“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV
Fearless Freedom! What an appropriate banner to end our fast under. At Dream City Church freedom is defined as the process of getting rid of anything that keeps you from the abundant life. Whether you knew it before or not, fear has undoubtedly been the root of many of those things that have kept you from operating from a place of abundance. Whether it was abundance in your relationships with God or others, abundance in your joy or peace or intimacy, abundance in your finances, abundance in your generosity or your faith, fear has been a long-time, undercover enemy of provision and blessing in these areas, whose success hinged greatly on remaining undetected.
But now you know, and this knowledge should empower you, not enslave you! Whether it’s in class, counseling,or just casual conversation, I’m always telling people that awareness is the first step to freedom. Awareness in our lives can sometimes be painful, messy, confusing, and usually pretty humbling, but it is meant to equip you in your decision making. People often say “ignorance is bliss,” but it’s not, ignorance is just ignorance, and it limits us from making fully informed decisions for our life.
What that boils down to is fear has handicapped us from choosing freedom for long enough. Church, we do not have to fear the things, thoughts, habits, or feelings that once enslaved us, but we do have to CHOOSE to remain free of them.
My charge to you as we end our fast and press forward into 2019 is to hold onto the freedom you have received during this time and fearlessly continue to allow the Lord to work in and through you. Whether this 21 day fast was the beginning of your awareness in the area of fear or just a new chapter in your story, stand firm in your freedom!
I want to caution you not to read Paul’s words “stand firm” as “stand still” and conclude that this passage of scripture somehow applauds this newfound freedom as a landing strip because it is not. To stand firm simply means not to go back. By now you’re all aware of my affection for the Passion Translation of the Bible, and this verse in the passion translation says to “stubbornly refuse to go back to the bondage of your past”. I know the past is familiar, comfortable even, but it’s not the direction God is calling you to.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil. 3:12-14 NLT
You were created to be fearless; you were redeemed to be free so let’s not settle for anything less than Fearless Freedom as we finish the race!
Lord, we thank you for the freedom You give, the fearless freedom that’s only found in you! As we end this fast and step forward into a fearless 2019, help us to stubbornly refuse to go back to our past bondages, instead always choosing to look to You, not our fears. When we fearlessly follow You, we’re fearlessly free to walk in the abundant life You have for us. In your wonderful name we pray, amen!