Real freedom isn’t saying yes to everything. It means being able to say no when you need to.
No to the things that sabitoge your peace.
No to the things that undercutt your strength.
No to the thoughts that lead you to that dark place.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”
Titus 2:11-13 NIV
It also means saying no to people .
Saying “no” can be hard to say when you have used “yes” for so long to please the people around you.
But you are not here to please the people around you. You have been set free to please God.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 1:10 NIV
Saying yes to God sometimes means saying no to others.
Say no today out of a place of strength, vision and confidence knowing who you are in Christ.
What or who do you need to say no to today in order to be who God has set you free to be?
The world likes a tidy image to categorize us in but God has no such desire. In fact, He is much more interested in authenticity vs “image” and reality vs the “picture in our head” of what and who we think we are supposed to be.
Jesus does not expect you to create a perfect picture of a good life.
Instead He invites you to live your real life with Him involved in it everyday.
“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you”. (1 Peter 5:6, 7 MSG)
Let go of the image of you think you need to be and embrace who you are. God does. Let go of the picture of where you are supposed to be and embrace where you are. God is there with you.
Start enjoying the reality of your life instead of being discontent that it doesn’t fit the “image” of what you think it should look like.
In fact, the more you let go of that “image”, the more you are able to thrive in the life God has given you. Since you are not spending all your time and energy trying to “shine it up” and make life “look right”, simply enjoy who you are and what you have.
Are you miserable because you are trying to live up an unauthentic image?
What would happen if you let go of it and asked God to help you love who you are, where you are and what you have got?
There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts.
The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise.
You can’t make it happen. You never could.
“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.”
Romans 4:19 NIV
That is the moment your faith is set free to rest in God alone. You must let go of “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.
It sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works. It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.
God chose you.
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
Romans 4:20-21 NIV
God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation and miracle is all God’s.
Your part is to receive, rest, wait, give glory to God</i> and live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine.
Take the plunge…live fully persuaded.
God IS able.
If you wait until your life is perfect to be thankful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.
Embrace the imperfect now.
Enjoy the imperfect you.
God has no plan to make your life perfect but He will use your imperfect life to perfect His work in you.
“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMPC
Have a good weekend!
The same God who set the sun with enough energy to burn as long as it must has given you everything you need to accomplish what he has called you to do.
He apportioned the exact right amount for it. Don’t worry about running out of it, for you are not the keeper of it. You are the receiver of his grace and all he asks of you is to trust him and use everything he has given you.
Don’t hold back, don’t portion it out.
You do have time.
You do have the strength.
You are able because you are wrapped in the amazing grace of God.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. Ephesians 4:7 NIV
What do need God’s grace to do today?
“Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”
Mathew 6:13 MSG
Keep me from getting wrapped up in myself.
Keep me from over analyzing every single word of every single conversation trying to dissect what they might be thinking, what I wasn’t thinking, how I should have responded differently. This one thing alone can sap my energy to the point I am exhausted . It keeps my attention on myself and I completely miss what You are doing around me.
Keep me from being obsessed with myself. Obsessed with how I look, how much I eat or don’t eat, what I should wear, how I should…you get the point. By depending so much on how the outward looks, I neglect filling up the inward with Your presence, power, grace and love.
And those are only two examples of how I can lead myself down my own well worn roads of discouragement and fear.
I just need a nudge from the enemy. He doesn’t need to work that hard to send me down a path of such powerful self-distraction that I completely miss the joy of life’s little moments. I don’t even recognize the the offer of new friendship or gift of fulfilling Your purpose in my day.
Today Lord, may this be the last moment I think about myself and focus all my energy to worship and magify You. May my eyes be open to see what You are doing where I am and celebrate it with You. May I uncover every moment of joy already laid for me. May I walk in your purposes and every time I’m tempted to go down my familiar self obsessed roads, give me a new road to walk on- Yours.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Mathew 6:12 MSG
Right with God,
Right with others,
Receiving the embrace of a loving Heavenly Father,
Giving grace bought by the sacrifice of His Son,
Right with God,
Right with others,
Jesus said pray like this.
“Keep us alive with three square meals.”
Mathew 6:11 MSG
Lord, give me what I need for today.
Not what I needed yesterday.
Not what I will need for tomorrow.
What I need today.
It will probably look different than I expect it to but it will do the job nonetheless.
You are good like that.
Thank you, Lord, for daily bread.
Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Matthew 6:10 MSG
This is how Jesus said to pray. You may know this verse as “your kingdom come, your will be done”.
Sometimes when you pray, you try to get the words right so you can get the situation right.
Here Jesus is saying that is okay, even preferable, to ask God to do His will, His way by His power.
To acknowledge that you don’t know what is best or how to make anything happen. To surrender and trust. To be humble and honest.
Instead of praying for God’s power to help you do your best, what if you simply prayed for Him to do what IS best and give Him as much reign in your life as He has in heaven (total).
It’s a different way to pray.
Less stress, if you ask me.
Maybe it looks like this:
“Heavenly Father, set the hurting world right. Set my personal world right. You have permission to do what You think is best (even if I don’t agree with it) and you have fully authority, full reign and full trust to do it.
How do you think God’s “best” differs from your “best”?
How does praying this way differ from how you normally pray?
What does it mean for you to give God full reign in your life…as above, so below”?
Today is a good day to begin.
Begin to pray differently.
Begin to pray with open hands and open eyes.
Instead of praying with closed hands, holding on so desperately to what you are afraid to let go of, pray with open hands and let God be God.
Present your requests, petitions, hopes and desires to Him and them let Him do what only He can do. Give them to Him and leave the results to Him. Release your expectations of how He should answer while at the same knowing that He will answer.
Today is a good day to begin asking God to reveal Himself to you.
“(Pray) Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Matthew 6:9 MSG “
Instead of praying, “God, this is who I want you to be”, begin to pray, “God reveal who You are to me.”
It will transform your life.
He wants to.
Begin today to pray different.
When was the last time you asked simply God to reveal Himself to you or in your situation?”
How hard is it for you to leave the results to God?
What does it mean for you to let God be God in your life?