Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years! I am afraid I have labored over you in vain.Galtations, 4:8-11
Before God ever came along we worshipped a false image of him. The Greek for Worship is often used interchangeably throughout the Bible as one word in many different contexts. It’s used to mean “honour” and also in the sense of complete worship and honour of God Himself.
We may not be consciously aware we are worshipping a false image of him but it’s certainly happening. Why? Because the desire to give honour and worship is built into the human soul. If it doesn’t worship God it will worship (give honour to) something. It will be physical objects like money, cars, alcohol and drugs or concepts and ideas like the driving ambition to be famous or the intent to cling to erroneous evolution theories (I speak of the atheist kind which is almost all of them.)
In today’s celebrity culture we tend to view very talented musicians as elevated beings of great intellectual weight. The media know this which is why they use them to campaign for things like abortion laws and whatever other rubbish laws they’re attempting to circulate. They’re acutely aware that small-minded people who idolize them will follow especially the immature youth.
Tarot cards, pagan festivals, horoscopes, witchcraft, angel cards, Reiki, energy healing. The list is endless of what people give honour to and worship. The problem Saint Paul was having is that many coming to the faith were mixing the two. They were incapable of letting go of all their worldly baggage and becoming new creatures.
Either that or after a while they’d let go of such things, embrace God, become bored of God and after a while become entangled in these practices again. The Church suffers from laity who have one foot inside the Church while having one foot outside of it. There are those of us who want to worship God, but also be able to entertain Reiki, Yoga or some other secular/pagan philosophies. And these people come into the Church and never ever change. They remain the same.
Although a revolution of the mind is not necessary for salvation, Saint Paul emphasized we seek it out diligently. Why? Because a mind that has been revolutionized finds it very difficult to turn back. It doesn’t mean you won’t fall into grave sin, but a renewed mind is helpful on the path toward salvation. Many laities fool themselves into thinking that this is only for the spiritually perfect in monasteries. It’s not. A mind like this is needed more than ever in secular society.
Many of us are slaves to something. It might be drugs or alcohol. Many of us are also enslaved to concepts, ideas and otherworldly philosophies about healing energies and all that garbage. The Lord wants us to experience freedom in his commandments. Some are disturbed by the idea that someone would “command” them and that somehow this means freedom. However, there are two types of freedom. There is the freedom to act as you please, and then there’s the freedom found in Gods Law. The former is a false freedom that tickles the pleasures of the flesh, while the latter is the kind that tickles and unshackles the chains of the soul. The former is a false image of the Lord, the latter the true one.
People think that “I command you” sounds terrible until they’re commanded to take a million euros. “I command you to take my lottery winnings”. We wouldn’t be long obeying that one would we? Why? Because of the good outcome. And yet, in the commandments of the Lord, we know that obedience to them will lead to a good outcome. The Lord commands us to be free because he knows that is where we’ll find true freedom.
Instead, we obey the commands of our supposedly free-thinking mind. The dictates of the Devil are the commands we obey without ever knowing it. There are those who say they freely think but don’t listen to them. They’re not idiots just blind to the fact that everything they commit themselves to is always the result of the influence of something. You freely thought you chose that degree in Law, but it’s because you grew up in an environment or culture that encouraged it. You freely thought you became a Christian but someone made that decision for you at birth.
The free mind is not simply one that can think for itself what it wants. We are slaves to the culture around us and what we choose/think in life is heavily influenced by it. It is exactly this kind of mindset that gives us the illusion of freedom. It is this kind of false god, one that we often hold in high esteem and honour that Saint Paul wants us to free ourselves from.
If we have a revolution of the mind then the type of clarity it provides means we won’t go back to our old way of living. I know of women who attend Church services and then go home and shine their energy Chrystals or seek out those whom they think are speaking to dead relatives. See? One foot in the Church and another in the flames of Hell. Remember that the Lord said a divided house cannot stand? House here can mean (I think) “soul”. A soul that is divided between its old habits and doesn’t fully give itself to God will never stand up to the armies of demons. It will fall.
Don’t be that person. Break free from the false god of this world. Let go of your old life, renew your mind through the use of the Sacraments and prayer and listen to the Lord’s command that you experience true freedom.