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

Continually Seek Him

“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.”
– ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:11‬‬

Never stop seeking Him.
Never stop exploring His Word.
Never stop bringing Him into each and every day.

Every day that you spend holding on to Him is a day that you are not letting go and drifting away. Whether you spend 5 minutes reading a devotional, 15 minutes studying the Bible, 30 minutes journaling, an hour volunteering your time to serve others…continue to seek His face.

Dear God, I seek You and Your love with all my heart. I don’t want to spend a day without You. I want to keep You in my thoughts and actions. I pray that I grow closer to You with every passing day. Amen

Be Still.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
– ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:10‬‬ NIV

Be still.
Wait.
Listen.
Stop the frenzy.
Calm the chaos inside of you.
Breathe.
Be still.
And know that He is God.
And He is bigger than all of your problems.

Lord, when I feel the weight of all my problems and I’m feeling overwhelmed, please remind me to slow down. Please remove my fears and fill my heart with Your peace. Amen

 

Rivers of Living Water

I “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
– ‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬‬ NLT

Jesus says that if we believe in Him, trust in Him, and rely on Him, we should come to Him. We should seek Him out and drink of His living water – the Holy Spirit. And that rivers of living water will flow from our hearts. We will be so filled with His spirit and His love that it will pour out of us!

Don’t allow anything to block that flow. Your pride, your pain from the past, your fears and anxieties, your mistakes, your shame… These are some of the things that can slow the stream down to a trickle.
Tear down these dams.
Clear away these obstructions.
Open up the floodgates and let His Holy Spirit flow from you freely, for others to see so that they, too, may come to Him and drink.

Dear God, I come to You to receive Your living water. I want to let it flow from my heart each and every day so that everyone who knows me will know Your love through me. Amen

Apart from Him I can do nothing

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
– ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬‬ NIV

God wants us to remain in relationship with Him, not just call out to him when we have a problem and then go back to living life, as usual. At times, we think it’s enough to say a quick prayer in the morning, and then run off to get busy with a full day of the “stuff” that life throws at us. But we have to keep His word in our mind continually, His love in our heart consistently, and His spirit in our soul constantly. Our relationship with God must be ongoing – just as our relationships with people require thoughts, conversation, and action. Without Him, our days will feel empty, our time will feel wasted, and we will feel like we are accomplishing nothing.

Lord, draw me closer to you. I want every day to be a significant step in my journey, as I walk the path you have set for me. Amen

Don’t Forget to Do Good

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
– ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:16‬‬ NLT

Such a simple message. And it’s so easy to overlook the two most important words.
Don’t forget.
How often do we start our day with the best intentions in our heart and then allow our own feelings, circumstances, or motives to steer things in a whole different direction?
How often do we want to help others, but get too caught up in the aspects of our lives that make us constantly “too busy” to slow down and share our time and our resources with the people who need them?
God wants us to see past our own troubles so that we can be prepared to help others with theirs. He wants us to put the needs of others before our own wants and desires.

When I feel myself being sidetracked and find that I am too focused on myself, I will pray:

Dear Lord, please help me to remember Your love in every situation that I face today. Whether my circumstances are good or bad, I want Your love and kindness to flow through me to every person that I come in contact with. 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