Friday, March 5, 2010

Revealing Our Freedom Through God's Word

We have seen from the last post that freedom is clearly a promise. Our old man is dead. We are a new creation in Christ. We know we still sin, but we are no longer called "sinners". We are now "saints". Born again, and given freedom through Jesus' death on the cross. Our new identity "in Christ' will begin to propel us forward on our journey. That is what life is to me; a journey. A path to a new destination. Not only "eternity in Heaven" as a destination, but to me the journey is about conforming to the image of Christ. That is my goal.

Today I want to share with you some scripture about "freedom" and hearing from God through His Word. Spending time reading and studying and meditating on scripture is one of the key elements to begin applying the Truth to your life. Seeing change in our lives, starts with our relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation is just the start of the journey. He wants to transform and renew our minds and life. Jesus wants to break the chains that have held us captive.




Version: NAS

Luke 4:18-12 (Isaiah 61)
18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, 19. To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." 20. And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. 21. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

To bring freedom to the captives; that was part of Jesus anointing, not only while He walked here on earth, but as He resides with the Father, it is still His ministry; to bring freedom to all who are slaves to sin.

Version: NAS

John 8:32-36
32. and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33. They answered Him, "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free '?" 34. Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35. "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36. "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

Knowing the Truth is the key element in finding freedom, Jesus is the embodiment of the "truth". So we must not only know Him, but learn to walk in the truth He reveals to us.

Romans 6:17-18
17. But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18. and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Galatians 5:1

1. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Talking about "Freedom", and Isaiah 61, I want to share a little part of my testimony with you. You may have noticed a time-line in my life; a series of revelations the Lord started giving to me back in the late 90's. Drawing me close to Him and revealing Himself to me through His Word, the Scripture, and then even more definitively for me through experiences.

God started making several passages of scripture "jump off the page" at me. I imagine most of us have had that experience. We will be reading the Bible and all the sudden a passage seems just as if it has our name attached to it. It becomes embedded in our minds and hearts. It becomes a "sign", direction giver, "calling", and road map.

Isaiah 61 was one such passage for me. It seemed that everything I read, heard, and thought about went back to that one chapter in scripture. (books, Christian articles, music, sermons, Christian TV) This was when God was first revealing Himself to me with a call to ministry. I was continually amazed at what God was doing and shared each time when this scripture would "become real"  for me with my husband. We, at that time, started growing in the Lord together. We became "one" in mind, spirit, and heart for the first time in 29 years of marriage. We did Kingdom work together, prayed together, and read God's Word together.

When I had the heart attacks in October of 2002, it was a total surprise. No symptoms, no advance warning. We were totally taken off guard. In fact I thought I had a pinched nerve in my right arm. After a weekend of three "attacks" we finally made it to the ER on a Monday morning at 6 a.m. All I could think about was that my husband would need to be at work shortly and I was going to cause him to be delayed.

When we arrived I was in big trouble, in the middle of another massive heart attack. Bad bad news. They rushed me into the heart cath lab to see what was going on. I don't think they gave my husband much hope, and of course, you have to sign a waiver that they are not responsible if you die while you are in the test. So here he is sitting in the waiting room, completely alone. We had not called family, until we knew what we were looking at. My poor husband sat by himself; confused, shocked, in great fear, and alone. The only one in the waiting room was a young woman doing housekeeping. She was cleaning and dusting and trying not to be obtrusive. She finished her job and laid the Bible back down on the table where she had just dusted. She opened it randomly and quietly left the room. My husband stood up and went to pick up the Bible, needing God's direction and help. There in front of his eyes, as if in letters blazing with God's message, lay Isaiah 61. He knew I would come through this. God spoke to my husband through His Word.

Isaiah 61:1-3
1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners; 2. To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3. To grant those who mourn [in] Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

If you desire to hear the Lord speak to your heart and have not experienced His revelation in this way, start, by asking God for it. He is more than willing and wants to communicate with you.

Dear Heavenly Father, I know I am your child, and I so desire to know you better. I want to hear from you in a personal way. Please speak to me from your Word, the Bible. I'll be reading and waiting to hear from you.
Thank you,
In Jesus Name,
Amen

Our freedom and transformation begins with accepting Jesus as our Savior. Then we embrace the Bible as God's Word to us. If you don't have a desire to read or study, please include that in your prayer. Ask God to also give you a desire to read and study the Bible. He will gladly do that for you.

I'd love for you to share times and scripture when God has "spoken" to you from His Word. It encourages all of us, when we learn of other peoples experiences in this. Please leave a comment if you feel God is leading you to share.

love in Jesus,
Debra

11 comments:

  1. So many times HE has reminded me: "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Neh. 8:10 keeping me focused in very difficult times.
    Hugs, andrea

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  2. Thanks Debbie! I love reading your story and being reminded of what you went through. I haven't heard from Cheryl in awhile, and am going to email her right now. I know your gift meant a great deal to her.
    Take care my friend, Sue

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  3. I love it when God speaks to me through His word. There have been more times than I can remember when God counsels, instructs and even reprimands me through His word. His word is sure and true. Thanks Debra for a great post.

