Saturday, August 24, 2013

And the Walls Come Tumbling Down, But What's Your Choice?

A couple of days ago I had a hard conversation with a friend. It was hard for me, because I had to be vulnerable. That is definitely NOT my strong suit. At one point during our conversation I felt a wall fall, literally fall. It was a very freeing feeling, and a feeling I look forward to having again. The process for a wall to fall is not always pleasant but the falling is so worth it.

Anyway, as I felt the wall fall I had to make a choice. At that moment, I thought of a story I heard as a child. A friend of my Mom's was telling a story of the time they got a dog from the pet store. Now this family lived on a farm so they had dogs, but this was their one experience with getting a dog from a pet store. Why only one? Well, because the dog walked and even ran around and around as if he was still in a cage. This poor thing had lived so long in a cage he didn't know how to run freely.

As that wall fell, I had a moment to make a decision. I could have stayed right behind that collapsed wall, or I could cross over the rumble and walk freely. It seems like that would be an obvious choice, but just like the dog, if you have lived for so long behind the wall it's hard to imagine another way to live. I made the choice to step over the rumble and reached out to my friend. I know it's only been a couple of days, but it is good. It is really good!

So when you experience a wall falling you have a choice to make too. Step over the fallen debris or stay there watching the world from behind it, which will you choose? I plan to choose to be steppin'!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Freedom in the Yoke

This has been a theme for me lately. Freedom. I, among so many others, struggle with being free. All of us have our own aspects of bondage that we need to be free of. And, at least to us, there seems to be a wide range of bondage. Some are bound by alcohol or drug addictions. Some are bound people that control and manipulate them. Some are bound by past trauma and tragedy. Some are bound by greed or lust. Some are bound by the need to be perfect. Some are bound by their children, trying to fulfill their every want. Some are bound by lack. Some are bound by having much.

It seems like some of these are worse bondage than others, but I wonder if satan likes us viewing it that way. If you are bound you are bound. Does it really matter if it is drugs or greed? Does it really matter if it is past tragedy or the need to be perfect? Some how I don't think so. I think bound is bound. Satan wants us comparing ourselves to others so he wants us comparing our bondage to others. He makes us think that we aren't as bad as others so we don't fight for freedom as if it was worse. He makes us think that we are so much worse off than others so we are too depressed to fight for freedom. Regardless of our bondage we need to experience the freedom of Christ.

I was listening to a message by Lisa Bevere called "Fight Like a Girl" and she was telling a story about her second son. Apparently, this boy was adventurous and would try anything. She said that he rode a bike without training wheels at two. One day he told her that he couldn't do something. She said that it surprised her to see fear in her fearless son. When she prayed about it God spoke to her. (I will try to get the quote right, but it might not be exact.) God responded with, "your children will either get my promises or your fear." She said at that she knew she had to gain freedom of fear for not only her but her children.

I don't have children, but I do have an impact on others. Do I want that impact on others to impress on them my bondage or Christ's freedom? I want to be acting in His freedom. Now the question is how to do I get it?

I think there are any number of verses I could focus to help answer this question, but the ones I'm going with are: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, an learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Instead of focusing on our bondage, on our burden, we are to take on His. He doesn't ask us to cast off our own yokes. He doesn't ask us to fix ourselves first. He just asks us to come to Him and take on His yoke, which is easy. So how do we do that? I think we just come to Him and tell Him that we need Him. We need Him to guide us and that we want to take on His yoke, His direction, and we want to find rest in Him. Does that mean that we'll be free instantly, probably not, because following directions is a process. But I would rather go through His process, even though it is so hard at times, than continue on in bondage.