When I first read Tiffany’s writing, I knew nothing about her except that she captivated me with her ability to weave a story and string together words. Since I reached out and commented on her blog, she’s become a dear friend and encourager and I thank God we crossed paths in the blogosphere. I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome today as we talk about how sometimes the familiar can become what enslaves us and keeps us stuck.
Tiffany is a wife and mom who dwells in the sunshine (and smog) of Southern California. She’s a lover of words who purposes to use hers to speak God’s truth with grace and authenticity. More than that, she longs to provide a safe place for others to do the same. You are invited to join her word-by-word journey through the mountains and valleys of faith at her blog, Simply for One, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
It Is for Freedom
I heard the story of a man who, after thirty-five years in prison, was finally released. For decades his every move had been bound by law, and finally he was free to explore life. But after thirty-five years of rigid routine and structure, he struggled to adjust to his new found freedom. In desperation, craving the familiar confines of his former limitations, he robbed a local mini-mart. When police arrived, he surrendered to them and shortly thereafter was returned to prison.
He willingly gave up his freedom to return to what he once knew. Unbelievable.
And then it occurred to me: I do the same thing every day.
As a believer, my freedom has been purchased with great cost, my ransom paid in full. I’ve been redeemed from the bondage of sin by the blood of Christ. But my shackles are never further than my own back pocket.
And all too often, I pull them out, slip them on, and chain myself to burdens that aren’t mine to bear.
When I allow doubt to diminish the calling God has set before me.
When fear robs me of opportunity to exercise faith.
When comparison steals the identity that God has written over me.
When the pursuit of perfection and approval of man take precedent over God.
It’s like I walk right back into a prison cell and slam the door shut behind me. It’s as if I take Christ’s freedom gift and hand it back to Him unopened.
When I willingly set aside liberty to entertain slavery, it’s the equivalent of saying Christ’s life wasn’t worth my freedom.
For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 ESV
Christ HAS set us free. It isn’t a future promise. It’s not a condition we have to meet. Freedom isn’t offered to us once we complete a list of required tasks, or prove ourselves worthy. We don’t have to wrestle to receive it. Our freedom is a complete work.
Christ has set us free, and so … WE. ARE. FREE.
Stand firm therefore. Our frame is fragile, weak even. We so easily relinquish the freedom in God’s fought for promises to embrace satan’s slippery lies. And God knows how easily we fall prey. It’s why He tells us to come to Him when we’re weary, to seek Him when we need rest.
His yoke is STILL easy. His burden is STILL light.
Jesus doesn’t want us to live in chains. He wants us to experience the freedom of forgiveness, the grace of an unburdened walk beside Him, and the gentle touch of His guiding hand. But He also wants us to fight for what is ours. To stand fast in faith. To lock our knees, dig in our heels, and refuse to give up that which He gave His own life to obtain for us.
Christ has set us free, so that we will LIVE free.
We can’t settle for less. The fullness of freedom was purchased for us on a cross. Abundance of life was bought at a price we can never repay. A life lived in shackles is not a life lived for Christ.
Christ has set us free. And whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.
*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.