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  4. My favorite freedom scripture: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!"

    Lately God's been speaking to me by making His words come alive, and revealing that He is so much more than I ever thought He was!

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  5. Hey Miss Debra!
    My mom and I have really been trying every day since you've started the 365 day blog to check in and read what you've posted. It's been a real blessing that you've been writing on here every day and allowed God to use you. I know there have been times when I've just randomly clicked onto your blog, just hoping God would use one of your messages to speak to me, or give me some encouragement, just something to help me with my relationship with him. And there have been times when he has done EXACTLY that.
    When I read this post I started thinking about this one time in my life, back in seventh grade, when I had loads and i mean loads of anxiety, and doubt, and I had at least 3 or 4 panic attacks. And that was only when i was in seventh grade...
    I didn't really KNOW Christ then..I knew who he was, and I believed he was real and died for me..but I had never had a Real encounter with him. But I started "loosing" myself. I just forgot what God wanted me for, and who he was. I was loosing the part of me that trusted God. I got really sick and dropped 15-25 pounds in only a few days. I looked REALLY unhealthy! And I started worrying about if I was going to die because I was so thin. I was on medication for about 3-4 months and I cried about every day. At home, when i went to bed, when i woke up, at church..many times. I just kept on asking God, "WHY? WHY are you making this happen God? Give me something that will help me believe in YOU again. Just show me you're here and you'll take care of me" I attended a great church service the same day I prayed that prayer to him that talked about how God speaks to us in different ways, and how no matter what we go through He's Always there for us no matter what we're going through.
    I really thought about that service a lot that day. When I fell asleep that night I had my first REAL encounter with God. Sometimes God speaks to us through dreams, right? Well I had this dream of myself, and I was in a plain white room and I was looking at myself just standing there. And I heard a voice saying to me "Do you trust me? Believe in me and obey my commandments" And it kept repeating itself over and over again. HE kept repeating those words to me over and over again. When i woke up in the morning, I woke up saying those exact same words God had spoken to me in my dream.
    It was truly amazing!! It's one of my favorite memories because God alone knew I needed to know that he WAS there for me, and he reminded me through that dream that I needed to believe in him again and truly obey him. Because at that time I wasn't trying to do everything i could to give myself all to him and obey him. Before that dream I didn't care.
    It really changed my life and I became a TRUE Christian after that encounter and about a month later I was healthy again, My sickness was gone, I gained back the lost weight, I was journaling my experience that year, I stopped worrying and doubting myself, and I truly believed in Jesus, and Myself.
    And what i've realized through ANYTHING I go through, is that those times when we feel the world is crashing down on us and theres no way out, those are our most rewarding and some of the sweetest times in our life because it changes who we are, and helps us become a better person. A stronger person, and sometimes those struggles are what lead us to salvation and a new beginning in our lives. If we don't face challenges in our life, we could never seek God for help, and we could never become a stronger individual. We could never test ourselves to find out who we really are and how much we have to give. When you're climbing a mountain in you're life, the climb might be tough. But when you reach the top the view is great. :)

    Thanks for sharing everyday. Sometimes all we need is a little messenger like you to write for us everyday to remind us of how big God is compared to our problems. :)
    Love love,
    Cassandra Walter

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  6. Thx, nice verses for a good spiritual growth

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  7. Good words... of course we know all God's word is good. I felt for your husband as I read of your heart attacks.. how alone he must have felt.. but with God we are never alone. Great encouraging words you have given us.
    Blessings!
    Gwen

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  8. i stumbled on your blog - i dono how but i so loved the title... u r one grt lover of god... i have not read any posts yet but have added you... hopin to drop by more often... god bless...

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  9. Oh My Goodness Debra. Thank you for sharing your own story with us. I can only imagine the fear you must have felt. Thank God that he uses people, places and things to reach us. What a Godsend for that young woman to open the bible (as God instructed) and lay it there for the comfort of your husband. I believe people can be used without even knowing it. I always think about the bible verse that speaks about "you never know when you might have entertained an angel". Not a direct quote of course but you get the idea. I love the thought that there may be an angel that has come across my path and I try to be conscious of how I treat the less fortunate. I know that God has worked through you and so many others to help me.

    I enjoyed Cassandra's post so much. God Bless you Cassandra and all you others here.

    Love and wishes of joy to you....Tracy :)

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  10. i remembrd a sayin tht i hav heard somwer when i read Cassandra's comment...

    "never say, God see how big my problem is - instead address the problem n say how big your god is"

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