A Glorious Promise
by Marilyn Miller
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26-29).
What a comforting, red-letter passage this is—Christ died for everyone on this earth, and through faith we take hold of this gift of grace and are made co-heirs of eternal life. This thought colors our whole perspective on life. We want to hold this truth tight to our hearts. In thanksgiving we look at the wisdom God has shown in laying out how this world should operate, and we see his ways as blessings that we want to embrace to the fullest. That’s the new man in us. All would be wonderful if we could stop there.
The old man in us, the one whom is by nature an enemy of God, keeps butting in to mar that picture.
However, the old man in us, the one whom is by nature an enemy of God, keeps butting in to mar that picture. He complicates how we see God’s design and has wrecked things so badly it is hard to visualize how God’s plan could ever play out in our lives. Through our baptism we continually try to drown that old man, but he keeps popping up over and over.
One of Satan’s favorite tricks is to make us feel superior—or at least equal—to God. He used this one on Eve, and we know where that led. Satan knows that Scripture means much to us, so he tells us that to understand some passages, like the words of Galatians above, we must use our logic. He says, “Yes, God gave you unique callings in the beginning, but this passage says there is no difference between males and females, so everyone is the same now. The unique callings have been done away with. Besides, that concept is so outdated.” WHAT? God says we’re all equal in salvation, but this passage from Galatians doesn’t say anything about the unique callings that we have been given.
Our society makes it particularly hard to continue to cling to the difference in callings based on gender that God tells us when the script constantly harps on equality. In the church, women can do the same work as men and anyone who says differently is misogynistic and outdated. In our country, men can be women and women can be men, all because they say it makes them feel better. In so many places the message is that super women run the world and men are only needed for procreation. In popular cartoons and sitcoms, men are made out to be buffoons and given no respect.
In a world with such a perverted view of men and women, we lose our identity as the blood-bought children of God. Our wealth (or lack thereof), our career, our social standing become our identity and the source of our fulfillment and desires. Where is God when we worship the created instead of the Creator? Where is our peace, our fulfillment as an heir of salvation? It gets lost in the clutter.
Instead of letting Satan do away with the unique callings that God has assigned to his men and women, we can revel in them and see them as a great blessing.
Instead of letting Satan do away with the unique callings that God has assigned to his men and women, we can revel in them and see them as a great blessing. Men are told to be the head; the one who controls the rudder of life; the one who loves others totally, unconditionally, and sacrificially as Christ loves his church; the one who was created for this purpose. That’s a tall order, but it’s very possible with God himself as the example and the One who empowers men to carry out this calling of head.
Women are told to be his interdependent and complementary partner submitting to his direction. Our world, again, keys off the word “submit” to make it ugly and demeaning. Is anything from God ugly and demeaning? Absolutely not! Genesis 2:18 tells us “It is not good for man to be alone.” Women have been created to complement the thoughts and ways of the man. Women can find this calling very difficult, but living out this calling is also very possible and fulfilling with Jesus as the example and the One who frees women to carry out this calling of helper. Jesus submitted to his Father and suffered and died for the unworthy—for me. Praise be to God for his submission.
For Further Reflection
Meditate on or write about what it means to you to “fit into” the calling that God has given you. What are some aspects of God’s designated calling that bother you?
Heavenly Father, when you created me you also gave me a calling that should guide my life, but Satan continually attempts to attack us and drive a wedge between me and you. Send your holy angels to help me fight those battles that I may remain your blessed child. Send your Holy Spirit to be with me that I may grow in grace and knowledge of your Word. Help me overcome what the world tells me about myself as I meditate on what you tell me. I come to you in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, confident that you hear my prayer. Amen.