Free for Life
July 2013: A Word from Dr. Stanley
When summer comes, we often experience a shift in mood. The warmer weather leaves us with the desire to be carefree, even if only for a week on vacation. Of course, we owe this kind of opportunity for relaxation to another sort of freedom—the liberty we enjoy as residents of a free land—which is much more costly than a getaway to the beach or mountains.
But neither of these forms measures up to what we have in Jesus Christ: spiritual freedom from sin, guilt, and shame.
So why is it that so many Christians today ignore this gift? They want to get away from their jobs or the stresses of home for a little while, but not habitual sin. They may choose to labor long hours so they can leave a little early for the weekend. But they hesitate to do the hard work of faith: spending time in prayer, humbling themselves before the Lord and asking for His transformation in their lives.
Maybe it’s time to examine your life. Do any thoughts, emotions, or habits weigh you down? Have you let society shape your thinking, or is your attitude aligned with the Word of God? How you answer these questions is crucial, because your thoughts will determine what you feel and do.
Romans 6:16 tells us that we are the slaves of the one we obey. This means that in order to overcome what ensnares us, we have to change our allegiance. Instead of giving in to our desires, we find freedom only when we’re willing to choose the way of Jesus, denying ourselves and following Him. This may seem impossible, unless we remember that the One who liberates us “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
The Enemy of our souls wants us to be overcome with feelings of inferiority, anxiety, or rejection. But we have the Holy Spirit’s power within. We can reject those feelings and choose to believe in accordance with our position in Christ. We are forgiven, accepted, valued, and loved.
Give thanks for earthly freedoms, but don’t stop there. Give yourself completely to the One who freely chose to die on your behalf. He did it so that you might truly live.