freedom (8)

4 Reasons You May Be Feeling Stuck

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that most people are paralyzed or imprisoned in some way. No wonder the Bible tells so many stories about those who got healed of paralysis or set free from bondage and imprisonment.

When we read such Bible stories today, it’s easy to miss how these events apply to our lives. If we’ve never been physically paralyzed or lame, we can struggle to relate to the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12 or the lame man in Acts 3:1-12. And if we’ve never done jail time, we can assume there’s not much we can learn from Joseph’s release from an Egyptian dungeon (Genesis 39-40) or the supernatural prison breaks of Peter (Acts 12:1-19) and Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40).

But, you see, the imprisonment most people face today is emotional and spiritual rather than physical. They’ve been traumatized by their journey through life, whether through the consequences of their own bad decisions or through the unkind actions of others.

In John 20:19-29 Jesus’ disciples were locked in a self-imposed prison after experiencing the trauma of their Master’s unjust arrest, brutal beating, and horrific crucifixion. Today we sometimes call those events “Good Friday,” but there seemed nothing “good” about the cross of Calvary at the time. The disciples were understandably devastated, gathered together behind locked doors because of fear of the Jewish leaders.

Suddenly Jesus appeared to these shell-shocked men. Although preachers sometimes say, based on Revelation 3:20, that Jesus always knocks before entering our situation, that’s simply not true. This time He just came right on in, bypassing every defense mechanism in order to release these traumatized followers from their emotional bondage.

This is one of the most pivotal scenes in the entire Bible. It’s not an overstatement to say that the whole fate of the church and the expansion of God’s kingdom rested on what would happen in the lives of these shattered men.

The disciples had left everything to follow Jesus, believing that their lives would ultimately change the world. Now their dreams seemed to have reached a cruel dead end. Dazed and confused, they were very unlikely candidates for any kind of heroic, world-changing mission.

So how did Jesus turn the worst of times into the best of times for these emotionally damaged followers? He addressed four different snares that were holding these men in spiritual captivity:

  1. FEAR – Not just once, but twice, Jesus told them, “Peace be with you.” And when they “saw the Lord,” their fear and anguish were replaced with great joy. If you are feeling “stuck” in some area of your life today, it’s likely that fear is one of the things holding you back. Just as He did for the disciples, Jesus wants to penetrate your closed doors and replace your fear with faith, and your anxiety with His peace and joy.
  2. PURPOSELESSNESS – These men who had taken such bold steps to leave their careers and families in order to change the world with Jesus were now left without a purpose or a vision. They had abandoned and denied their Savior in His hour of need, and now their traumatized condition seemed to disqualify them from any significant usefulness in His plan. Nevertheless, Jesus re-commissioned and affirmed them with fresh vision and purpose: As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” What an encouraging story for us today. Even when we feel like failures, unusable by God, He can reaffirm our calling and give us a new commission to impact the world.
  3. WEAKNESS – In addition to a lack of purpose, Jesus’ disciples were suffering from a lack of power. A new commission would have fallen on deaf ears unless they also received new empowerment. Recognizing their need, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” In their own strength, they never would have been able to fulfill His majestic plan for their lives—nor can you or I. But, empowered by the Spirit, we can transform the world (Acts 1:8, Philippians 4:13).
  4. FORGIVENESS ISSUES – Jesus showed them His wounds, proof that they had been forgiven by His shed blood. But then He talked to them about their calling to extend His forgiveness to OTHERS. If you are in some kind of spiritual prison today, there’s a good chance that forgiveness is one of the keys needed to set you free. Perhaps you need to RECEIVE God’s full forgiveness of your past, releasing you from any guilt, shame, or condemnation. Or maybe you are still locked in emotional bondage because you’ve not yet forgiven someone who has hurt you. Either way, forgiveness is an indispensable key to your spiritual and emotional freedom.

I encourage you to read this list again, asking God to show you which of these four keys are needed to help you get unstuck and ready to fulfill your destiny as a follower of Christ.

