Galatians 5:13

When I Am Free

Lynn Cowell with introductory thoughts from Lori Bratton

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

Daycare calls: “Hey, Lori, weren’t your kids supposed to have a weekend visit today?” Me: “yes, has no one come to pick them up?”

“No, and ____ is sick – he’s been throwing up and I’m pretty sure it’s his nerves because he’s expecting to see family and they haven’t shown up.”

What I said and what I thought at that point were polar opposites.

What I said was “let me check with the caseworker and see what’s happening and I’ll get back to you.”

What I thought was, “no, no, no. please don’t let this happen. They’ll be holy terrors if they don’t get to have this visit, we’ve talked about it all week.” And also, “no, no, no. We have plans this weekend to celebrate Cameron’s birthday and those plans don’t involve two little people (even if they are pretty stinking cute).”

These were the thoughts whirring in my brain at 5pm on a Friday when I got the text from Victoria asking if I’d finished the devotional. After spending the WHOLE WEEK doing the “have to’s.” I was looking forward to a couple of days of “want to’s.” I didn’t want the plan to change. I didn’t want to write a devo. I didn’t want my long awaited weekend to be interrupted!

So here I am several hours and even some tears later and I need to write a devo. So I google the scripture I’ve been given and this article comes up. Holy Spirit much? I hope these few thoughts below can be as meaningful to you as they are to me. And that I will learn to accept the curves, bumps and detours on the road, and look for how those changes can become a chance to serve and to love like God does.

_______

“What is wrong?” It felt as though the Holy Spirit Himself was asking me. What is wrong with you?

What was wrong with me was me.

Do you ever suffer from Me Syndrome? You know, that time of the day or the month when you feel that now is the time for me? I sure do; often in fact. If it doesn’t help or benefit me, I don’t want to do it! I guess that is why Galatians 5:13 jumped off the page when I read it recently.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (NIV)

Ouch! That really hurt! Freedom is given so I can serve. Okay, Lord, so where do you want to free me so I can serve?

Here is the short list of what was downloaded to my heart in a mere two minutes of journaling my response to that question:

When I am free from ambition, I am free to serve with a joyful heart.

When I am free from selfishness, I am free from irritation.

When I am free from jealousy, I am free to rejoice in the good of another.

When I am free from judgment, I am free to pray from a pure heart.

When I am free from expectation, I am free to enjoy whatever comes.

When I am freed from controlling others, I am free to see the miraculous.

When I am truly free, I will see the Kingdom of God in my life.

That is what I want to see –the Kingdom of God come in my life. What is that going to take? It’s going to take tearing free from my own selfish thoughts and feelings.  It’s going to take looking at things from God’s perspective. It’s going to take God’s help. In order to be free, I have to be free of me.

Do you want to be free too? Free to find total and utter completion in Jesus? What steps will you take this week to make that freedom a reality?

Father, when I don’t get my “to do” list done, I am irritated and frustrated. When I am tired and one more person needs me, I feel angry and annoyed. Only You can free me of me, Jesus. I give You permission to do it! In Your powerful Name, Amen.

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