Formulas, Tools or Hindrance?

10 And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.
11 Now it is evident that no person is justified (declared righteous and brought into right standing with God) through the Law, for the Scripture says, The man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live.
Galatians 3:10-11

It occurred to me recently that many people get caught up in rituals, and sometimes we get so caught up in rituals that we forget that it is only through a relationship with Jesus that we can be saved.  I know that I am as guilty of liking rituals, routines, and formulas as much as the next person.

My morning routine is pretty much the same.  My time of devotions is non-negotiable.  However as good as that is, this time does not save me.  Going to church, does not save me.  I know I have shared with others that I keep a scripture journal, and most know about my routine with devotions and prayer.  For me these are good great tools for getting deeper into the Word, and really understanding it, making it personal, and applying it to my life.

That said, the tools I use are not necessary for everyone else.  In fact, my scripture journal, prayer journal, etc., these things are not even guaranteed to be used every year, or even every month, depending on how I feel I need to proceed at the time.  Oh, there was a time that I was strict to follow my routine and couldn’t deviate, but I realized that ultimately while being good tools being legalistic steals my freedom and at times can be burdensome.  I would much prefer being flexible these days and let God show me how best to proceed.

Doing this provides me freedom to spend less time on one day, and more time on others as my schedule allows.  This also allows me to research further, or maybe just make notes to research further so that I can dig deeper when I would like.

I think it is essential that we remember that tools are great, but they are not meant to hinder us ever.  This can be applied in many areas of life, not just bible study.  Social media becoming burdensome? Unplug for awhile.  Schedule overwhelming, consider dropping things for a season.  Schedules, routines, etc., are great, but do not let your routines control you.

Use your tools to your benefit, but do not let them rule you.  Life is in your hands, live it to the best that God gives you and not to the limits of comfort and routines.