Perhaps you’ve been hiding out behind closed doors for a long time now, traumatized by some experience that has been hard to shake. But if Jesus could take these distraught men from the shadow of the cross to the glory of resurrection life, surely He can transform your life and give you a new beginning.

Like Jesus’ disciples, you may seem like an unlikely world-changer today. But once He has freed you from fear, given you fresh vision, empowered you by His Spirit, and dealt with your forgiveness issues, your life can be amazing. You don’t have to wait any longer!

 

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Perhaps you’ve heard the story of a pony named Pearl who worked with the carnival. Shackled to a pole from a young age, she gave rides to children along a small, circular path. 

Every day was the same. Pearl lived in sheer drudgery, going around and around in endless circles, without even the slightest taste of freedom.

Far in the distance, Pearl sometimes saw other horses frolicking joyfully in the meadow. What a great life that must be! she moaned, feeling sorry for herself as she continued her circular journey.

But one night a miracle happened. During a thunderstorm, a flash of lightning struck the heavy cable Pearl was tethered to, snapping it in half.

However, for a long time Pearl didn’t appreciate her good fortune. Although she no longer was shackled, she continued living just as she had done her entire life—plodding along in never-ending circles.

Many people today are still living much like Pearl the pony. They’ve been chained so long to poverty, sickness, addiction, fear, or depression that they don’t think it’s possible to escape the well-worn path before them. And while they sometimes glimpse others experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised, they’re convinced they’ll never experience such a life.

If you can relate to Pearl’s hapless story, I have good news for you. Just as a miracle had set the worn-out pony free from her captivity, the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection has done the same for you and me. The problem comes when, just like Pearl, we don’t recognize and accept the freedom won for us on the cross.

Do you see how tragic this is? On the cross, Jesus defeated not only our sin, but also our poverty, sickness, addiction, fear, and depression. Our shackles have been broken in two—but sometimes we continue plodding through life as if the cross and resurrection have never occurred.

Although the devil wants you to think you’re still tethered hopelessly to your problems, nothing could be further from the truth. If you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your chains are broken. You don’t have to keep walking in circles, because you’re now “free indeed” (John 8:36).

Even if you’ve endured years of misery, you can get unshackled in a moment’s time when you realize the powerful deliverance available through the blood of Jesus. You may still be taunted by “the father of lies” (John 8:44), but everything changes when you recognize he no longer has any rights in your life.

Just as happened with Pearl the pony, it may take you some time to begin seeing yourself in a new way. But through applying God’s Word to your life each day, you can increasingly become “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

In Jesus’ name, you have power over the forces of darkness, but they’re not going to give up without a fight. You must claim the authority God has given you to sever your chains and get unshackled from your negative circumstances.

I’m praying for God to awaken the mighty warrior inside of you, giving you courage to pull down strongholds in your own life. Exercise your rights as a child of the King, and don’t stop until you’ve taken back everything the enemy has stolen from you!

 

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Lessons from a Woman Who Got Set Free

Many people think of Christianity as just another religion—a set rules and regulations, basically telling people just to “try harder.” But those who pursue a relationship with God on that basis will inevitably end up even more burdened and bound up than when they started.

In stark contrast, a true relationship with Christ will increasingly remove our burdens and set us free from our hang-ups. That’s why we’re told, Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can measure how far you’ve come in the life of faith by measuring the degree to which you’re truly walking in freedom—not held back by destructive forces such as sin, unbelief, toxic emotions, or the negative opinions of other people. Yet this is an ongoing process, for we’ve all experienced encumbrances that must be cast off so we can run life’s marathon with endurance (Hebrews 12:1).

What area of your life is still holding you back from the freedom you need to fulfill your God-given destiny?

One Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, and the Bible says, “A woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (Luke 13:10-13 NIV). Can you imagine how hopeless this woman must have felt? For 18 long years, she had endured this debilitating condition.

Perhaps you are struggling with some issue in your life today that has persisted for a long time. You feel as though you’ve tried everything, but to no avail. Like the woman in this story, you still find yourself “crippled” by something out of your control.

It’s no fun being “stuck,” but it’s something we’ve all faced from time to time. Sometimes it’s a medical condition the doctors can’t remedy. At other times, the bills are coming in faster than the income. And many of us have found ourselves stuck in an unhealthy relationship we seem powerless to change.

