This weekend I attended my first revival! :) I totally didn't realize that people still did revivals, but I tell you what...I'm so glad I went! First, because the preacher was my Mighty Man. :) And second, because the word he shared was unquestionably what I needed to hear. God just shot an arrow straight to my heart through my man's words.
MM shared about the topic of holiness from Romans 6, and as part of his illustration, he told the story of a dog he used to own named Keira. (MM, did I spell that right?) Now, Keira was a German Shepherd, and was apparently one of the smartest dogs in the history of the planet. MM said that he had a fenced-in back yard and that she'd get out all the time, prance around the neighborhood, and be back in the yard by the time he got home at the end of the day. haha! What a stinker! :)
In order to combat this problem, MM set up an electric fence around the base of his yard knowing that Keira would get a little shock when she tried to escape. Well, get a shock she did! Apparently is scared her so bad that she hid under his house for three days without coming out for even food or water. The girl got bit bad! (FYI: If you have never been shocked by an electric fence, know that it is AWFUL! I got bitten many times when we had them for our horses. It doesn't hurt, per se. It is just the most awful, awful, frightening sensation I've ever had.)
After MM rescued her from her hiding place under the house, Keira clearly wasn't the same dog. Still smart, active and a great pet, but she'd been scarred for life by the shock of the electric fence. No longer would she even go near the spot where she'd experienced the pain. MM said she'd even cry when she got close to it.
Seeing that he no longer needed the fence, MM took it down. But do you think Keira started testing the waters of escape again? Nope. She was done. She continued to avoid the perimeter at all cost.
What a great illustration of how we sometimes behave as Christians! I TOTALLY identify with Keira. There have been areas of sin in my life that have stung me so badly that, even though the Lord has removed them, I still won't walk in the freedom that is now mine.
When I placed my faith in Christ and asked Him to be the Lord of my life, sin lost all power over me. By accepting His death and resurrection, I was liberated into complete freedom from sin and given the ability to walk in confidence and joy without sin holding me back.
Romans 6 says that we "died" to sin with Christ and were raised to life again with Him. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He defeated sin. Completely. Destroyed its power. By placing our faith in Him, we get to be part of that victory. Through Him, we are freed from the slavery of sin!
Have you ever felt "enslaved" to a sin? Like you had to do it? Like it was your master? Addicts feel this way a lot. If you've never been addicted to something, you probably don't know what that's about, but it is a bugger of a problem! I've never battled drugs, alcohol or many of the common addictions, but I do know what this is like. I know just how powerful our minds can be when telling us that we HAVE to do something--that we have no power not to.
But, friends, that is the beauty of the gospel!! Jesus eliminated that for us! We truly are dead to sin! Like, literally! :) When we place our faith in Christ, we literally get to be part of the results of His death and resurrection! :) That means that any sin that formerly held us captive completely loses its power over us. WE ARE FREE!! :) :) All we have to do is believe it and walk in it! He gives us the power to do so! :) (1 Corinthians 10:13--NO temptation has authority over us because of God's power and faithfulness!)
So, what does this mean? It means that if we have Christ, we can walk in freedom knowing that there is no chance we'll be stung by any electric fences of sin. They're not there! He removed them when He died and rose again! We don't have to be afraid like poor Keira was. We can live the full, abundant life He intended us to live!
I'll be honest. I behave like Keira in several areas of my life. I desperately don't want to be stung again by areas of sin that have crippled me in the past. And the enemy wants nothing more than for me to believe that they are still issues for me. But through Christ they are not! I have been set free! Do I still have to be careful how I live? Of course! I have a responsibility to walk in His ways. But the beauty is that He will empower me to do that. I don't have to do it on my own anymore. Sin had power over me when I walked on my own, and I did have to be afraid. But because Christ set me free from the power of sin, I don't have to be afraid anymore!
Ladies and gentlemen, freedom is here!!! If you have placed your faith in Christ, then this is for you! You are FREE from the power of sin! Anything you've struggled with in the past can be eliminated from your life. You may still be tempted, but you no longer have to obey sin. It is NOT your master. Jesus is! His grace and truth is your new way of life!! :)
Yes, we will still struggle. Yes, we will still face temptation. But we don't have to give in anymore! Jesus is so much more powerful than that! And we can live without the fear of giving into the sins of the past. (1 John 4:4)
Mighty Man, thank you for ministering to me this weekend. I have NO doubt that He used you to speak words of truth and life into so many others, as well. I am so thankful for you--a man who knows and believes the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!! :)
Final thought...If you have yet to experience this freedom in Christ and want it for yourself...If you feel enslaved to anything you don't desire to do...If you want peace and joy and a full, abundant life...If you want a deep, intimate relationship with the Savior and Creator--the author of love itself, you can have it!! It is as simple as receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and asking Him to become the Lord of your life. If you have questions, I will direct you to FCA's website for this kind of thing. Go to http://www.morethanwinning.org/. (If you're a sports fan, you're in for a treat! It will totally speak your language.)
Love you all! Walk in the freedom that Christ gives you! And if you want to read all about this for yourself, PLEASE read Romans 6.