I know slavery…

Yesterday, as I was singing with uplifted hands about the freedom I have in Christ, I was also praying that I would learn to live as a “free man”.  See, I know slavery.

I know what it is to give in to what seems like pleasure, only to have it burn all the way down and make sick my stomach.  I know what it is to think five minutes won’t hurt, and five hours later find myself walking away in chains.  I know what it is to be told to go and gather only what is needed for today – no less…no MORE, and I have seen how the “buy now, pay later” rots in your hand.  I have walked toward the Promised Land in freedom for a good week, only to find at the next hardship I am pleading angry with God while remembering the “comforts” of slavery.  “Atleast then I had…”

I know slavery.  I know that it binds and chains up and gives you the facade of freedom until you try to run farther than the leash allows.

I know slavery; it’s freedom that is foreign.

1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5 The Message

Just like the Israelites returned to their slave-life while Moses was on the mountain for 40 days – only 40 days! – I have returned to my familiar “harness” when He has asked me to wait.  Why, Lord, does freedom seem the hard life?  How is it that the “restraints” and “beatings” and the “harshness” of slavery seem like home?  Didn’t Christ give His life – didn’t we just celebrate Easter? – to break the chains, to give me freedom?

Want to know what I think?  I think the “easiness” of sin/slavery is the illusion that keeps us in chains.  We become just like all the world, no different, and offering nothing different.  We have been deceived to think we have no way out – no choice!  The lie is the restraint, and we haven’t even looked down to see that the chains are gone.  Instead we return to our jail cell, we sit in the pit, and we do not see the open door that we can walk out of at anytime!

We have the FREEDOM to CHOOSE right-ness over wrong, time with Him over time near the line of temptation, a “gentle answer” over a harsh word, a thanksgiving over a complaint.  Yet, we have been deceived to think the actions of freedom are “too hard”, take too much effort, are too hard to achieve, are a…burden.  Once again Satan tries to make Eden look like a prison and the world to look like our freedom, but oh, if we would only see that the place we call the “land of the free” is really an ever “wide” land of shackles.

But how?  How do you freely run, dance, sing, live for Him?  How!?

Yesterday I stood, singing these words of freedom, and lifting my hands and arms so high to heaven I was sure I would break if He didn’t lift me!  This yielded posture was shouting, “Take all of me, Father – all my desires, all my sins, all my dreams, all my chains!” and “Daddy!” – oh how amazing and sweet that I can say that title to Him – “Pour Yourself all over me – over us!  Drench us in Your Spirit – may we never be dry again!”  There is no “walking in the Spirit” while walking in my flesh.  There is no “walking in the Spirit” without the Spirit.  I must be willing to stop living for all the earth; I must live for all eternity – even now!  Eyesight must be UP-graded, emotions must be “self-controlled”, thoughts must be purified, words must be sanctified, actions must be God-glorifying!  There is no way earthly-me can do this, but there is a Way!

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14 NLT

So, if I begin my day with Him, if I hold His hand all day long, if I walk and talk with Him about everything, if I stop along the “road” to be refreshed by Him, if I give Him praise and thanks and say “Yes!” – all the time -, if I take the good and bad from His hand with the same willing, open hands, if I continue to say as Mary did:

 Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.

Luke 1 The Message

I could just find the Way – Freedom!  I could learn new steps, steps unhindered, steps of adventure, steps of supernatural living – right here, in the natural!  My life could look like a “worship service” all the time!  I could pray over fret.  I could praise over being depressed.  I could believe over doubt.  I could…just…be…FREE!

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Giving thanks over it all…

2048-2060

the garden bed that serves as a kids’ fort for now

2 hands

2 feet nailed to a cross – He died so I wouldn’t have to

a belated birthday party Timothy

the gift of Nathan being well…almost

the gift of coffee…I ground the beans for the first time in 40 days

Jesus in tomb-clothes (edible craft with family)

uplifting hands of praise Sunday morning

little arms asking for Momma

“rising” at around 4:30 am to await the sunrise!

holding her while smiling big and rubbing noses

hearing a choir of birds over dinner – and Hannah joining in their song

the freedom I find hidden in their smiles…tears!