Mar
30

The Freedom of Grace Living — Devotional

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I have the belief that the desire to be free is inherent in all of us at some level. Humanity was originally created to live in freedom. Adam and Eve were free to love each other and free to love God. The loss of freedom is inevitably tied to some kind of tyranny. Where there is bondage, there is a tyrant in the house.

The Tyrant is the slave master.
The Tyrant calls the shots-gives the orders.
The Tyrant gains control of our thinking.
The Tyrant thrives on conflict and torture.
The Tyrant revels in our misery and mental imprisonment.

Who is the Tyrant?

The quick answer most often out our mouths is "Satan is the Tyrant!" True, he is a Tyrant and he is the Tyrant of Tyrants. Yet, there is another Tyrant that always delivers slaves to Satan. This is the most dangerous Tyrant in each of our lives. This Tyrant lives very close to each of us.

Who is the Tyrant that presses his claims on each of of us? Our own nature–our flesh.

The portal of our own flesh provides the access that Satan needs to get into our lives and our thinking. The Devil does not "make" us do things. This is the easy route out for us when we want to relieve ourselves of accountability for our actions. If we can just blame the Devil, then that leaves us clear and free–right? No! Wrong! Very Wrong!

A person can become totally enslaved by Satan to the point of having little inward resistance to any thought the Devil sows in the mind. But such a state, for the most part, comes after the will has been handed over through a person’s own sinful nature and repeated wrong choices. Cut it anyway you want– but we are accountable for our choices. We reap what we sow. Our choices determine our harvest.

If we sow anger, we reap anger.
If we sow betrayal, we reap betrayal.
If we sow rejection, we reap rejection.
If we sow lies, we reap lies and on and on….

This becomes a vicious repeating cycle until we are surrounded by weeds and have difficulty finding the good fruit. We even begin to think the weeds are edible and don’t look so badly after all. This leads to living with tares instead of wheat. Because in our fear of being rejected, we are able to fool people and we settle for that instead of being honest with ourselves. We think, "As long as we appear as wheat, we will not lose our value before men." The problem is the Lord of the Harvest is the One Who can tell the difference, even if men cannot. When He steps in and puts the sickle to the heart, it can be very painful. He will cut things off at the root, cultivate the soil of the heart, and turn things right side up. He sprays a heavy dose of spiritual "Roundup" on us and everything dies for a season. But eventually, fruit can begin to grow again because the weeds have been dealt with. I call this the season of "deadness."

I am just beginning to emerge from my own season of "deadness." I still smell of "Roundup." It is not fun living in Groundhog City. You get hungry for a little daylight but know its too dangerous to come up at the wrong time. It is ICU time where your life is strapped to a gurney and you are not able to live at a normal pace. The goal, however, is to survive and to regain good health. This is the motive of all the caregivers at every hospital.

For this reason, every church should be a hospital for the hurting. I cannot imagine a hospital rolling an ICU patient out into the parking lot and wishing them well before they are better. This would be considered criminal. Every church should be an ICU for hurting people to be healed and made whole. Surgeries and treatment can be painful, but wounds left untreated develop infection. Infection spreads until it breeds and births death. As a result of my own experience and failure, I will never look at hurting people the same way. I believe that every city has numbers of untreated hurting people. I also believe that on any given Sunday church pews are filled with people who know how they are to live but really struggle in doing it. They are hungry for grace to come and liberate them. Rules and regs will not do the job or it would have already been done. It takes grace that flows out of relationship with Jesus Christ–the freedom giver.

My next post will contain pt.2 of this topic.

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Categories : Devotional

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