by: Holly Myers, CKM Speaker
This is a word we desire to embrace, yet the reality of our disobedience masked in fear tends to keep us in unnecessary bondage. Freedom begins when we no longer choose to submit to the authority of the enemy through disobedience but instead submit to the authority of the One who can set us free.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1
This morning I am reminded of three things, and I hope it also encourages you.
1. It is FOR freedom.
When we look to the cross many of us see redemption and grace, but for some reason we can't seem to wrap our heart around freedom. I tried to come up with some really good spiritual answer to explain why it is sometimes hard to embrace freedom, but the truth is that it really comes down to whether or not we believe what God says.
God sending His son to die on our behalf was for the purpose of you and I to be able to walk in freedom with no shame or guilt attached. The word “for” is used to indicate purpose. It is our choice to stand before a mirror and see who God says we are or choose to allow our thoughts of what others think to become a form of slavery within our hearts. We can't let the lies from the enemy distort the reality of who God says we are. No scale, no relationship, no past sin or future sin, no job, or even addiction can stand between you and God's freedom unless you choose to stand in bondage. That leads me to number two….
2. Stand firm.
When I used to cheer in high school I was always on the bottom of the pyramids. I would tell myself it was my strength that earned me that spot (haha). However, when we would send girls flying up in basket tosses and flips I would have to really make sure my feet were firmly planted. If I lost my footing the girl flying suddenly would crash knocking all of us to the ground.
The same goes for each of us when we are trying to walk in freedom. It says in Galatians to stand firm, which implies the places you find yourself standing may become slippery, rocky and difficult to stand without moving. Disobedience is never usually a sudden thing – it’s a quick sand effect. When we think we are steady we begin to sink. The only form of protection or defense we have is being in God's word.
As believers, we often cling to the mountain top experiences in our faith as reminders of God's faithfulness overcoming our weaknesses. However, when we are trying to walk in freedom we must choose to embrace God's word even in the valley. No matter how many times we find ourselves in the valley we still can remain free.
Lastly, this one word pierced me.
This word gets on my nerves in seasons of disobedience. I have found myself standing on scales many times saying, “again, you have failed”. The source of my pain wasn't the number on the scale. Honestly, it wasn't even the food I was inhaling behind closed doors. The truth is that I didn't believe God could set me free from the ever widening hole within my heart of self-hatred. My dad leaving me at a young age may have contributed to a downward spiral of body image issues, but again and again I would find myself enslaved to food in some seasons and approval in others seasons. It was my view of God and my view of myself but never seeing myself in God that kept me from embracing freedom for many years.
Today, when I find myself seeing the bulge in my clothes or feel the enemy trying to whisper lies into my ears, I counteract his lies again and again believing and embracing the truth that freedom does exist.
My prayer today is that you no longer allow bondage to keep you from dreaming beyond your captivity. Lavish yourself in God’s word in order to stand firm, and when things get rocky and disobedience becomes your reality you will be reminded that God is in love with you so much that He sent His son so that we could walk in freedom over and over again.