Thankfully, the Bible says, “With God ALL things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). When you’re unable to help yourself and no human has a solution to your problem, GOD can break through your troubling circumstances and set you free!

The story goes on to say that this woman was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” This is such an apt picture of what it’s like to be burdened down with sins, sicknesses, or other situations that seem overwhelming. Sometimes the cares of life are simply too much for us to handle, and all we can do is cast our burdens on the Lord (Psalm 55:22).

Notice that the woman was unable to straighten up “at all.” Sometimes we still have hopes that we can straighten things out by our own strength and ingenuity. But this woman had come to the end of her own devices. She needed a miracle—something only God could do!

However, despite years of suffering, everything was about to change for her in mere moments. Verse 12 says “Jesus saw her” and “called her forward.” Friend, I don’t know what you are going through today, but I do know this: Jesus SEES what you are going through. He CARES about you. And He’s calling you FORWARD to draw near to Him and receive His healing touch.

After 18 years of suffering, this distressed woman heard Jesus tell her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (v. 12). The Greek word for “infirmity” is astheneia, which means to be feeble or have a lack of strength. Perhaps you can relate!

Actually, the Bible teaches that we ALL were “without strength” before Christ came into our lives. However, when we were powerless to save ourselves, Jesus demonstrated His love and rescued us (Romans 5:6-10). And just as He forgave us and rescued us from sin at our conversion, He’s ready to deliver us TODAY from whatever situation is still hindering us from our calling.

How long does it take to be set free? It doesn’t have to take long at all! In this story in Luke 13, Jesus put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God” (v. 13).

Isn’t that beautiful? Can you imagine the joy and amazement she felt? After being bound for 18 years, this woman received an instantaneous deliverance when Jesus touched her. He straightened up her life in a mere moment, just as He can do for you and me when we come to Him in faith.

You may have endured some illness, addiction, financial lack, or other problems for a long time. But remember: Jesus specializes in miraculous turnarounds. He is speaking His Word to you and reaching out His hand to give you the breakthrough you need. This may be your moment to rise up and praise God for loosing you from some infirmity.

I encourage you to pause and insert your own name into this powerful statement Jesus made to the crippled woman: “[Your Name], you are set free from your infirmity.” As you allow those words to sink deeply into your heart, faith will rise. Troubles that have persisted for years will melt away quicker than you can imagine as you’re set free in Jesus’ mighty name!

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God's Strange Plan to Set You Free from Your Fears

Fear and faith. Two primal forces that significantly shape our actions, attitudes, emotions, and relationships.

Like oil and water, the two don’t mix.

Throughout the Bible, God tells people, “Fear not, for I am with you!” (Isaiah 41:10, etc.)

But here’s the funny thing about it:

I’m convinced God intentionally puts us into situations that expose the fears we’ve harbored in our heart. And once we’re in one of those terrifying situations, He then tells us, “Fear not!”

When you see this pattern, you might be tempted to think God is sadistic and cruel. Why else would He be so intent on revealing our deepest fears—just so He can comfort us and tell us not to fear?

The answer is that the Lord does this as part of our healing process. Unless our fears come to the surface, we’ll never confront them and allow Him to heal us.

The Biblical examples of this strange process are too numerous to list, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • At a time when Jacob was terrified of his future and on the run from his brother Esau, God took him to a dark desert where he had a stunning revelation of a ladder between heaven and earth. His fears melted away as he recognized the Lord’s awesome presence with him.
  • When Moses was 40, the Israelites rejected his effort to help them during their captivity in Egypt. As a result, he had to escape to the wilderness, where he took care of sheep for 40 years. Eventually the Lord spoke to Moses from a burning bush and sent him right back to Egypt, the scene of his previous trauma and rejection.
  • The most traumatic experience of Joshua’s life occurred when more than a million Israelites rejected his counsel and chose not to enter the Promised Land. When Moses died 40 years later, what did God do? He brought Joshua full circle to the very scene of his deepest fears—and commissioned Joshua to courageously lead the Israelites on the same mission that had miserably failed 40 years earlier.
  • Peter denied Jesus three times around a fire in the courtyard of the high priest. After the resurrection, God arranged the circumstances for Peter to again be around a fire—where Jesus told him three times, “Feed my sheep.” Three failures were erased by three statements of affirmation from Jesus.

