You Are Now Free in The Lord

“And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord.  God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”

— 1 Corinthians 7:22a, 23

Because of God’s sacrifice, we are no longer imprisoned by our past mistakes. We are no longer held back by the chains of our addictions and depression, the weight of our stress, worry, and fear, or our thirst for money and power. We have been set free so that we may dedicate our lives to following Him. 

This doesn’t mean that our struggles are over. It doesn’t mean that we will never have a battle to face. It means that we turn to the power of God to help us deal with these battles, rather than allow these areas of our lives to hold us in bondage. It means we change our mindset so that we can stop living our lives as a slave to the things of this world. 

No more defining ourselves by our greatest weaknesses. 

No more being content to go through life living as though those labels are our truth. 

If we continue to give these things our attention and all of our focus, they will still have a hold on us. It is only when we let go of these worldly things that they lose their importance. The more committed we become to focus on following God, the weaker the grasp of the world becomes. 

The more driven we are to pursue him and serve him, the more liberated we become. 

God paid such a high price for our freedom. But we have to CHOOSE to live free. 

When I feel like something in the world is holding me down, I will pray: 

Dear Lord, thank You for setting me free from the areas of my life that have had a hold on me for so long, and from the things of this world that I have pursued and sought after. Lord, I have placed too much importance in these things for so long that they sometimes find a way back into the spotlight and start pulling me down again. Please, Lord, help me stay focused on You and Your path. I want to be bound only to You. I choose to be confined to the path You have set for me. I wish to be compelled to serve You in every way I can. Please Lord, help me choose to live free. Amen

A Future and a Hope

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
– ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬‬ NLT

No matter where we are or what we are going through, it is important to realize that God has a beautiful plan for our future. He promises that His plans will enrich our lives. That we will flourish. Through our faith in Him, we have hope.

But how do I know what  this big plan for my life is? How do I know if I’m doing what God has planned for me?

– Start by praying. Ask God to reveal his plan for your life.
– Open your eyes to what is going on around you. God has placed you there for a reason.
– Continue praying. You may not be immediately enlightened after one prayer. Keep praying, and ask God to help you follow His plan.
– Spend time with God every day. Go to church. Join a Bible study group. Read the Bible. Follow a reading plan. Pray. Make it a habit to bring him into your day.
– Try to live your life like Christ every minute of every day. Look for opportunities to share His love with every step you take. Even if you can’t see the “Big Picture” of His plan for you, you know that you are on the right path if you think this way.
– Hope. It’s a part of His plan. Wherever you find yourself, let this hope anchor you and keep you holding onto Him.

Lord, I know that you created me for a purpose. Please help me discover your plan for me.
Amen

The Best Pathway For Your Life

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sometimes we want to experience what life could be like outside of the path that God has set for us. We wonder what we could be missing out on if we stay on His path.
Security?
Financial gain?
Excitement?
Happiness?
Fun?
Popularity?
But God says that He will guide us along “the BEST pathway for your life.” The best! God doesn’t want us to live miserable lives. It’s easy to get sidetracked and pulled away from the path we set out on, by the temptations of having more. More fun. More happiness. More of what everyone else has. But the important question is: what could we be losing if we choose another path?

Sometimes we get scared and and we want to protect ourselves, so we choose a route that looks safer. We let our fear lead us down a different path instead of having faith that God is watching over us like He says He will. Staying on His path is declaring that my God is stronger than my fears!

Sometimes we think we know what’s best and we choose to rely on our own efforts instead of relying on God. We let our pride lead us down a different path. It’s okay to put in extra hours to save up and buy a new car or to have a strong work ethic and work towards that promotion that you’ve been wanting. But we have to humble ourselves and admit that God’s path is always the best path and our strength comes from him.

Sometimes we want to find a shortcut and we think we can find a quicker or easier way than what God has planned for us. If we take an alternate route to avoid one obstacle, we are bound to come across others eventually. No matter how many times we branch off of His path, we are not getting any closer to a life free of all obstacles or worry. We are only taking ourselves farther away from everything he intends for us to gain in His timing.

Sometimes we just want to be alone, away from people who hurt us, so we turn down a path of isolation, thinking that if we don’t let anyone close to us, then no one can hurt us. But God doesn’t want us to live our lives alone. He made us to love. If we close ourselves off from being hurt, we close ourselves off from being loved. When we choose to isolate ourselves and push others away, we are only thinking of ourselves. Our hurt. Our pain. Our sadness. Our frustration. We are holding onto the past, when God wants us to let it go and be made new. He wants our hearts to be open and loving. In fact, he COMMANDS it. And if we truly want to serve God, we come to realize that we do so by serving others.

