“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Galatians 5:1 NKJV
I remember stress. In my past I often found myself stumbling into situations that I could not handle. Once entangled, I felt bound in an endless loop of repeated behaviors that sapped me of strength and filled me with shame. In those times, the darkness was overwhelming, and all that I could see was the vast void of blackness where hopes and dreams should be.
Each day was filled with the same level of drudgery, as I sought to find some relief to the pain. Sadly, the things that I chose only made the bindings that held me, tighter and more confining. More pain. Freedom was just a word for me, that had little real meaning in my life. I was hooked into the cycle of sin and could not get out.
Then Jesus entered into my life.
In the beginning, I did not fully comprehend that I was now free. For a while, I still felt stuck in my cycle of sin. Now it was a sin/confess cycle. In some ways it became even more painful. The Holy Spirit had taken up residence and strong conviction moved into me. I no longer had the guiltless sin of my previous life. When I stumbled, there was a difference.
In my earliest days I tried to go to some of the places I used to frequent, and I discovered that I no longer belonged in those places. I remember going to a bar that I had enjoyed about a week after Easter 1998. I felt completely out of place. Chillingly, I felt like I was the only living person in the place. It seemed like I was surrounded by zombies. I could see the death on the faces of the customers. I left and never returned.
Overtime, I grew and matured. The strong conviction which used to shake my world, causing me to feel guilt and shame, became instructive, as I learned about God’s grace. I learned that God loves me, and that love was not based on my performance. He could never love me more or less than that day that He saved my soul.
I also learned of the liberty that Jesus had provided for me. Where I felt trapped in cycles of sin in the past, I now had the opportunity to be freed from my entanglement in sinful behaviors. I also learned that the same liberty, met that God’s grace covered me when I stumbled.
There are some today who think they can run about and engage in sin, and God will love them any way. They have made liberty, licentiousness, as they pursued fleshly pleasure under the guise of Christianity. What they fail to realize is that the fellowship with God will be damaged, and worse, the guiding power of the Holy Spirit will be muted as hearts become seared.
I need that conviction. His loving reminders are sometimes the only thing keeping me from going over the edge into the moral abyss. I want my heart to be sensitive to the still, small voice of God, not the loud, shrill screaming of consequence.
In this time of quarantine, I have way too many opportunities to indulge myself in the empty pleasures that are less than edifying. I am surviving by abiding daily. The constant contact with Jesus is helping me to remain free of the bondage of the many sins that had previously entangled my life.
I look at my life now and I never want to go back to the profound sadness of my existence before Jesus. I have become addicted to the joy of the Lord.
Believers, you can know that liberty that God provides. In Christ we are free. Non believers, you are stuck in the same quarantine that all of us are in. Sadly there is a more stringent lockdown coming: eternity in hell.
I can paint salvation with the pleasant tones of life change and good feelings, but the reality is, you would be saved from hell, a place of eternal torment. We are sinners. The wages of our sin is death. Separation from God.
Jesus paid it all.
He died for the forgiveness of our sins. With the payment for our sins, we avoid hell. Jesus went to the cross, was buried and rose again. We will be with Him in Heaven. He lives.
Make this day of your liberation! Be free!
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!