So what are YOU afraid of? Years ago, I might have answered, “Nothing! I’m fearless and full of faith!”

Yet God has found ways to expose fears I didn’t even know I had. Fears of intimacy…failure…abandonment…loss…loneliness…financial lack…and countless other things.

As I look back on the difficult experiences I’ve faced along the way, I’ve come to realize an amazing thing about this process: I’m not nearly as afraid of those things anymore! Hey, the devil took his best shot, and I’m still standing!

If you are in a situation today that is revealing some kind of fear in the depths of your heart, I have good news: Faith can overcome your fears. And the healing balm of the Holy Spirit can cleanse every wound and calm every anxious thought.

So fear not, my friend. He is with you. And if you let Him, He’s going to work everything for your good (Romans 8:28).

But getting set free from your fears is a funny process, isn’t it?

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The Danger of Violent Religion

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” (Robert F. Kennedy, The Pursuit of Justice, 1964)

 

The evil of violent religion was graphically illustrated again this morning when 47 people were killed and 79 wounded in a bombing outside a school in northern Nigeria. An attacker disguised as a student set off the explosion in a government boarding school, where students had gathered outside the principal’s office for a daily speech. Police suspect that Boko Haram is behind this terrorist act.

 

Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) is a militant Islamic movement that has carried out several deadly attacks on schools teaching a Western curriculum. They have murdered more than 5,000 civilians since 2009. They have abducted more than 500 women and children, including the kidnapping of schoolgirls last April. They kill people who engage in practices they view as un-Islamic. They offer no breathing room to anyone not adhering to their strict religious code.

 

The group’s aim is to establish an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. This law, which they see as deriving from the Koran, covers public behavior, private behavior, and private beliefs. Of all legal systems, it is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women. A woman can have one husband, but a man can have up to four wives; a man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband's consent to divorce; a man can beat his wife for insubordination; a woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s); a woman's testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man's; a female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits; a woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to “upheaval”; a woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative. Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand. Several infractions are punishable by death—criticizing any part of the Koran; denying Muhammad is a prophet; a Muslim becoming a non-Muslim; a non-Muslim leading a Muslim away from Islam; a non-Muslim man marrying a Muslim woman. The oppressive list goes on.

 

Pascal, in Thoughts, points out that the law which governed Jews is the most ancient law in the world, and that Greek and Roman legislators borrowed from it their principal laws. He also comments that this law was the severest and strictest of all, imposing on the Jews “a thousand peculiar and painful observances, on pain of death.” What is astonishing, he says, is that this law was preserved unchanged through many centuries, while other states changed their laws though they were far more lenient.

 

The apostle Paul, who faultlessly observed the Jewish law and harshly persecuted the church before he was converted to Christ, writes that “those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.’ So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’ Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.” (Galatians 3:10-13 NLT).

 

All Christians have not always practiced religious tolerance, as sadly demonstrated by the Inquisition. But though such historical atrocities and current religious fanatical acts are heinous, we should do some personal soul-searching to see how willing we are to admit we do not have all the answers and we are not holier than others.  

 

At heart we believe religious freedom is the God-given right of all people. At the same time, we place all our hope in the Son of God to save us from sin. We rest in Jesus Christ, who has answered the demand of law through His perfect life and vicarious death. He is our personal peace, and the ultimate hope for universal peace. The last word is not law—it is grace.

 

Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Read blog http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized

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4 Steps to Your Breakout Moment

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that most people are paralyzed or imprisoned in some way. No wonder the Bible tells so many stories about those who got healed of paralysis or set free from bondage and imprisonment.

