Living Free
Amy Carroll

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19 (NIV)

What is it about the very word “freedom”? It brings a hope and lightness to my heart even as I say it. George W. Bush is quoted as saying, "Freedom is not America's gift to the world; it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world." It’s true, isn’t it? Although we are blessed to live in a nation that esteems the freedom of men and women as one of our highest values, each of us has this sense that it’s something deeper than just our government or environment. God has created us each with a longing for freedom.

I’ve been thinking about the true meaning of freedom as I garden. I just love bringing home a carload of cell packs with tender little plants in them. The fun really begins, though, after I’ve dug the hole and popped the plant out of its temporary home. Many times I’m met with a plant that is “root bound”. As the plant grows in the confinement of that small space, the roots begin to wrap around and around inside the container. An experienced gardener knows that this is a situation that must be remedied before the plant is placed into the ground. Gently, I must pull the roots out of the tight ball. Sometimes it even requires breaking or cutting some of the roots. If something can “hurt” a plant, this must be it, but without loosing those roots, they will continue to grow in that tight ball. The plant will never grow and thrive. It doesn’t use all the space around it to expand and draw water, and it will eventually wither.

My heart aches as I look around the church and see so many root bound believers. In John 8:31-32, 34-36, Jesus says, “…’If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’….'I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’” God has designed His children for lives of freedom and yet so many are living in the bondage of secret sin. Instead of bringing sin into God’s glorious light, repenting, and having God tenderly straighten out the roots for growth and thriving, Christians are daily sweeping sin and temptations under the rug. There are lots of reasons that people in the church do such a thing. There’s pride, but there’s also the fear of judgment and being dealt with harshly.

Let’s think about things that grow in the dark for a minute. The list includes mildew, mold, slime and other stinky stuff. Things that are swept under the rug don’t disappear or just lay there. They rot. What’s under some of our rugs? Anger toward our husband, a flirtation at the office, harshness with our children, addictions to alcohol, pain pills or pornography, sexual relationships outside of marriage…we can all fill in our own blanks.

I don’t want to beat you up with this. I want to plead with you! In this month that our country celebrates freedom, experience a renewed personal freedom. Don’t waste another minute. Drag all of your sin out of the dark and out from under the rug. Lay it all out in God’s light and trust Him to set you free from it. Share it with a trusted, godly friend and cry out to God together. Don’t spend another moment root bound by the confines and bondage of sin. Thrive and grow in freedom!

Dear Lord, help me not to waste another minute in bondage. I long for the freedom that is found in the righteousness given in your Son, Jesus. Give me the strength to clean out the dark places. I confess these things to you now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Your Scars are Beautiful to God by Sharon Jaynes

Application Steps:
Spend time with God, and ask Him to search your heart. Sit in silence and see what He reveals. Ask for forgiveness. Embrace freedom!

How much time do I let go by between sin and asking for forgiveness?

How can I shorten this “gap time”?

Who has God put into my path that loves me and would speak truth to me and pray with me?

Power Verses:
Luke 4:18, "’The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed….’” (NIV)

Romans 8:2, “…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional goes hand in hand with the book i just finished reading: Waking the Dead by John Eldredge... God is really revealing Himself to me in a special way. Thank you for your words. They are exactly what the Dr. ordered. (Jehovah Rapha)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I care about the person that fears judgement and harsh treatment. I would like to be a
friend that speaks truth and joins
in prayer with one in need. God
bless you all with a greater knowledge of His care for you

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