Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

You are Free

Friday, October 20th, 2017

you-are-free

You are free! Christ came to set us free from the chains of sin, and He heals us and sets us free inwardly from anything that afflicts us. We can be set free by God in so many ways:

  • Free from the power of sin (this is sometimes instant and sometimes gradual)
  • Free from worry (we trust a God who is sovereign over all)
  • Free from the hurts of your past (see previous post in this series)
  • Free from loneliness (God’s presence is always with us)
  • Free to walk in the Spirit (more love, joy, peace in your life)
  • Free from the love of possessions
  • Free to worship with wild abandon

Yielding to Jesus is so wonderful–it feels free as if I were on a motorcycle because it’s exhilarating. It does not feel oppressive in any way. If you feel that your relationship with Christ is oppressive, you’re doing it wrong. It feels light, free, peaceful and full of joy. You are at rest in your spirit.

Inside this video I mentioned these related videos and articles about grabbing hold of freedom in different areas of your life:

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” says Galatians 5:1, and you are not to be a slave to the opinions of other people, or other people’s impossible standards that are not based on the simplicity of loving God and loving others. The idolatry for one person (reading novels constantly and neglecting all the other things God wants you to be doing) might not be sin for another person. Watching television causes one person to commit acts of immorality, and another person to become a good cook–it depends what you watch and what motivates your heart. Are you asking God what to do with your time, or are you living for yourself?

You will have way more freedom and joy in your life if you actually live for Jesus, asking Him to lead you in what you should be doing each day. Your days become very interesting, let me tell you! And God empowers you to do whatever He is wanting you to do right in the moment that it’s needed.

free-as-a-butterfly

The easiest way to usher in freedom in your life is to dance before the Lord like the Bible commands us to do. You can do this alone in your room with worship music. I’ve banged my hand against the wall by accident, so pick a large room if you are uncoordinated like me.

  • “Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.” Psalm 150:4 NASB
  • “Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Psalm 149:3 ESV
  • “A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 NASB
  • “And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might.” 2 Samuel 6:14a NASB
  • “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11 NASB

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts from the series “31 Days to Regaining Your Identity,” why not sign up for my free monthly newsletter below, and follow my prayer page on Facebook.

you-are-a-masterpiece

 

My daughter and I created the artwork for this series from the course {aff} “You are a Masterpiece” by Alicia Gratehouse. If you love to do art and are discovering who you are in Christ, this is a great art course for you!

Freedom FROM Sin, Not Freedom TO Sin

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

freedom-from-sin

Christ never said that we can do whatever we want. Never. He always asked us to live a life of self-denial, a life that is selfless and where every action is born out of love for God and others. We are commanded to be yoked to Christ and only move when He moves. (Matthew 11:29) We are commanded to be slaves of Christ. (I Corinthians 7:22)

Do we have the freedom to do whatever we want and follow the lusts of our flesh to full measure? Do we have the freedom to be hedonistic in our self-indulgent desires? Is God glorified when we revel in our freedom from being yoked to Christ? Do we even WANT to be yoked to Christ?

People who do not want to be yoked to Christ quote Galatians 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NASB) Paul was talking about a yoke of slavery to rule-keeping of the Jewish ceremonial law. This has nothing to do with, “I can do whatever I want and indulge my flesh to the maximum.” This causes us to place our fleshly desires above our desire to please God. When this happens, we sin against the people around us and don’t even notice. We hurt the people we love most.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. I Corinthians 10:23 NIV

Paul is contradicting the people who say, “All things are lawful.” He is saying, “No.” Paul is saying that people who say all things are lawful are WRONG. Not every action is beneficial or loving. If every action is not loving, it is sin. ANY action that is self-serving is sin. Jesus never did any actions that were self-serving. He only did what He saw the Father doing.

God the Father is holy, and He has commanded us to be holy. (I Peter 1:16) Is our every action holy? Is our every thought holy? Are we using the word “freedom” to hide sin? Are we indulging in the flesh at the expense of others?

Let’s avoid the demonic doctrine that if something is not stated word-for-word in Scripture, that it is allowable and therefore not sin. Only demons believe this doctrine, and it has now infiltrated the church. The entire Scriptures cry out against every form of sin, selfishness, and depravity. Our seared consciences don’t notice that we are walking in wickedness when we say we are walking in the freedom to do whatever we want, as long as it’s not word-for-word forbidden. This is the oldest trick of the enemy to cause Christians to commit horrendous sins against others. And we never even bother to ask God if He is glorified by our every action.

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” II Timothy 3:1-5 NASB

It was for Freedom that Christ Set Us Free

Monday, October 24th, 2011

christ-set-us-free“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

The Pharisees were people who made up rules that were based on the Bible so that the rules themselves would keep people from sinning. People couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing and follow their conscience. We all know how Jesus felt about all those rules. He was violently opposed to them.

