July 21, 2014
One of the best things about marriage so far is the accountability that we feel for each other. Corey and I both have had a huge burden on our hearts for the past few months that we aren’t doing enough for God. We know there is a calling on our lives to serve in bigger ways and we haven’t been living out that calling. Our church is amazing and there is tons of ways that we can get involved but we just haven’t yet. Our Bible study is incredible and we have made some great friends but we aren’t challenging each other or serving together like we are called to do.
I’ve often thought about how on fire for God I was a few years ago and how much my heart was completely sold out to furthering His Kingdom. And I remember the complete joy I knew and complete satisfaction I had when Jesus was the reason for every move I made. And I wonder how anyone could take a step backwards after knowing that joy and satisfaction. But I have done just that. I have let the world creep in and make a place in my heart as well. And while I am still living for God, I’m not 100% sold out for Him. I want more!
Yesterday the sermon spoke so loudly to me about where I am and where I need to be. The sermon was called “Freedom To Be.” The last point that Van made was “Freedom for the Christian does not mean one can be whatever they want to be but that they can become what God has made them to be.
These words along with a few verses from Galations reminded me of just how free I am and how I am not using my freedom to serve God right now.
Galations 5:1 says “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.” This was the scripture that I wrote to everyone as they left the prison. It was the one verse that I wanted to leave with every person being released from physical bondage. So to start the message off with this really caught my attention. The first thing in my mind is “Surely I’m not back in bondage… I’m still totally faithful to God… or am I???”
Galations 4:9 says, “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?”
This got me really asking myself again how I could go backwards from the commitment that I had when I was locked up. I’m not living out my freedom in Christ. I’m letting the demands of freedom cause me to return again to the bonds of slavery. Maybe not a bondage of drugs like I was in before, but a different sin of complacency and laziness. This is NOT the true freedom that I have known!
The next 2 scriptures really caught my attention because they both talk about freedom and serving one another in the same sentence. I heard loud and clear that my freedom was given to me so that I could continue serving God… not so that I could make a life for myself and get comfortable.
Galations 5:13 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
1 Peter 2:16 “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
This concept of using my freedom to serve God really hit home yesterday. At the same time, all the youth group was in the 9:30 service because they were leaving for camp. God touched my heart in crazy ways yesterday morning. He reminded me that His calling is still strong on my life when I am ready to live it out. He reminded me that I have a story that can help people if I will only commit it to Him and go out into all the world. He has placed a strong burden on my heart and I am ready to become what He has made me to be!
Lord, You have brought me out of a life of sin and bondage into a life of freedom. Help me to never take this freedom for granted. Help me to not live for myself but to build Your Kingdom with every bit of my being. I want to become what You intend me to be and not just be who I want to be. Show me Your way and Your plan for my life. Give me courage and boldness and reveal to me the opportunities that You have for me. Your plan and purpose is perfect! Thank You for the constant reminder of Who You Are and who I am. I love you Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen.