Monday, September 17, 2007

Stripping for Freedom

It is true, I have been stripped. Stripped of myself...but myself keeps trying to build up so the stripping is ongoing.
Here are two Scriptures that identify the central theme of my life right now:

Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Galatians 5:16&25 But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Jesus Christ = Freedom

Does this seem like an elusive equation to anyone else? Why does it have to be so hard to grasp? Why do Christians, pastors, churches, and theology tend to get in the way of people finding freedom through Christ? Why can't it just be SIMPLE? Accept Christ, experience freedom, respond with excitement and joy.

I wonder what percentage of Christians are really living free. It's probably a number below 50%, wouldn't you guess? I mean, seriously, Christianity is NOT the fastest growing religion.

Where do we get so lost on the journey? Why isn't it a "journey of desire" all the time? I wonder if people realize when they start this journey that it will be a battle. A battle between our flesh and the Holy Spirit. I certainly didn't know about the battle...I thought my salvation was the beginning and the end all at once.

Anyway, the verses above permeate my being daily. I count myself among the very blessed because I have been allowed to experience great pain and loss and at the same time experience the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of my Father. This experience is not something I want to become a distant memory. I have learned A LOT from the hard stuff. And I don't want to forget the lessons learned...because I know without a doubt that if I forget them, I'll have to relearn them and that's just pure stupidity. But also, God has so graciously given me the opportunity to live a different kind of life. An organic life, as I tend to think of it. I feel all natural and pure. Without additives, if you will. And you'll have to, because this is my blog.

My greatest desire is to live a life that pleases God. I really love him! And it is so true what John says...that I love him because he loved me first. My second greatest desire is that others realize and know God's intense, unfailing love for them. And also that others will live in his will, always seeking to live by his Spirit. Because it is FOR God, but because he loves US, we get to experience true FREEDOM!!!

Is this even making sense? I'm going to be studying more about this whole freedom thing and making notes and hopefully my thoughts will become clearer.

Anyway, I hope you're living free. And if you're not, I want you to know that you CAN live a life of true freedom!


SingerMamaMelody said...

Dear Erin,

What a great bit of encouragement for us to live with passion and freedom in Christ. You're right - it truly is a battle.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

May God bless your day...and may you know that you are being prayed over.


Michelle (wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman) said...

I too have been radically changed by pain. It is so true that we learn so much more through trials, and by choosing to live with joy in spite of it all! We do make it really hard don't we? I just love 1 Peter, and I have to re-read it often just to remind myself of my inheritance with Christ, to live solely for Him, to use what He has graciously given to me, and to rejoice for my salvation.
Let's continue to challenge each other to stay in His Word so that we can experience the freedom He has for us!

hollybird said...

Have you read Beth Moore's "Get Out of that Pit"? If not, pick it up! It's a great book. So much stuff in there about healing from the pain, but not just healing for the sake of healing... we get to use it for His good! Sweet, huh?? I am using it in my support group for survivors of sexual abuse, and it is amazing. It fits every type of hurt. I pray for you often, Erin, and it's a joy to hear how God is working in and through you. Blessings on you tonight.

Tara said...

I am going to agree with the previous poster --- Beth Moore's, "Get out of that Pit" is a must!! It is fabulous.
I continue to pray for you and and your family - blessings and healing and so much more!

Linda Green said...

Luke 1:18-19 tells us that Jesus came not only to give us the good news of salvation but also to "proclaim freedom for the prisoners . . . to release the oppressed." Thank you God - that we can be set free. While the process of being set free is often painful it also brings much joy. I'm rejoicing today in what God is doing.

Jimmy the Tiger said...

It's interesting, Erin, I was reading through some old notebooks last night and came across notes I had taken for a book I wanted to write while living in NYC. The exact sentence: "The Gospel is not a moral code, it is a message of freedom; freedom from that of which we need to be delivered."

All that to say, even if I don't always agree with you, I respect your journey.