Galatians 4:8-11 (JDV)
Galatians 4:8 But because you didn’t know God then, you were enslaved to natural creatures who are not gods.
Galatians 4:9 But now, since you have discovered God, but more – you have been discovered by God, how could you have turned back to those weak and poor elemental breaths? Do you want to be enslaved to them again?
Galatians 4:10 You are carefully observing special days and months and seasons1 and years.
Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, that somehow I have worked hard among you uselessly.
additions that subtract
The Galatians had been a religious people, so it was easy for the heretics to come along and convince them that God wanted the same things that their false gods had wanted. Ceremony and ritual had been part of their daily lives before they heard the gospel, and responded to it by faith. But Paul and his team knew that additional ceremony and ritual would lead back to the worship of demons. It would render all their hard work of deprogramming the Galatians as useless.
Ritual and holiday observance is not what God wants. A relationship with God cannot be sustained by merely following a ritual, or observing a special day. While such things are not generally harmful, they can be if they distract from one’s freedom in Christ.
Lord, help us to never add anything to our lives that might subtract us from living the free life you bought for us.