Friday, March 21, 2014

Finding Freedom

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified."  2 Corinthians 13:5

     As I started to work on this article and think about what I wanted to write I kept finding the above verse running through my mind. So, when as verse keeps tugging at me like that I have to ponder what the Lord wants to say to us. Then I reflected on some recent conversations I've had with people professing to be Christians but yet they were miserable with their life and still struggling to be free.
Perhaps we aren't taking an HONEST look at our lives. Or as our opening scriptures says… "examine your life". Look at this verse--Psalm 32:4,5 --4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden.
Or look at this one in the Living Bible--Psalm 32:3-5
"...But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. 4 All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day 5 until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, "I will confess them to the Lord." And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

     Now I can just hear some of you saying… "Cindy, this takes time." Back when I was single and involved with a singles ministry, I will never forget one truth that our singles pastor pounded into us week after week. Repeatedly, he said; "To the degree that you surrender, is the degree you will grow." You see some people turn to the Lord because they're miserable in their life, but not with a heart of repentance. That's why so many live defeated lives as Christians. They haven't fully given Christ control of every area of their life. If you want the speed of your spiritual growth to excel, then do more surrendering.  Another way to look at this is, “when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change, you will change.”
     Yes, I realize that some things do not change over night. However, you do not have to remain miserable. It's time to refocus on the truth of God's word, not the lies of the world and the devil. It's time to focus on the positive and not the negative. We need to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of life" (Hebrews 12:2).  We have to give to the Lord every area of our lives. And, when we ask for His help we must be ready to receive His answer, no matter what. You see this growth thing is according to His plans, not ours.
Ultimately we’re to go to the Lord for help. But sometimes we need another human here on earth to help us. If you are struggling with some issues in your life find a mature Christian believer that you would feel comfortable sharing with. Make yourself accountable. Anyone who knows me well knows that I push the idea of accountability. If we had more accountability with other believers I believe we have a lot less people falling into temptation or becoming defeated in their walk with the Lord..
      There is hope! You can be free! But, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to walk it out. Are you ready to take that step? If so, pray the following prayer: "Dear Lord, I am struggling with_____. I know I can't conquer this on my own so I am asking for Your help. Please help me to be honest with myself? Please lead me to another believer that can be supportive? Help me learn Your Word about this area of my life so that I may be a witness for You? Thank You for helping me to gain more freedom in my life! In Jesus Name, Amen."

     There’s so much more I’d like to share about this subject but I think you have enough here to jump start you on your journey towards freedom.  Now go to the Bible, find verses relating to your area(s) of struggle and meditate on them, ponder them daily to get them past your mind and into your heart. Trust God to make you free in His strength, not your strength.