In spite of living in a country where freedom is assumed, valued and celebrated, do you ever feel
Perhaps a child has made a devastating choice leading to family-affecting consequence; economic fallout from job loss has eroded your savings, and worse, your husband’s confidence; your “fairytale marriage” is fragile facade to unimaginable shame-shaded secrets; mountainous debt threatens loss of home or more; deteriorating health of you or your loved ones is threatening to suffocate hope; you’ve lost your identity and in making comparisons to others, you feel less-then or odd man out or…
fear of [fill-in-the-blank] is hindering you, not just from taking the next step, but in even seeing that it’s right in front of you.
And then you swirl in a sea of self-condemnation and guilt for your own unfaithfulness and not trusting God “enough”.
Largely, these are feelings not facts, a result of naval gazing or focusing on circumstances instead of the simple remedy God offers to align rightly perception with reality~
“Therefore…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
I said simple…not easy.
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How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson
Considering the Fourth of July, the day our nation commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, our proclamation to be free from Great Britain’s rule, I’ve been wondering–
What is it in the heart of man that screams
“YOU CAN’T BE THE BOSS OF ME!”?
As a parent, it’s crucial to nurture and encourage age-appropriate independence in your children; if not, you’ll be tying shoes and wiping behinds the rest of your life! Teaching them responsible independence will serve them well the rest of their life. What this looks like at four is vastly different from age 12, and at 17 it’s downright terrifying! But this is only part of the equation. Parents must nudge their babies out of the nest, gently and little by little, lessening their children’s dependence on them so eventually they can function on their own.
The wise parent will simultaneously encourage DEPENDENCE on Christ.
But this isn’t just about parenting–it’s about you…it’s about me! Are we resisting a surrendered life, a life dependent on God? A life where we’re in control (or think we are…) but leaves us feeling imprisoned by circumstance or indecision or self absorption? A life in defiance of what God asks of us…?
Disobedience has its consequences.
Could it be that a natural consequence of not “fixing our eyes on Jesus” means bondage to the things we’re beholding?
I read Jefferson’s quote through a “Kingdom lens–“How little do [believers] know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which [those outside of Christ] don’t enjoy!
According to Ephesians, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…. Can you comprehend the magnitude of this generosity? It blows my mind!
Freedom is one of these amazing spiritual blessings from God, fulfilled for us in Christ. The paradox? Though it’s free, it comes with a cost to us: surrender of control and dependence on God. You know this but can we be reminded too often–it’s about relationship, not rules!
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galations 5:13-14
Yes…love! Now, that’s my Declaration of Dependence! What about you?
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