"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
Sometimes I forget this. In fact, it's embarrassing to think just how often I forget it and live in the bondage of stress, fear, hopelessness, frustration... Are you that way?
I had a beautiful two week vacation, relaxing and enjoying the sights and people of another country. It truly was getting away from it all. I've now had one week back at work and I feel like I need to go on vacation again. For another two weeks! I have too much going on again already - deadlines, things I'm not really comfortable with but have to do anyway... you know how that goes.
Yesterday I got an email that broke my heart and discouraged me. A project I'm involved with is undergoing a big change and I'm not at all sure what all is involved in it. I just know that every time I remember it and think about it again I get that feeling in my heart. The sad one that just won't go away.
I want to run away! But I'm a grown-up with responsibilities so I can't do that.
More than that, though, I'm a Christian with a God who is in control, not only of my life, but of everything. EVERYTHING!
In everything there is purpose. Some of that purpose is to continue to teach me to seek and trust God. Some of it may be things that I will never know or understand, but I can always trust that it is there. God doesn't get bogged down in busy work just so he has something to do. Everything is carefully thought out and planned by Someone who knows what the goal is. He knows how it ends and he's working to get us ready.
Each task I face in the coming weeks has purpose. The ripple effects will carry beyond what I will know in this lifetime. God has it worked out and I have to remember that he already knows what needs to be said in each situation. He is the master of time - if I need time to get something done, he will provide it. He has promised to give me the words to say in each situation. He knows what my audience will need to hear. He knows how the project turns out. It is his to do with as he pleases.
And there is my freedom...it all belongs to him. I don't have to manage it all today. Its success or failure doesn't depend on me. My task is simply to be obedient. Trust him, offer my projects, tasks, and myself to him and let him lead where I need to go.
That used to be harder for me to do. Now the hard part for me is remembering to do that before I have worked myself into a stressed out mess. I don't like to be stressed. It doesn't feel good! I am more than happy to turn it over to him, ask for his blessing and guidance and let him do his thing. It's always so much better when he leads!
How about you? What do you face in the week to come? What about just today? Is there something on your heart and mind that is weighing you down? Do you have a 10 hour day with 15 hours worth of stuff to do?
Do you want to be free from the bondage of that? Pray. Write everything down and present that list to God. He will make a way for it to get done. He may change your perspective about what is vital and what is not.
Is your heart burdened by something beyond your control? Praise God for it and thank him for what he will do through the situation. Ask him to help you see the works of his hands in it and to give you a Spirit of anticipation as you wait for him.
That's freedom. Not that we don't ever feel stressed or heart-broken again, but that we don't stop there! We know God. We trust him. We have the power of his Spirit with us every day.
There is nothing too trivial to take before him. Think about it. In some ways, everything human is trivial to God, not because he doesn't care about it or us, we know he does, but nothing - NOTHING! - is difficult for him. He's got it covered. He doesn't get nervous or worried - ever!
If something concerns us he cares about it, because he cares about us. When something worries or stresses us it has our attention, doesn't it? That's a perfect time for God to work in our hearts and lives teaching us and making us more like him.
What has you in chains today? A schedule, a wayward child, a task that feels beyond your capability? What is it? It is not too hard for God. Have you offered it to him yet? If not, do so right now. Just stop reading this and take it to him right now. You can experience the freedom of God's Spirit before you reach the end of this post!
God may not take away the situation, but he can relieve you of the burden of trying to do it in your own power. Don't think that you ever do anything in your own power, whether you pray or not! Think about that.
Christ died to set us free. Live in that freedom today. You will quickly get used to that and want it for your life every day. And you know what? You can have it.
Let's lift one another up in prayer today. Live free my friends. Christ has guaranteed that freedom for you.
I am praying for you.