The 4th of July. A time to celebrate our country's birth and all the wonderful freedom's we have. A time to honor the men and women who helped us get here. But what I'm really celebrating today is, being free. I'm free. Free from hurts, free from fear, free from constantly being concerned about what other people think about me. Free. (I'm totally jamming down to Francesca Battistelli's Free to Be Me in my head right now, by the way). It's a wonderful feeling, this freedom thing. I'm full of joy, full of peace and I'm just basking in the glow of His glory.
"Our heart is like a house." I quote one of our pastors who spoke yesterday at my church, Believers Church. I love, love, LOVE, this imagery. Our heart is like a house. There are rooms we decide to give over to God and let Him be in control of. But it seems like there is always one or two rooms we keep for ourselves. They are a mess. Totally trashed out, horrible wall paper covering the walls. Why do we hold back these rooms? He wants to come in and remodel, to transform our lives. Why hold back? If Ty Pennington came up to you and offered to build you a beautiful, state-of-the-art mansion would you say, "Hmm actually I like my messy house just the way it is, thanks anyway though." NO! Of course you wouldn't. God is offering us something so amazing, so wonderful. Such an amazing opportunity to be His child, for FREE. There are no strings attached. He wants to take all those things that make you feel hurt, that make you worry, that make you feel depressed and down and He wants to make them new. Mourning into dancing, that kind of thing, you get the idea.
Thank you Father for making me free. Even though it takes a daily effort on my part, to surrender to Your will, to continually hand over those "closets" I cling on to in the back corners of my heart, thank you for making it all worth it. Thank you that even though it feels so hard at the time, I never, ever regret it.
Thank you for the freedoms I have in this country, and in my life. In the physical and spiritual.
Hope everyone has a wonderfully beautiful 4th of July.
Romans 6:17-23 MSG
You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
19I'm using this freedom language because it's easy to picture. You can readily recall, can't you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God's freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
20-21As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn't have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you're proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
22-23But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.