Tag Archives: Freedom

You Don’t Have To Be Here To Be Here!

6 Nov

I was watching a movie the other night and was immediately inspired by a scene where a popular school teacher had died. Several children were sitting in a group, reminiscing about good times and feeling down and sad. They were interrupted by another teacher who wanted to encourage them. He said to the group,  “I know you are really sad that your teacher died but don’t you know you don’t have to be here to be here? Every time you give your knowledge away or what you have learned – every time you give something to someone – you give a little part of yourselves to them. You have a little bit of everyone who has given into your life. They are here with you, you just have to know where to look.”

Wow! So many thoughts and feelings flooded my heart and my mind. That is an awesome truth. First, I thought of my Mother who died a few years ago. I miss her so very much, yet so much of her is still with me. I  have many of her material things, but I don’t drag them around with me to keep her near me. My Mother is always – always – with me. She’s in my heart. I hear her voice when I do something I know she wouldn’t like. I hear her sweet, loving words to me when I am discouraged or hurt. I can see her face in my mind’s eye. So many of the things I learned came from watching her and listening to her. I hear many people say,  “I’m turning into my Mother.” Many of us say that as though it were a bad thing when, in fact, it can be a very good thing. That’s where the statement “. . .you just have to know where to look” comes in.

Just think about how many people have become a part of us – our parents – our siblings – our friends, and so on. We glean from each and every one of them, even if it is to determine we don’t like certain things they do, and we surely don’t want that part of them to dwell in us. More than likely, we even catch ourselves picking up certain traits of others – repeating their phrases or their reactions.

Unfortunately, deposits into our lives by others are not always positive.  Some of the deepest hurts and fears left as residue from them may  keep us bound by vows we have made as a result of the pain they have caused. They are still with us. That means we are looking at the wrong place in our hearts. (We might say, “I’ll never let anything like that happen to me again,” or “I learned my lesson – I won’t do that anymore”). Surely there are also good things deposited into us by others yet we tend to focus on the negative things and not the positive. We then begin to put walls around our hearts and push others away based on what one person did to us. Over the years, the deposits made by others can even keep us away from the destiny that God has prepared for us.

The Scriptures tell us Eccl 5:5-6 ” It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.” NIV   We should re-think any vows that we may have made and ask God to forgive us. We can’t assume that because one person has hurt us that others will. That is when it is vital that we “. . . know where to look.”

My mind races with how many ways this affects us. I’ve had a good, long life. I’ve experienced a great deal of pain and loss. (See how I mentioned the pain and loss first?) I have also been blessed with so much good – more good than bad. When I think of the pain and loss, I think of the people who are here with me, even though they aren’t here with me! On the other hand, when I say certain things or experience some feelings of fun and joy, I think of others who are with me, even though they aren’t here with me. So many of life’s experiences have made me who I am today.

The most important fact of all is that God is with me – and He is here with me even though I can’t see Him – He is here with me! There is never a time He isn’t with me. He lives in me – He never leaves me. He isn’t just a memory. He’s alive and He is with me always – at all times – good and bad. He talks with me – He listens to me – He helps me to overcome the negative things that have been deposited in my life by others. His is the influence I need to live by – nothing else – good or bad. My memories of others are part of my life forever, but they don’t make me who I am. God does that.

If you don’t know the God of Abraham, invite Him into your life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to come and live in your heart. He is an amazing God – Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

Only God can see to it that our  hearts are cleansed and free from everything that would keep us bound.

 

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Do You Live in Bondage or Walk in Freedom?

31 Oct

WHAT DO I PAY FOR FREEDOM?

We all want to be free. What does that mean to you? If you love the God of Abraham, freedom comes by walking in obedience to Him. To be able to do that you must first know Him.  You must be born again by inviting Jesus Christ into your heart. To know Him you must spend time reading His inspired Word written down for us in the Holy Bible. This is where true freedom is.

God wants only the best for us. Satan tries every way he can to deceive us; his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. Some have unknowingly tried to make the God of Abraham like pagan gods by worshiping an “image” of whatever they have made Him out to be.  Instead He is our Father in Heaven who wants to know us personally and develop a relationship with us – a personal relationship.