When we read such Bible stories today, it’s easy to miss how these events apply to our lives. If we’ve never been physically paralyzed or lame, we can struggle to relate to the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12 or the lame man in Acts 3:1-12. And if we’ve never done jail time, we can assume there’s not much we can learn from Joseph’s release from an Egyptian dungeon (Genesis 39-40) or the supernatural prison breaks of Peter (Acts 12:1-19) and Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40).

But, you see, the imprisonment most people face today is emotional and spiritual rather than physical. They’ve been traumatized by their journey through life, whether through the consequences of their own bad decisions or through the unkind actions of others.

In John 20:19-29 Jesus’ disciples were locked in a self-imposed prison after experiencing the trauma of their Master’s unjust arrest, brutal beating, and horrific crucifixion. Today we sometimes call those events “Good Friday,” but there seemed nothing “good” about the cross of Calvary at the time. The disciples were understandably devastated, gathered together behind locked doors because of fear of the Jewish leaders.

Suddenly Jesus appeared to these shell-shocked men. Although preachers sometimes say, based on Revelation 3:20, that Jesus always knocks before entering our situation, that’s simply not true. This time He just came right on in, bypassing every defense mechanism in order to release these traumatized followers from their emotional bondage.

This is one of the most pivotal scenes in the entire Bible. It’s not an overstatement to say that the whole fate of the church and the expansion of God’s kingdom rested on what would happen in the lives of these shattered men.

The disciples had left everything to follow Jesus, believing that their lives would ultimately change the world. Now their dreams seemed to have reached a cruel dead end. Dazed and confused, they were very unlikely candidates for any kind of heroic, world-changing mission.

So how did Jesus turn the worst of times into the best of times for these emotionally damaged followers? He addressed four different snares that were holding these men in spiritual captivity:

  1. FEAR – Not just once, but twice, Jesus told them, “Peace be with you.” And when they “saw the Lord,” their fear and anguish were replaced with great joy. If you are feeling “stuck” in some area of your life today, it’s likely that fear is one of the things holding you back. Just as He did for the disciples, Jesus wants to penetrate your closed doors and replace your fear with faith, and your anxiety with His peace and joy.
  2. PURPOSELESSNESS – These men who had taken such bold steps to leave their careers and families in order to change the world with Jesus were now left without a purpose or a vision. They had abandoned and denied their Savior in His hour of need, and now their traumatized condition seemed to disqualify them from any significant usefulness in His plan. Nevertheless, Jesus re-commissioned and affirmed them with fresh vision and purpose: As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” What an encouraging story for us today. Even when we feel like failures, unusable by God, He can reaffirm our calling and give us a new commission to impact the world.
  3. WEAKNESS – In addition to a lack of purpose, Jesus’ disciples were suffering from a lack of power. A new commission would have fallen on deaf ears unless they also received new empowerment. Recognizing their need, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” In their own strength, they never would have been able to fulfill His majestic plan for their lives—nor can you or I. But, empowered by the Spirit, we can transform the world (Acts 1:8, Philippians 4:13).
  4. FORGIVENESS ISSUES – Jesus showed them His wounds, proof that they had been forgiven by His shed blood. But then He talked to them about their calling to extend His forgiveness to OTHERS. If you are in some kind of spiritual prison today, there’s a good chance that forgiveness is one of the keys needed to set you free. Perhaps you need to RECEIVE God’s full forgiveness of your past, releasing you from any guilt, shame, or condemnation. Or maybe you are still locked in emotional bondage because you’ve not yet forgiven someone who has hurt you. Either way, forgiveness is an indispensable key to your spiritual and emotional freedom.

I encourage you to read this list again, asking God to show you which of these four keys are needed to help you get unstuck and ready to fulfill your destiny as a follower of Christ.

Perhaps you’ve been hiding out behind closed doors for a long time now, traumatized by some experience that has been hard to shake. But if Jesus could take these distraught men from the shadow of the cross to the glory of resurrection life, surely He can transform your life and give you a new beginning.

Like Jesus’ disciples, you may seem like an unlikely world-changer today. But once He has freed you from fear, given you fresh vision, empowered you by His Spirit, and dealt with your forgiveness issues, your life can be amazing. You don’t have to wait any longer!

