy out of you. Suck the life out of you. Drain your enthusiasm for living.
Don’t get dragged into the whole the-cross-is-not-enough-for-me-so-I-have -to-add-more-to-it HEX.
This book is about hightailin’ it out of Galatia County to enjoy life with God your FATHER.