Monday, July 4, 2016

Embracing Your Freedom

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36
It's the 4th of July in the USA today. We take this day to celebrate our freedom as our own country, separated from Europe. Our forefathers came to this land, partly so they could worship the One true God, like they wanted to. Of course, they also set up a new type of government structure, which was another reason for becoming our own country.
However, even in the USA, the land of the free and home of the brave, we have so many people living in bondage.
People are slaves to so many things in this world. We let sin take over our lives and keep us in bondage on so many levels. 
"But I'm saved, Jill," you say. "I live for Christ." 
GREAT! My question to you, have you really embraced your freedom? Because I know a lot of Christians who are still bound to legalistic man made rules. They think they are free, but they aren't.
I was that type of Christian for many years after I came back to God in 1996. I lived the most guilt ridden, not satisfying Christian life. It was not fun. I learned some about God, but some of what I learned wasn't actually from Him at all.
Jesus came to set the captives free. He came to give life, and life to the FULL. He did not come to put chains on us, He came to BREAK chains off of us.
This is what I think might happen:
1. We get false information. We hear what a Preacher, Pastor, or Man of God says and we believe it at face value. 
2. We think life as a Christian will be easy and free from trouble.
3. We think we can turn to God only when we need to, and live like we want the rest of the time.
4. We allow the enemy to keep us chained up to stuff that Jesus set us free from.
If you have given your life to God, the best thing you can do is pray and read the Bible for yourself. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit is in you and He will help you understand the Bible. He will lead you, if you allow Him to. What He shows you in God's Word, or speaks to you about in your heart is better than what any man says. No matter how good the man is. I love my Pastor to death, but I know he's speaking truth from God's Word because I can go and check it myself. If someone is saying something that isn't in the Bible, don't listen. It must match up to God's Word.
Being a Christian does not make life easier, but it makes life better. Not only do we have the confidence that when we die, we will go to heaven, but we have a Heavenly Father who helps us through, and hopefully a great church family to do life with.
Turning to God when it's convenient for you is not really living for Him. You've got to be sold out for Him. You've got to allow Him in every little piece of your life and know that it's all one big life. You can't compartmentalize your life. Some people try, they have a work life during the week, a party life on the weekend, and show up for church on Sunday mornings. As a Christian, your life should reflect Jesus. We show others that we are His disciples by how we love others, how we live, and how we minister. You can't just go to God when you have a problem and live however the rest of the time. That's not freedom.
Jesus came to set us free from guilt, shame, condemnation, and all other sins. We are going to sin. Ok? We are human. But we don't have to be bound up by it any longer. Giving God our issues, and allowing Him to work in and through us is what helps. Paul told us in Romans to not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We've got to ALLOW Jesus to transform us. How can He when we continue to bind ourselves to stuff that is bad for us?
Whatever you might struggle with, God knows, and He cares. He wants you to be free and have a great relationship with Him. He loves you so much.
You are here for a reason. Stop letting the enemy win and keep you down. Stand firm on God, who is your Solid Rock, your Refuge, your very present help in time of need. Turn to Him and let Him break every chain!
God bless you today and always. 

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