8/26 Galatians 4:19

19 My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

The church in Galatia had been influenced by traveling speakers who encouraged the church to keep the Old Covenant worship rituals. Paul reminded them of the joy and passion of their conversion. They would have done anything for him because he introduced them to salvation by grace through faith.

Rule-keeping is easier for our old nature. If we just go through the motions we feel we are right with God. Paul had weaned them from rule-keeping to a living relationship with Christ that challenges us to change on a daily basis.

The goal of spiritual growth is Christlikeness. Paul felt as if he had to start all over again teaching them about the grace of God and the power and presence of Christ in us. He called it the "anguish of childbirth."

If you have shared the gospel with someone and seen them slowly grow, you will understand what Paul was saying by "anguish of childbirth." We watch the spiritual tug-of-war on their soul. We grieve when we see the old nature prevail, and at other times we rejoice when we see spiritual growth. It is especially difficult for us to watch a false teacher lead them back to trusting in the flesh.

Consider: How is the formation of Christ developing in you?