Jesus, thank You for this day. Thank You for leading, guiding and directing me, even when it doesn’t make sense to me. Thank You for teaching me to not rely on my own understanding, but that I can rely on You and Your Word. Thank You for all of the ways You have blessed us and continue to bless us. Thank You for my family and the time we’ve been able to spend together over the weekend and today. Thank You for keeping our girls safe while they were camping with the girl scouts over the weekend. Thank You for the extra time this morning that my wife and I were able to spend together reading through the Bible together and that our 6 year old wanted to read with us. Thank You Jesus for the freedom You provide in our lives. I ask that Your Holy Spirit is present as I write today and that everything that I share will be glorifying to You. I ask all these things, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ask anyone what freedom means to them and you’ll get many different responses. I used to think freedom was the ability to do whatever I wanted, within reason of course. I have come to learn that the freedom we experience with Jesus as our Lord and Savior is a freedom from sin. This does not mean that we will not sin, quite on the contrary, but I think what it has meant to me in my life is that we have a freedom to submit ourselves to God which in my life was one of the first steps to realizing that I could experience a relationship with God. Once we have submitted ourselves to God, we have the freedom to resist the devil and if we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, the devil will flee from us according to James 4:7. If you have ever been held in the shackles of sin, or perhaps you feel like you are currently in those shackles, there is freedom. For me it was a habitual sin that Jesus freed me from, something I thought I would always live with, a secret that I was to tell no one. There is a freedom in confessing your sin, first to God and then to others. I had confessed my sin to God many times over many years but it was only when I cried out to Jesus that I experienced what He was offering to me. I cried out, it was not dignified, I said that I was no longer asking for help but asked in desperation that He would just take this sin from me. That is when I experienced the freedom that I am now talking to you about. I was thankful to God that He had provided me with that freedom and was happy to not talk to anyone else about it. I was ready to take my secret to my grave but that’s not how God works in my experience. From the stories of Jesus in the Bible, I’ve been taught that He restores our relationship with Him first and then restores our relationship with others. That was all well and good for the people in the Bible but I didn’t want to experience the discomfort that was sure to follow when I shared my testimony. God had a different plan than I wanted. I started to share with others how I had been freed from a habitual sin in my life and when I started talking about it, the power that sin had over me for years, the power that was created by believing the lies of the enemy, that power started to fade. I want others to experience what I have. I don’t follow a prosperity gospel where I believe that God wants me to live the “good” life, where I will have whatever creature comforts I want and experience no problems in my life if I just believe in Him. When I thank God for the blessings that He has provided in our life, I am choosing gratitude. I could choose to think about all the things I don’t have and by focusing on what I don’t have, I’ll find more that I do not have. However, I choose to focus on everything I do have and to be thankful for what I do have and in the process I find out that I have more. I know there are going to be trials and tribulations but I’m learning where to go with my fears, concerns and questions. I lay everything that I know how to at the feet of Jesus and do my best to not try to take anything back from Him once I’ve given it to Him. Then I continue to do what I can do and watch what He does with things I’ve given Him. Things that may have been out of my control to begin with but I found myself still worrying about so I choose to give up my control of worrying about it. I ask for my will to align with His will, that I will naturally want to know and do His will, not mine. I ask for Him to take from me any unwillingness to follow Him. And then, the journey continues, I learn, then my comprehension is expanded through my experience and I grow in understanding. I don’t believe any of us will fully understand God while we are here on earth, but that we even have the ability to try to understand our Creator with His ways being high above anything we can imagine, that is amazing to me. I hope and pray that you will experience the freedom from the enemy that Jesus Christ offers to you. Once you’ve experienced that freedom I hope and pray that you will share your testimony with others and weaken the power that the enemy holds over them as well so that they will also experience the freedom that can be experienced in following Jesus. -A fellow warrior in God’s army
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” -Galatians 5:1 ESV
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. -The Lord’s prayer