Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who holds you captive?

Scripture: 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 4:28

How do we let ourselves become burdened by a yoke of slavery? I can’t imagine being free, then agreeing to return to captivity. I believe we do this by listening to the wrong voices. Rather than stand firm on our belief we fall back under the yoke of slavery.
I will not try to define your “yoke” of slavery. Different things bear heavy on our shoulders, and as we walk this journey called life, we drop some yokes just to pick up others. Here we are told that Jesus set us free and that we should not allow ourselves to come under the yoke of slavery again.

A few weeks ago my son was home from Nashville, TN, he brought me a book as he most often does. I promised him I would get to it this week. I am half into Matthew Paul Turner’s book, Hokey Pokey. He has given me much food for thought, and forgive me Matthew if I misinterpret you or even carry your thoughts in a different direction. As I read I was compelled to reflect on how we so many times we try to define the way God works by superimposing on others a set of rules or easy answers to them help make sense of the complicated lives that most of us are familiar with. In other words in reality we make a person captive to our rules, regulations, or expectations. Because of these we cannot be free to live for living in fear. But oh how good it feels when we feel free.

In his book, Matthew shared his reservations when it came to dancing the childhood dance, the Hokey Pokey, I could relate to his experience. Thinking about my life I thought about all the times that I had waited for someone to say the right word, to affirm me, to challenge me, to motivate me….so that I would “feel” that it was ok to go on with my life and what God had called me to do. At times I would have acted or reacted to things but was held captive to someone else set of rules. Why do we wait on others to free us up to do the things that we know to do. It is in our relationship with Jesus that he sets us free, not in the sense of living life as we selfishly please, but, freed to do what was impossible for us to do before.

I believe that it is through our seeking God in the midst of our trials and questions that he allows us to get a glimpse of His face. As we glimpse his face, I believe that we can see the love he had for us as his son, Jesus Christ, gave his life for us to set us free.

We must stand firm and not be held captive. We must stand firm and share our stories that have come out of our relationship with God, who is our foundation. I am convinced that as we tell our stories and how God relates to us, God will unveil his face so that others will see a glimpse of him and find encouragement along their way.

Prayer: Dear God, first of all, thank you for setting us free. Help me to look to you for guidance and not allow anyone to speak captivity over my life. I pray I will stand firm in sharing my own story and by doing so others will come to know the loving God you are, in Jesus name, Amen.