It is almost Easter. This is the time of the year that we celebrate what Christ did on the cross for us. He came to set us free from our sins and He went through an agonizing death in order to give us freedom. He emptied himself and humbled himself to the point of death so we can live in freedom. So, why do we still choose to be enslaved by sin and not walk in freedom? The reason I ask this question is because I looked at Jesus’ death on the cross as my way to heaven for so many years instead of it also being his way for me to live in freedom on this earth. I was in a pit of bondage trying to claw myself out instead of relying on Him to do the work for me.
I was a bag lady. I was carrying around with me all the things that kept me weighed down. I had anger in one bag, pain in another, resentment was so full I couldn’t add any more to it and defeat was in the bottom of the cart I was placing the bags in. Anxiety and depression were in so many bags I couldn’t carry them all. Self-condemnation was another bag I pulled behind me and bitterness made the cart tip over. I was an absolute mess! I had a choice to make. Did I want to be a bag lady the rest of my life, or did I want to give each bag to Jesus and ask Him to carry it for me? I had to be willing to give those bags away so I could walk in freedom. Sometimes it is hard to get rid of those bags because we want to hang on to them, but if we want to be free, then they must go!
I have learned that Jesus did not come just to help me, but He came to do the work for me. He came to change me and set me free from anything that hindered me in my faith. Jesus took residence in me the minute I gave my heart to Him and asked Him to live in me. For so many years I didn’t ask for his help or believed that He would help me. I became so self-sufficient that I didn’t turn to Him. I was not living in freedom. I am here to tell you that He is here for you and He wants to help you with any area of your life. He is here to help you with your anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, self-loathing, panic attacks, rage, denial, misery, resentment and bitterness. Yes, it is a fight but it is a fight that is well worth it. Each step you take brings you closer to freedom.
Romans 6:11-14 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
Romans 8:2 “Because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
Jesus has the power over anything in our lives. And I mean anything! He rose again from the dead and that gave Him the power to accomplish what He wants us to do. I am a slow learner in this area. I have wrestled with Him way too much over certain issues. I have had a hard time letting certain things go and trusting Him. When I remember that He is my father and He only wants what is best for me, then it is much easier to let go of what I am hanging on to. He is a good father. He gives me the power that I need and He even does the work for me with the strength that He gives me.
Would you take the time today to look at the issues in your life? Write them down and ask Him to set you free of whatever hinders you from following Him or turning away from Him. Most of my issues didn’t immediately go away. It has been a long process, but He promises us freedom of the sin that entangles us. I had major performance issues in my life. I had to constantly be busy and made myself sick by doing that. I had to learn that Jesus accepted me just where I was and didn’t care if I did anything but sit at his feet. Remember the Mary and Martha story? Martha wanted Jesus to tell Mary to help her and Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 11:41-42
I love that story so much because I can relate to it. I was a Martha and now I am more like a Mary. Sometimes I struggle with being a Martha, but I like to sit at Jesus’ feet more than I ever have. I am so glad I have changed in that area. Jesus is setting me free from my performance issues and He can do the same for you. I had to ask myself all the time if what I was doing was of eternal value. Was I spending more time on things to make me happy or was I spending time on things that made Jesus happy? We all will have to stand before Him some day and I long to hear Him say,”Well done my good and faithful servant.” I want to live a life that pleases Him and brings glory to Him. I don’t know who said this statement: “The beginning of ministry is yielding to God. It is answering yes to Him before you know the question.” I strive to be that person! I want to say “yes” before He asks me. (I have a tendency to question Him)
I pray that this Easter bring you freedom! I pray that you will rejoice over what Jesus did on the cross for you. I hope you will realize how much He loves you and wants you to walk with Him every day. He wants you to give Him all your issues and ask for His help and also His freedom. While we are on this earth, He wants us to live in freedom because that is why He came. We will be set free from our sins when we give Him our lives. When we lose our lives then we are free to live for Him! Until next time fellow sojourners!