Freedom in Christ! What a blessing! But what we do with this treasure is huge, because our choices ultimately determine our fruitfulness—that is, to what degree we end up glorifying God with our lives. Paul’s radical message of liberty in Christ prompted his critics to charge him with promoting freedom to sin rather than the freedom from sin he was actually teaching. His response: “Nonsense!”
Still, it’s only natural to be a bit puzzled over it. Given our ingrained beliefs about personal responsibility to resist sin, this whole freedom thing doesn’t seem to add up. I think we can all agree that any thought of maintaining a lifestyle of sin is absurd. Why bother being freed if we merely set ourselves up to be enslaved all over again? The point is this: freedom lays the foundation for unfettered pursuit of Him—yes, even in spite of the weakness of our flesh.
My child, be strong. I will give you understanding in everything. Be diligent and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. In the last days difficult times will come, but I the Lord will rescue you from every evil deed, and will bring you safely to My heavenly Kingdom. 2 Timothy
My child, I am calling you to forgive. To let go of the hurt and pain and trust Me with this situation. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and bitterness leads to death. Death of the joy I have for you and death of the peace that surpasses understanding. The saying ‘Let go and let God’ applies to you. Just watch what happens when you do.
My child, I am calling you to endure, to keep the faith, to keep believing. Don’t give up or give in. Keep your eyes fixed on Me and move forward. I have the keys of the Kingdom. I open every door. Come and do life My way. You will experience great joy as you surrender all to Me and walk in My ways.
Righteousness can never be earned by working for it. It’s easy for us to think of salvation as a free gift of God’s grace. But righteousness? Now that’s a different story. Being righteous is rooted in the fact that Christ is now in me, and I in Him. It’s not about getting God to accept me; He’s already done that. Redemption means that we have actually become the righteousness of God Himself, allowing us an almost unbelievable status with God.
The question is how the reality of God’s righteousness, having now become our own, plays out in the believer over the course of his life. What about our old nemesis: sin? How is it that God could allow our struggle with sin to exist right alongside this awesome righteousness we now possess? The incredible gift of God’s grace has everything to do with it! In Christ, God has actually caused us to die to sin itself.
From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself
My child, who’s controlling you? What are you spending your time thinking about? Where do you let your mind wander to? You can control your thoughts. You can take them captive and bring them into obedience to Christ. Destroy speculations and everything raised up against the knowledge of Me. Be on the alert, your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him and stand firm in the faith. YOU have the ability to control your thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 1 Peter 5:8-9
My child, expect for things to turn out well. Look to Me for your provision. I will give you everything you need at the right time. Wait patiently and believe. The tide is turning. Satan has played his hand. Now stand and watch. The victory belongs to Me. I am you Rock and your Deliverer. In Me you will overcome.
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice. How blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18. Keep your eyes on Me and I will lead you through this. Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Isaiah 30:21
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, thought the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkak 3:17-19
Hidden sin, by its very nature, opens wide the floodgates of guilt and shame. So a negative reaction is no surprise: “I’ll just bury this thing a little deeper so no one will ever discover who I really am.” Satan has used shame in countless lives persuading God’s people to back-slide, where alienation from Him becomes a way of life. Just think how being more open about our weakness would serve to cripple this strategy the devil so routinely exploits.
Instead of allowing sin to drive us from God, we need to run to God when we sin. This can be difficult, though, because we’ve been taught to behave ourselves. And when we don’t, our conscience tells us we must clean up our act before we can ever go to God. After all, how else can we feel worthy enough to deserve His help? False thinking, I know, but very real all the same.