Galatians 5:6 is one of the most important verses in the entire book. That's why we're saving it for last. We're going to first look at verses 7-12 as they act as a solid supporting cast.
In verses 7-8 we read:
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you.
When I was in high school…the summer before my junior year…our cross country coach put together a workout with some elite runners in our county. One was Mark Covert, still a legendary long-distance runner, and another was Little Mary Decker. She was around 14. I think she weighed all of 85 pounds at the time. She was already, at that young age, one of the best female runners in the country. She went on to hold all kinds of records in distance running. To this day, she is considered one of the best female runners the world has ever known. It was quite an experience going on a long run with those two.
Fast forward to the 1984 Olympics. It was Mary Decker's best shot at an Olympic medal, the only thing missing from her extensive list of achievements. South African runner Zola Budd impeded Decker's position, tripped her up, and Decker fell, dashing her last shot at Olympic glory.
Paul loved sports analogies. The Galatians allowed someone to impede their growth in Christ. Paul was warning them to keep their head in the game.