Serving God is not following a set of rules, nor is it just attending services to fulfill an obligation. Serving God is an honor and a privilege. He loves you and me with a love we can’t understand. We have to use our faith to receive it. The more time we spend getting to know Him, the more we are drawn into His presence and the more our spiritual eyes and ears are opened to His ways and His truth.

WHAT IS FREEDOM?

Freedom means different things to different people. God has a plan, a pattern for our lives – a road map, if you will. He didn’t just toss us in this world and tell us to sink or swim. If you belong to Him, He is with you always and will never, ever leave you. He will walk with you through whatever comes your way. He doesn’t always remove the pitfalls but He does pick us up and dust us off when we fall down. He sets us back on our feet and stays with us, continuing to guide us.

If you are a believer in the God of Abraham and you want to live a life dedicated to Him, you are expected to walk in obedience to Him at all times. You can’t know His will for your life if you don’t know Him. We make it so hard on ourselves. The Bible tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. If becoming a Christian meant being free from all problems . . . well, it just doesn’t.

CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES

We face a world full of choices and decisions every day. Some are easy – most are not. Let’s discuss the ones that have us really bound tightly. We have a problem and we take it to God in prayer. We tell Him the problem and then tell Him what solution we need.   ????   Hummmm, it really doesn’t work that way. We can certainly tell God what we want and how we would like the answer to come.  Then comes the hard part. If our minds are set on only receiving our answer the way we want it we may be in for many disappointments. Preconceived ideas generally set us up for disappointment. The Bible tells us that God’s ways are higher than our ways and that we cannot fathom the depths of His understanding. In other words, He has plans for us that we can’t even understand, let alone ask for.  We ask Him for something based on our limited knowledge of how things should be worked out.

GOD IS FULL OF SURPRISES!

The most exciting thing about God is He is full of surprises. His answers will always be the right ones. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Also understand that when God answers prayer it isn’t always a “yes”.  It can be “wait” or . . . “NO”! Oops – not what we wanted to hear.

THIS IS WHERE THE FREEDOM COMES IN . . .

If you limit God to what you know and what you can see you are possibly setting yourself up for a great fall. You are also in danger of becoming “bound” – Encarta Dictionary defines bound as “. . . obliged to do something or behave in a particular way”.  Two definitions from the Thesaurus for “bound” are “obligated” and “constrained”.  That is opposite from “freedom”.

It’s a matter of the Spirit being in control – yielding our Spirit to God for His guidance. He loves us like we love our children. He wants the best for us and has the ability to make it happen. He also has the ability to “see around the corner” – He knows what is coming, we don’t. His answers sometimes aren’t what we want to hear. Yielding to God is not always easy. It means yielding (submitting) to Him. Many times it means we don’t get our way. This is where trust comes in. If you will notice, when you let God have His way you are putting your trust and “faith” in Him. Remember, faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Scripture also tells us that without faith we cannot please God.

NOW FOR THE HARD PART

When God answers with “No” or “Wait” or leads you in another way, your emotions (soul) kicks in and you want to dig your heels in – have it your way. You can. But when you do, you have lost your freedom. Say what? You heard me correctly. When you pick and choose which of God’s directions you will follow, you are not actually being obedient.

Let’s say you pray that God remove you from a situation and you tell Him how you want it done. He answers by sending just what you need to be removed from the situation, but it’s different from the terms you told Him you wanted. So, instead of following God’s plan and being removed from the situation, you hold out for doing it your way. In the meantime tension builds, stress becomes harder to deal with and everything turns out to be a mess. Then, the “way out” God offered you may not still be available or even if it is, you have delayed your freedom by trying your own way first. If you had done it His way immediately, you could have avoided many of the problems and most of the stress.

That is sort of a simple way of saying it, but I think the message is clear. We have freedom of choice – God gave us a free will. But, we have the honor and the privilege of having His Holy Spirit as our counselor and our guide to give us the perfect solution to our situation. It doesn’t mean we will always immediately like the way God has shown us. But, as we step out in faith we will eventually see that His ways are better than our ways and He has a reason for wanting us to follow the map He gives us.

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