 

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Freedom Flight

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.” (Charles Dickens)

 

When we’re exhausted, we can seek God’s strength and glide gracefully on eagle’s wings. That is not to say it will be easy—we may have trouble envisioning such beauty, and it may be all we can do just to get to our feet. But if we take God’s hand, He promises to help us fly high above the mediocre world below. On His wings of proven love and absolute truth, our Lord pilots us above gloomy clouds of despair. Spirit Wind aerodynamics lift our spirit to altitudes exceeding loftiest earthbound ambitions.

 

When we’re disenchanted, if we dare take a seat in the cockpit of grace God will carry us on an unforgettable sortie. We’ll do more than merely survive; eagle-like, we will soar!

 

When our mortal wings tire, we should try His.

 

When our flight is turbulent, we can trust the Pilot.

 

When we’re a little nervous about His flight plan, if we listen carefully we’ll hear heaven’s reassuring message—Relax and enjoy the flight.

 

“You know how I brought you to myself and carried you on eagle’s wings.” (Exodus 19:4 NLT)

 

Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

[This devotion based on Day 48 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity]

Read blog at http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized.com/

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Cowardly or Courageous?

There are two types of people; those who have surrendered their life to Christ and those who are still putting up a fight.  Some people think that those who surrender in battle are cowards.  I don’t think this is always true. Surrendering in battle actually takes courage.  When you surrender you are placing your life in the hands of your enemies.  You are hoping they will treat you fairly and with dignity and that one day when the war is over, you will be set free.  Cowards are the ones who run from the battle and hide. 

The thing about this war with God is that we can’t win.  There is absolutely no hope to beat God.  He is just too powerful, too just, and too loving.  So I am encouraging everyone who is still fighting against God to surrender.   It will take courage, especially since you have no idea how God is going to treat you and whether or not you will ever be set free from His captivity.  But let me assure you…God will treat you with dignity, He will love you unconditionally, He will show you mercy and He will set you free.  Freedom with God is different than what most of the world thinks though.  Freedom with God is when He sets us free to be who He originally created us to be.  You see, for those who are still battling against God, putting up a good fight, you are actually enslaved.  You are enslaved to a lifestyle that focuses on yourself, which is actually pretty pathetic.  Why would anyone want to settle for something so little when you could have so much?  Why settle for a purpose in life that centers around a creature who is so limited?  We were created to live in relationship with the eternal God.  We were created in His image and our purpose is to worship Him and glorify Him in all we do, say and think. 

I know this sounds absolutely crazy for those who are battling against Him, but just think about it.  God created us to live in this awesome relationship.  He gave us the entire world to have dominion over and to rule.  He said that He would walk through life with us, every step of the way.  But we have chosen to rebel against God, run away from Him and then try to rule the world without Him? What is that all about?  Why would we give up so much to attain so little?  It doesn’t make sense.  What does make sense is when we realize what we have done, how stupid and self-centered it is and then return to God.  God uses this word called “repent”.  This just means that God wants us to turn away from our old way of living, our old way of thinking and turn back towards Him.  Only when we come back to God will anything in life begin to make sense or have meaning and purpose.

But how in the world is this possible?  If God is really just then it would go against His perfect and holy character to let me, His enemy, go free without punishment?  God has made it possible by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to take your penalty upon Himself.  Jesus lived a perfect life, perfectly fulfilling every law that God demanded.  God sent Jesus to die for you, in your place.  So God really is just and His justice was taken out on His own Son, Jesus.  So surrendering to God means believing that Jesus died for your sins and giving your heart over to Him.

So, you may be a coward and run away from God, you may have the gall to stand and fight God or you may have the courage to surrender to God through Jesus.  But ultimately, God is going to win the battle, whether you like it or not and whether you believe it or not.  So my suggestion is to surrender to God.  Believe that Jesus died for you, that He rose from the grave and now sits at God’s right hand.  Believe that He will send His Holy Spirit to come and live in your heart, to walk through every moment of life with you.  Come back to God and let Him take you captive.  It is His great desire to have you back, to show you mercy and grace, to love you unconditionally.  Surrendering to God has no regrets.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

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