Living the Homeschooling Dream by Faith
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?—Gal.3:1-6
This infamous passage of Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia hits on a nerve of human tendency that remains intact even today. The Galatians started out believing they were justified by faith alone, but when different individuals who practiced Judaism showed up, they started reverting back to a keeping of the law. The apostle Peter, who was supposed to be blazing the trail—was also caught in this web of legalistic deceit until Paul rebuked him publicly. (Gal. 2:14)
Anyone with a historic eye can easily trace life cycles of various movements, especially those with a spiritual motif. From the book of Judges to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy all the way through to the founding of our own country, major changes were usually birthed by the minority and rose out of a position of weakness not strength. Because they lacked the pragmatic means they needed to accomplish the goals they had, they naturally looked to God’s mighty right hand to sustain them and lead them. Consider George Washington bowing his knee in the snow at Valley Forge or King David on the run from Saul, writing his laments, which would eventually become some of the Psalms. How does God respond to such heart-felt dependency? He often moves that person(s) from their humbled position of weakness to a place of genuine influence. The survival mode they wondered if they would ever live through becomes a plane of God’s abundance. It is a wonderful time of God’s grace that is to be enjoyed. It’s at this very place of the pinnacle of God’s goodness, however, that we are often most vulnerable to the same spiritual compromise as that of the Galatians.
It is so easy after being in a place of weakness for so long to start drifting back toward pragmatic and humanistic efforts once we come into a position of strength. This is seldom, if ever, an intentional, cognitive act; the motivation can in fact be very spiritual. For example, there was an area in my life in which I experienced a tremendous outpouring of God’s grace. I was overwhelmed with His goodness and was grateful for it. I sensed a deep responsibility to “steward” what He had done in my life. In my sincerity, however, I unknowingly began to take the responsibility to make things happen. I was in no way rebellious. In fact, I was trying to be God-honoring; nevertheless, the result was the same. What started as a move from the mighty right hand of God became the arm of the flesh. I ultimately suffered for it, being chastened by the loving hand of God.
I enjoy watching the wonderful journey people make both towards and in their homeschooling journey. Their initial struggle with all the “what if’s” eventually finds solace in knowing they are walking in the will of God for their lives. They are so desperate for God’s blessings and anointing as they begin that prayer is “without ceasing.” (Maybe more so by the grandparents!) Of course, God responds with lavish grace, just like He gave to the Galatians in salvation.
It’s at this point we are vulnerable. We too feel such a sense of stewardship that we gradually spend more and more time looking for the best curriculum and less and less time before the throne in prayer. When my wife asked a homeschooling mother who had just returned for a big homeschooling conference which sessions she enjoyed most, she responded that she spent the entire weekend in the massive vendor hall. Pragmatism trumped vision. Again, it’s not an act of rebellion; spending time looking for solid, biblical curriculum is to be encouraged. We just need to be aware of our human, fallen tendency to begin in the spirit but end up seeking perfection by the flesh.
God will supply the Spirit and will work miracles in our homeschooling efforts. Strength will be given to us as will insight into the hearts and minds of our children. He will open doors that no man can close and close doors than no man can open. Downloads and cd’s will be given to us that have just that right message we need to hear on that particular day. This is a result of trusting in God’s grace on a daily basis. This is what makes a spirit-filled, homeschooling journey one of the most exciting, sanctifying and satisfying experiences we can ever know in this life. Don’t let the arm of flesh rob your peace of mind and effectiveness that comes in living—and homeschooling—by faith in Christ alone.
Executive Director, ICHE