‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…’ (Galatians 5:1a NLT)
By Gloria Wessner
How can I live the life I was meant to live? Sometimes the thing we need the most freedom from is ourselves. Freedom from the guilt of past mistakes, freedom from hanging on to the devastating effects of emotional baggage we carry, freedom from the ongoing worries inside of ourselves from serious illness, and freedom from the natural tendencies to think of ourselves and what we want for our self – first.
To begin with, the thing within me that causes me to be in such bondage to the negative things that have happened in my life are the wrongdoings and misconducts (God’s word calls it ‘sin’) I have in my life. Sin binds me up in a negative way like nothing else, and God knows that. Since we all suffer with this condition, God made a way to get rid of it (by his Son Jesus dying on a cross in my place and then rising from the dead he conquered sin and death so I may be free) so I may be free to live the life I was meant to live – in joy in a personal relationship with the God of the Universe.
‘Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.
We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.’ (Romans 6:6-9, 14, 16 NLT)
We can see from piece that we can get unstuck, and be free. Free to be the person I was meant to be, free to live the way I was meant to live, free to place all my burdens on Him as He walks with me in this journey of life. And best of all, free from myself and the sinful condition I have so I may go to be with Him in His home (heaven) when this earthly body is done.
‘We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.’ (Romans 3:22, 23 NLT)
‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.’ (Galatians 5:24 NLT)
‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
This leaves me with a choice to make – I can be stuck either by continuing to live for myself in my sinful condition and in my problems; or, I can be free by choosing God to be in my life forever, living the way I was meant to live. If I make this choice for God in my life, then there is another part to life I need to know following this choice I’ve made.
It shouldn’t be said that we will never have consequences from past mistakes or that we will never get seriously ill even after we’ve made such a choice. What is being said is that after we belong to God and his family, he can help free us from the bondage and ongoing mental and emotional strain that we carry as a result of these types of problems and difficulties. We can also learn how he helps us as we walk on through life’s journey, guiding us to make better choices and learning to surrender the problems to him as he will take the burdens upon himself instead of me carrying them (trust grows and the challenge for me is to hand each problem over to him). As a result, in spite of life’s difficulties, I can have a sense of joy in my daily life that is above positive thinking, new age theories, or some other popular way of thinking, philosophy or any type of religion. This is all part of growing as a believer after I make a choice for him as I continue to get to know God throughout life, with his word and fellow believers helping and encouraging me.
‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ (2 Peter 3:18a NIV)
‘ And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.’ (Colossians 2:6,7 NLT)
This Thanksgiving season I am thankful that I can be unstuck and free to live the way God designed me to live.
Readers are invited to write Gloria at: firstname.lastname@example.org.