The Pharisees continually criticized people for things that they felt convinced were sins. Jesus called the people who kept the rules and looked down on the people who didn’t “brood of vipers,” “whitewashed walls,” and “tombs of dead men’s bones.” Jesus was venomous towards people who made up rules that were based on the Bible. He didn’t want those rules in place. He wanted us to yoke ourselves to the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Well-meaning modern-day Pharisees, especially in the homeschool movement, have been putting more and more anvils on people’s backs, so much so that walking by the Spirit no longer is the main thing. Here are some of the rules:

  • Get rid of your TV.
  • Have the largest family possible, even when it means defying your husband.
  • Don’t wear clothes that draw men’s attention. Wear frumpy clothes, even if your husband is not pleased with the way you dress.
  • Don’t play any video games.
  • Alcohol is sin, even if Jesus drank it.
  • You must have family devotions, or the husband is not godly. There is no other way to lead spiritually besides this dictated, approved form.

Whoever does these things, boasts, making the people who don’t do these things feel like they are less spiritual, even if God has convicted them of the opposite. I’ve seen many people feeling deeply defeated after attending homeschool conferences, because so much is demanded of them, and the speakers have lost sight of the fact that Christ came to set us free, not to put us into bondage.

If God has actually convicted you of these things, you need to obey God. I’ve seen godly people on both sides of each of these issues. You are free to yield to God.

Modern-day Pharisees make up these rules because they correctly see idolatry in the general population in each of these areas. What they don’t understand is that when you yield freely to Christ, all the heart issues are taken care of. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all the rest will follow. We will be doing the right thing if we are led by the Spirit.

The sad tragedy is that all these rules bog people down and drive people away from God and to a form of self-righteousness where people list all the things they’ve given up and compare notes with other people. It gives people a false sense of superiority while pushing down people who so desperately want to follow Christ but give up because they feel continuously defeated.

“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

How to Be the Best Parent

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

how-to-be-the-best-parentGod gave you your children. He didn’t give your children to someone else. God chose you, often to sanctify you, but also because there are things about you that only you have, that your children need. God made you who you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses. If we cry out to God for wisdom and are led directly by God, our parenting efforts will be mind-blowing. I’ve seen it in my own life, and it humbles me and makes me want to praise God.

On the other hand, if we force ourselves to parent the way that other people parent, we will not always see good results. For example, in my family-integrated church years ago, people were criticizing my parenting because they didn’t want their children to wiggle whatsoever during the church service. My children were completely silent and even paid attention to the sermon. Their bottoms wiggled a lot, but their hearts were soft toward God, and they didn’t feel like they were in a straight jacket at church.

Then I failed. I did the wrong thing. I cared that other people were frowning at me, and the result was anger toward my children. I sinned. But my children now looked better than ever. They looked perfect, but they were suffocating inside. It was sin for me to copy other people. It was wrong for me not to graciously forgive the person who was frowning at me. I ought to have prayed that the frowning person would yield to the Spirit so that the fruit of the Spirit would shine out of that person’s eyes. I didn’t even know that person was sinning. Instead, I was sinning as a gut reaction to the person’s frown.

One time my (then) 6-year-old son cried out right before a Scripture passage was read. I know many parents who disciplined their children for any sound their children made, no matter what, no exceptions. But what they didn’t know about my son is something that only I knew. I knew his heart. He wanted to find the Scripture passage, and he tried so hard to find the passage before it was read, but he failed. I knew that he loved the Word of God with all his heart. His crying out was not sin. I would have sinned if I had disciplined him for crying out. Only parents know the heart of their child.

Of course, if your children disobey you and you don’t discipline them, you are sinning. But most Christian parents are following God to the best of their ability, and they don’t need people slamming them down.

It took years for me to get over the whole parent criticism thing. My husband went so far as to have all the children sit by him. He wanted me to sit on the aisle. Whenever one of my children would make the slightest noise, I would close my eyes, yield to the Spirit, and praise Him for humbling me. It was God’s will for me to be humble. It always is. There was actually a point where, whenever my children made any noise, my gut reaction was sweetness. I radiated the Spirit of God out of my eyes. Because when you have your face smashed in the dirt, you have nowhere to look but up.

In fact, it wasn’t until a gray-haired man from our Bible study told my husband and I (with tears in his eyes) what outstanding parents we were, that my life as a parent was changed. He saw how we shepherded each child, and we knew the spiritual strengths and weaknesses of each child. It finally sunk into my soul. At that moment, I knew that I was a good parent. Yes, I fail, mess up, and sin, but I love God with all my heart, and I actively shepherd my children. God is pleased with me. The wind is blowing through my hair on the top of a mountain, and I am free!!!

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