This year, I celebrated Independence Day in Plains, Georgia. It was a perfect day. My family and I are new to the area, and I thought it would be fun to attend the festival. I read that there would be fireworks and music, and I also heard there would be peanut butter ice cream for sale. I was all in!
When we arrived, we were welcomed by a thousand of the nicest southerners around. Children and families were everywhere, and people were smiling, dancing, and laughing.
We were walking toward the fireworks show when we spotted former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalyn. They were sitting in their lawn chairs, surrounded by secret service about twenty feet away from me. I was so excited. I waved at President Carter, and he waved back!
Many of you have been following our story as my family prayed to be able to move to this new home. For months, we prayed and waited until finally, we were able to move. We prayed for our home to sell, and finally, it did. We prayed for the right home in the right community, and God placed us here, right where we are.
But that night, when Former President Jimmy Carter waved back at me, I felt like I was finally home.
On most days, my husband and I feel like the biblical children of God, having been set free from the bonds of slavery, led through the desert and into the promised land – except our desert was Florida and our slavery was the astronomical cost of living!
But the story doesn’t end there.
If you keep reading the Bible, you know what happened when God’s children reached the Promised Land. It only took a generation or two, and they forgot their days of struggle. Their children hadn’t witnessed the miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, or the crumbling walls of Jericho. They stopped looking to God to save them from their oppressors and began to rely on themselves. They fell prey to the gods of the people surrounding them.
In the book of Judges, God brought up prophets to lead His children back into righteousness. Do you know how the story goes? The fickle children of God followed the prophet until his (or her) death, and then they turn back to their idols.
I wondered how my husband and I could avoid the fate of the Israelites. How could we avoid becoming complacent in our own blessing and comfort?
Like He did for the Israelites and my family, God gives us grace and sets us free out of the slavery we get ourselves into. And once we’re set free, we get comfortable. We eat peanut butter ice cream, take bubble baths, and mingle with Presidents. Then one or two Netflix binges later, we have forgotten the desperation with which prayed to be released from our bondage.
How quickly we forget how struggle and hardship uniquely and intimately bond us with God through desperate prayers!
After God sets us free, it is so easy to become FREE and
I ask myself, now that I am in the place I believe God has placed me, how do I remain free?
The path to true freedom is to give up my freedom and BIND myself to Christ. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
I am so glad that God gives us freedom. Freedom to make a choice between a life surrendered to Him or life in bondage to sin.
Our freedom is in the choice.
Choose Christ and enjoy a life of surrender. It is the best life of all.
Lord, thank you for rescuing me from slavery to sin. Thank you for blessing me more abundantly than I could ever ask or imagine. Lord, you are good. Please help me to choose to surrender my life to you daily. Help me to turn away from the temptations to go back to my old life and my old ways. Help me to remain forever bound to you.