It’s a brand new year. It’s time to “resolve” to do better: in our finances, in our personal life, in our spiritual life. When we take a look at our goals, do we see a pattern of “repeaters”? Is the list, in fact, the same every year?
As Christians, we worry when we see the same old bad habits cropping up in our lives year after year. Remember when, as new believers, we attended weekly prayer meetings, fasted for answers to tough situations, and regularly attended Bible study? Now, we must fit in church activities among PTA meetings, homework, and our jobs to name a few.
This is where I found myself. The year was only a week old and already I had lost the drive to pursue those things which I had resolved to change in my life. The “blahs” were encroaching on my consciousness. I sat on the couch that Monday morning waiting for Joyce Meyer to come on and looked over at my church bag. Since I was waiting, I decided that I might as well pull out my bible and read.
I flipped to the book of Galatians. The first verse of chapter five leapt out at me. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (KJV)
A ray of hope pierced my weary heart. I had been approaching my “resolutions” from the wrong perspective. I examined my “to do” list through my eyes instead of the eyes of the Savior. Therefore, I got the wrong results.
The verse talks about liberty. Liberty equates to freedom—freedom of movement and choice. Much like a sailor on shore leave has the freedom to disembark from the ship and choose where to go beyond that, Christ had given every Christian the same rights. John 8:36 tells us that when we accept Jesus into our lives, he sets us free once and for all.
Somewhere along the way, we as Christians have forgotten that in order to claim that freedom, we ourselves must be willing to take hold of it. The verse in Galatians gives us a command to “stand” in the liberty that Christ gave us. When we attended all those prayer meetings and bible study classes, we were in fact “standing” in our liberty.
We must seek God’s face for the strength to put off the “old man” and keep him there. Jesus told us that we have only to ask and what we need would be provided (Matt. 7:7). Those nagging sins that still cling to us like monkeys on our backs can be removed if we ask God to remove them His way.
Our job is not done however. Now that we have made our desire for deliverance known to the Father, we must begin to use that freedom. Praying everyday is important. A set time for prayer with God is a great help to those who need more structure, but God welcomes a chat all throughout the day as well. Make time for the One who has made everything possible for us.
If you can’t get out to bible study, consider having others over to your home. Our church is new and we meet in a school library. The venue for bible study rotated monthly through each member’s home. Everyone got a chance to not have to leave their home for a month!
God rewards those who seek Him with their whole heart (Heb. 11:6). As long as there is faith, there is hope. If we want to lose weight (my personal favorite!), or work on anger management, or hospitality, or expanding our ministries, give it all over to God and resist the urge to do His job for Him. We already have out own role to play in our deliverance. Whittle away the things that bind once and for all. Be free!