It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
I write to you on this Fourth of July morning from the wicker bench on our back patio, surrounded by outside play toys, half-dead hanging flower baskets, and one magnificent, burgeoning, lime-tinging-to-hot pink hydrangea. Hillsong plays in my headphones, and I am dumbstruck by this American, plentiful, Costco-cart life we live. The music plays,
In my life be lifted high
In my world be lifted high
In my love be lifted high.
And I wonder that in this land of plenty, so many of us remain in bondage. The sins, disfunctions, and limitations of our parents and our grandparents still haunt us. Our own failings, our own diagnoses, our own insecurities, jealousies, and limits chain us to smaller lives than we were destined for. We say to ourselves,
Because of this thing in the past, I remain hindered. I remain addicted. I remain silent. I drown in anger; I swallow bitterness. I can’t chase the dream seeded deep in my heart. I can’t break out of this shell of self-protection, of pride, that keeps me unknown and alone. I can’t lose this weight or put down this habit because it has become a part of my identity, even if I despise it and myself for it. I’m not like those people who overcome, not capable of changing, of having a storybook life, marriage, career. I’m damaged. I’m broken.
To everyone out there today who thinks your destiny has to be limited by your backstory, I am here to tell you,
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be set free. Galatians 5:13
If you foster the lie in your spirit that your sins are too big, that you have gone too far to ever be welcomed back, replace that fear with this truth:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
If you think your mental or physical illness cannot be redeemed, that you have been given over to the vacuum of haunts by a God of indifference, know this:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
In all these things! When you wake up in the morning and the ghosts flood in, when all you want to do is silence the terror, when you scream at heaven to stop this suffering, write this on the walls of your scarred and broken heart:
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
He was sent
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners . . .
This God who is sometimes so hard to feel, to understand, does see us in our suffering, in our bondage. He calls out to us:
Woman/[Man], you are set free from your infirmity. Luke 13:12
Whatever it is that binds you, cry out to Jesus. Refuse the bonds you remain tied to, and break the chains in Jesus’ name. Live in full purpose, wholeness. Live in freedom.
Now; lets get down to the business of shouting a call for freedom throughout this land. And as He promises,
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14
Imagine an entire nation living in freedom, living a God-given destiny. Please pray and imagine with me:
Lord, we thank you for Your promises of freedom, redemption, and transformation, no matter what has been done to us, no matter what we have done. We pray for forgiveness and we pray for our lives to be redeemed and used by you. We pray, too, that our lives will be so transformed that we will each serve as lighthouses, shining light and YOUR LOVE across a dark and broken world. We pray that our light will catch others on fire, and that one soul by one soul will be enough to catch a nation and then a world on fire for you.
We call for independence, for freedom, in Jesus Name.
Happy 4th of July!
And happy birthday to my one and only Aunt Dana!