Girlfriends in God - July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010 

Free at Last

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
"So Christ has really set us free.  Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law" Galatians 5:1 (NLT).

Friend To Friend 
The story is told of an Indian village that held an annual bazaar where villagers came to sell the crafts and wares they had made during the year as well as the animals they had raised.  One year, a man brought a covey of quail to sell.  In order to display the birds, he tied one end of a piece of string to one of their legs and the other end to a stake in the ground.

All day long, shoppers passed by watching the birds walk in a circle around the stake.  No one seemed interested in buying them until a religious man approached and asked how much the merchant wanted for them.  The merchant named an exorbitant price, which the religious man quickly paid, immediately instructing the merchant to set the birds free.  When the merchant asked why he was willing to pay so much for the birds and then let them go, the religious man simply responded, "Because they were created to be free."

The merchant didn't understand but shrugged his shoulders and cut the strings, setting the birds free.  The quail continued marching in a circle around the stake.  The buyer stepped into the middle of the circle, scattering the birds, which flew a few yards, landed and once again began to march in a circle.  The quail were free - but did not know it. 

We all seek freedom.  With our very first breath, we come into this world kicking and screaming for freedom.  The desire to be free was tucked into our very soul by God Himself as He formed us in the womb.  Because freedom is a God-given need our Father promised to provide a right way for that need to be met and the longing for freedom to be filled. 

Freedom comes through truth. 

In John 8:32 we find the promise, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (NIV).  To know truth we must know God because He is truth.  John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me."  When we come to Jesus Christ in a personal relationship, we will experience true freedom for the first time - freedom from sin - freedom from condemnation and death and freedom to really live.  Without truth, there can be no freedom.

Freedom comes through obedience.

Obedience calls us to challenge and lay aside anything that hinders our walk with God.  Instead, we refuse to forsake cherished sin, allowing wrong attitudes to take root and prosper while harmful habits hold us prisoner. The writer of Hebrews offers compelling direction for the captured soul longing to be free.  "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).  Obedience brings freedom.

Freedom comes through understanding.

Until we understand who we are in His eyes, we will never truly be free.  Our value and worth rest solely in the fact that we were created, chosen and pursued by God - for God. We belong to Him.  His unconditional love sets us free to become all He created us to be and more than we ever dreamed we could be.  In Romans 5:8, the words of Paul celebrate our identity in Him, "But God showed his great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners."  Recognizing our worth and value to God sets us free from the chains of human expectations and earthly demands.  Understanding brings freedom.

Christ really has set us free.  The question is - are we living in that freedom.  Don't live another day chained to the old ways.  Seek His truth, walk in obedience and celebrate your God-created identity! Free - free at last! 

Let's Pray  
Father, I long to be set free in you but I have to admit that total freedom in you frightens me.  I am not sure what it will require.  I have allowed old habits, sins and attitudes to keep me in bondage.  I know that is not your will or your plan.  Right now, I lay down everything that keeps me from being free in you.  Help me to walk in that freedom. 

In Jesus name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Are there any areas in your life that seem like a deep, dark pit from which there is no escape?  

·                     In your journal, write down the first area that came to mind. 

·                     Turn in your Bible to Psalm 40:1-3.  Read this passage several times, claiming it as God's promise to you …. because it is! 

·                     Now look at the area of bondage you wrote down.  Ask God to show you the steps you must take in order to be free from that bondage. 

·                     Write out a prayer of commitment to do what God shows you.  Date it and sign it. 

More From The Girls 
Are you ready to accept the truth that you were created to live in freedom?  Great!  But that's not enough.  Are you willing to give God permission to work in your life in order to experience His freedom?  Sometimes, I think it is easier to stay in the darkness, to be content in a familiar prison.  It becomes our identity…and we are not sure if there will be a new identity waiting for us in the light.  Friend, do not listen to the lies of the enemy!  He wants you to stay where you are, settling for so little when God wants to offer you everything!  Don't wait another minute.  Cry out to God and take your first step out of bondage into freedom.

Join women across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. It's Never Too Late to be Great is the current series and is based on the fascinating lives of Samson and Delilah.  Do you think you have made too many mistakes and had too many failures for God to love, forgive and work through you?  No matter where you have been or where you are now - it is not too late!  Don't miss this study!  When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies we have done so far. Check it out!

Going through a tough time?  Get Mary's new DVD, Strength for the Storm and find new hope that will strengthen you for the hard times you are facing.

Need a friend?  Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.  She loves hearing what God is doing in your life! 

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

Originally published Monday, 05 July 2010.