Sometimes we want a change in our life. We want to do something adventurous and different, so we choose a dark and scary path. We follow others who seem to have a much more interesting life than anything we have experienced, thinking that we know where to draw the line. We tell ourselves that it’s okay – we won’t stray TOO far from His path. But one small decision at a time, we find ourselves farther and farther away. It is perfectly fine to assess our lives and see what we can improve. But it is important to seek these new exciting hobbies and friendships on His terms! Find a group of people who will walk His path WITH you – not lead you away! Allowing Him to guide you will lead you to new happiness, new excitement, and new LIFE that you never imagined was possible when all you could see was the thrill of earthly treasures.

There are so many paths available for us to take, but the danger is the same for all of them. If we step off the path He has set, we could lose ourselves. Those paths can lead to pain, shame, and a world of darkness and loneliness. We can hurt the people who care about us and who want to see us succeed when we walk away from His guidance.

Dear Lord, Thank you for watching over me and leading me along the best pathway for my life. Please help me to stay on this path and not be distracted. Open my eyes so that I may see your path before me and follow where you lead, no matter what decisions I face. Amen

A Journey of Faith

When Abram arrived, God appeared to him and told him that he would give this land to his offspring one day. On top of everything that he had already promised Abram, now he was adding a promise of land. It didn’t matter that the Canaanites were already in the land – Abram knew that God was on his side. He was filled with hope and he had faith in God and the promises that he had made.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He built an altar to the Lord, then continued to travel, building altars to the Lord and calling on His name.
Abram was learning to walk faithfully with God, even though he hadn’t seen any of the promises fulfilled yet. In fact, he had left behind the comfort of his home, his family, and his friends to wander through unfamiliar territory and sleep in a tent.
When God calls us, we are not usually being called into a comfortable situation. We are being called into a journey. The journey is different for each of us, although each person’s journey will include strengthening of faith and surrender to God’s plan. And while you may be eager for God to pour out His blessings upon you, be careful that in your expectations, you are not confusing God’s blessings with the comforts of the world. Don’t begin your journey expecting to immediately attain all that God has planned for you. Let go of the urgency and the need for everything to happen right now, and hold on instead to the peace in knowing that everything will happen in God’s timing.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the plans that You have in store for me. I know that I haven’t always been ready or willing to answer your call. But I am waiting and listening for You now. I know that the road ahead may not always be easy, but I know that I will always have You to turn to when I am in need. Please continue to prepare me for the journey that lies ahead of me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen


Today’s Scripture:

Genesis 12:6-9 NIV
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring
I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lordand called on the name of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your fatherʼs household to the land I will show you.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God told Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household – probably pretty much everything in Abram’s comfort zone.
God wants us to leave our comfort zone so we can learn to find our contentment and security through Him. Your faith is not in your comfort zone!

If you are ready to answer God’s call, you need to ask yourself these questions:

– What is my comfort zone, and what about it comforts me?
– How can leaving my comfort zone bring me closer to God?
– What can I do to break out of my comfort zone?
– When am I going to start?

The answer to the last one is NOW! Start with prayer!

Dear God, I must confess that I have been holding back. I believe in Your word, and I love You and all that You’ve done for me. I go to church every week and sing Your praise at the top of my lungs. I do my best to honor You by serving others. I’ve been reading my bible and praying every day, and I’m learning so much as I grow closer to You. I thought that all of this meant that my faith was growing stronger, but but now I understand that I haven’t really let go of the things that make me feel safe and comfortable. There are some things that I have held onto because I’m scared to let go. I need Your strength to help me walk away and leave fear behind. I don’t want to be afraid of the unknown anymore!
Amen

Settling For Less

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭11:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Terah set out to go to Canaan, but settled in Harran.

What made him leave his homeland?

Did the call to go to Canaan originally begin with Abraham’s father, Terah? We know that after Terah dies, God tells Abraham to continue the journey into Canaan…
When He calls us, He allows us to make the choice to follow His plan or not. But God’s plans will be achieved, with or without you. Don’t you want to be a part of His success? If you do, then you have to surrender and let Him work through you.
The journey may be a long one, and it may be difficult at times, but we know that His plans for us are good. We have to move when He calls us into action and we have to keep going, even when it would be easier to stop. We don’t get to decide when we’ve done enough – not if we want to see what He is leading us into.
How many things have I missed because I settled for something less?

How many things have I started and not finished?
Dear God, Thank You for making me a part of Your plan. I don’t want to settle for anything less than where You want to take me. I don’t want to give up, so please give me the strength to follow where You are leading me. 

Amen

Stay on God’s Path

“For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.”
– ‭‭Job‬ ‭23:11‬‬ NLT

Life is a journey, and along the way, we will run into detours, construction, or we may miss our exit. But that doesn’t mean that we should turn around and go home, or stop where we are and never move forward. At times like these, we must take a look around and figure out where to go from here.

With God as your navigation, you will never be lost.

When I feel like I can use some direction, I will pray:
Dear God, I am determined to make it to the destination that you have chosen for me. Please show me the way! Amen