Skip to main content

Advent meditation: It's for freedom that he set us free

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ...For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. - Galatians 5:1,13



I've been thinking about this a lot today.  I used to read these verses and sort of feel lost.  "It's for freedom Christ has set us free"???  Ok.  What does that mean?  I mean, yeah, I'd agree that Christ set us free from the condemnation coming against us, but free?  Free from what?  Doesn't God restrict, not free?  If Christ has set us free are we "free" to do whatever we want?  And if we're not, is that really freedom?  

If I'm honest those questions have gone through my head many times over the years.  But today, after pouring my heart out to one that I love, I heard those verses in my head and it made total sense!  Sin is slavery.  Christ's blood bought freedom.  Freedom from sin!  He didn't die to serve us our favorite, chosen sin on a silver platter.  He died to give us the power to kill sin, to break free from it's chains, to turn to him when we find ourselves in a sin.  He didn't come to leave the dead, dead and the sick, sick and the broken, broken.  He came to give life to the dead, heal the sick and restore the broken.

Until we see him face to face we will be in a battle to fight sin with faith.  We have been given the power to look the slave driver of sin in the face and say, "NO MORE!  I will not give myself over to you!"  And when we fail, and we will fail, we have been given the grace to cut off the arm that causes us to sin and turn our minds and hearts back to the One who died to set us free.

Freedom in Christ is freedom to no longer be poisoned by the lies of sin.  It's the freedom to be sober again, to see clearly the beauty of God in Christ and realize we've been feasting ourselves on vomit and rottenness and poison.  When we have that freedom we recognize sin for what it is and we hate it and we fight it and we turn from it when we find ourselves in it.  And we can do that now, because Christ has come and purchased with his own blood the ability for us to taste the goodness of God and despise the putridness of sin.  He bore or sins in his body to free us to love God and love one another not to turn ourselves back over to the destructive things that he had to die to free us from in the first place!

So when I read these verses now I exclaim, "Yes! Yes! Yes he really has freed me."  Now I hate the thing I used to think he was unfairly keeping me from.  I now know he's freed me from the thing that was keeping me from really loving Him and really serving and loving others.

And because of all this, this Advent, I'm thinking a lot about my longing for the coming again of Christ.  Until that day he's freed me to fight the fight of faith.  To stand.  To change my thinking.  To turn to him.  And when he comes and I see him face to face, the fight will be over.  Until then I cling to the promise that he came to set me free and I press on to fight the good fight of faith in who He is and what He teaches me to do.




Quieted,
Sheila

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

eyes on the Author- the every morning struggle to walk by faith

I don't wake up full of vision and motivation.  Actually, what motivates me most is the idea that my french press and single-origin coffee from Guatemala are just minutes away from awaking my senses with it's warm, toasty aroma.  And on those days when I get my stiff, puffy-eyed body out of bed and make my way to the cabinet to prep the press with my favorite coffee and find we're out, I feel great motivation to get dressed and drive to the local store so I can hurry up and get back home before too much time has passed and get my coffee going.

Basically, coffee motivates me to get up in the morning.

Mixed in the grogginess between eyes open and that first cup of coffee I remember who I am.

I am not my own.  I am a Christian.  The weight of meaning in that word falls on me like gravity on the fledgling attempts of a young eagle to fly every morning.

I feel myself falling.  Falling. Squawking out a cry, "Help!  Help Lord!  I am yours. Let me hear your loving kindness…

An Unlikely 23 Years

Wedding Day- Sept.4, 1993
Connor's birthday- April 1, 2003
During our first separation and pregnancy with Ryland- November 2004
Seeking a new start in Arizona all together- October 2005
 Second separation March 2010
Still together on a desert trail- Spring 2015
Today has been a tough day, emotionally.

Twenty three years ago today I made a vow before God and about 100 family and friends to take James as my husband, to have and to hold from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.

Those are some serious promises.  Better, worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health have all been part of these 23 years.  Honestly, most of it has been hard.  We weren't a very likely match at 19 and 21.  He from the big city, me from a small town.  His dad a pharmacist, mine a log truck driver.  We met in a child development class, taking pre-reqs for nursing.  He hated it.  I loved it.  He had long hair and torn jeans and l…

Burned chicken, my story and Israel

It's been an interesting day.



 I'm sitting here trying to get a hold on how I nearly burned down the covered patio by barbecuing bone-in chicken breasts while I planned and prepped other things in the kitchen. I know time can get away from me sometimes, but I tell ya I was in here for 30 minutes and I set the burners on low!

I probably shouldn't post today's attempt at making something real on my new recipe blog. Or maybe I should. Keeping it real. Real, even if it is burned, leads to trust.

Like standing in front of a congregation of missed-the-mark makers like me (many of whom I don't know), telling my charred story, knowing it'll be recorded, knowing my family will be listening. It's a burnt offering, my homologeo. A sum of all that I can put in appropriate words at this time offered up to the Refiner's fire who's been keeping me real through it all.

A very dear person to me asked why Jews and Christians don't agree about Jesus recently.…