I’m not sure how long you have been walking with the Lord but we’ve been besties for 40 years – and I am always astounded at his relentless pursuit, acceptance & love for his kids! At his constant desire to keep us walking forward to live FREE in every area and season of life.
I was chatting with one of my long-time friends a few months ago about how it seems we finally get free in one area and then God turns around and asks us to walk in freedom in another area - year after year – season after season – getting free of one darn idol or issue after the other...that we didn’t even know was a problem in our lives.
It’s like we just get free in one area and then ‘oh my gosh’, all of a sudden, our eyes are opened to another way we need to be free. We must be really messed up humans! I wish I could tell you that I wake up every morning with a smile radiating from my face, with faith filling my heart, that my mind thinks only thoughts that line up with God’s word, and my mouth says all the right things with just the right tones... but that’s not my reality.
I am in a constant battle in all these areas. In fact last summer on our way driving home from vacation, Rob and I were discussing some of our goals for this coming fall and year... and it was awesome!! We were connecting – it was beautiful… But then it was my turn to drive and he got irritated because I wanted to stop and get a Starbucks, so I wouldn’t fall asleep. Being a typical male, his irritation stemmed from the fact that he didn’t want to go ‘out of our way’ because he was on a mission to get home. But seriously, we were in no hurry at all, what’s an extra 15 min? Come on!! Anyhow, he did take me to Starbucks – but I could tell he was NOT happy.
So when I got out of the car to go in, I had a talk with myself that ‘no matter how much of a stinker he was acting like, or how irritated he still was when I got back in the car, I was going to be a kind human, a loving wife, just swallow my pride and deal with it.’
As you probably have figured out – that DID NOT happen – I got in the drivers seat, looked over at him, and there he was in the passengers seat with his earphones on... basically pouting. So... I gently pulled one of the ear buds out of his ears and just went off. It was terrible. I said all kinds of stupid things I wish I didn’t say. But I just thought it was ridiculous how big of a deal he was making this! Normally, he likes to take a walk to get a hold of himself before he says too much - but this time – he was trapped – he couldn’t get away so he said stupid stuff back... at one point he asked to stop and let him out of the car and at another point, I asked to get out... it was a doozy. (Do you feel better about yourself now?)
Of course we apologized... and still love each other and it’s all good! But I told you that story to illustrate that we all need FREEDOM! LIVING A FREE LIFE is hard and it’s a journey we will be on the rest of our lives. We all need freedom in different areas, at different times. Sometimes we have to keep working on the same area over and over... ‘hello LAURA with your mouth!’ We all WANT to live free... but struggle to do so.
The great news is: Galatians 5:1 (msg) says, “Christ has set us free to live a free life!” Jesus died on the cross to set us free from sin and death, from sickness and lack, from every bondage, from anything that holds us back, so we can live free!
Of course the million-dollar question is: ‘How do we really LIVE FREE?’ We’d need books and seminars and eons of time to adequately answer this question and dig into this subject, but just to whet your appetite.
I took a little survey from some of my closest friends asking what the top 3 things are that help them live free and here’s what they said:
RoutineStick with what you know works for you
LaughDon’t take life or yourself too seriously
ExerciseGet those toxins out
NatureGet out and enjoy God’s creation
BalanceOf grace with yourself and asking God ‘to search me and see if there is any offensive way in me!’
SurrenderStay in a trusting - dependent – love filled – ‘have your way in my life’- relationship with God.
Perspective ShiftPerspective is the only thing that changes results without changing the facts – "Be grateful for what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have!"
Daily Quiet TimeWorship, reading the Bible and speaking God’s promises, praying, journaling, gratitude, sharing your faith.
RelationshipsAccountability + increases the joys & reduces the burdens
ALL of these ideas are fantastic tools to help us LIVE FREE! My guess is that if we all participate in a few more of these practices... we will live with a whole lot more freedom!