Posts Tagged “Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open”

12Therefore, since we have such a hope [that is, the hope of our glorious salvation], we are very bold….17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12, 17 (NIV)

Dog Running Through Field with AbandonIn my previous blog, we looked at Numbers chapters 13 and 14 – the story of the Israelites seeing the giants in the Promised Land instead of God’s Promise – that He had already given the land to them and that their enemies were already “helpless prey.” Oh Lord, help us to see Your promises in our lives and not the giants that might temporarily be inhabiting our land.

Let’s read the end of the story. When we last left the Israelites, Joshua and Caleb were begging the Israelites to take God at His Word and enter the Promised Land. The Israelites would have none of it. Here’s just a sample of their whining:

“Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”
Numbers 14:3-4 (NLT)

A few verses later we read God’s perspective on the situation:

11 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?
Numbers 14:11 (NLT)

We use softer words than God does. We might say that the people didn’t believe God or didn’t trust Him. God said “How long will these people treat me with contempt?” Other translations say “How long will the people despise me?” or “How long will the people reject me.” Those are serious charges. It gives us a greater understanding of how our lack of faith impacts God. God says “I’ve done all these things for you and you take my gifts, spit on them and then turn your back on me.”

I’m guessing that most of us have had experiences like that. There are people that we’ve poured our lives into and then at some point those people reject us. It is incredibly hurtful. It can be devastating! That’s how God “feels” when we don’t trust Him. At least that’s how He describes it!

Lord, forgive me! Lord, forgive me.

Moses took up the case of the Israelites and pled with God to spare them. God relented, bringing us to one of the saddest passages in the Bible:

20Then the LORD said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. 
(Numbers 14:20)

The Lord forgives! Hallelujah! I’m so thankful that He is a forgiving God. But sin has consequences. Continuing with verse 21…

21But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the LORD’S glory, 22not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they tested me by refusing to listen. 23They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will enter it. 24But my servant Caleb is different from the others. He has remained loyal to me, and I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will receive their full share of that land. 25Now turn around and don’t go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live. Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.”
Numbers 14:21-25

Sin has consequences. We would all agree with that. Yet we don’t like to think of our sin as having consequences…especially the consequence of losing the opportunity to receive all the promises God has given us. I see that clearly here. The promises God has given us are obtained through faith. When we choose to walk outside of faith, we are walking in unbelief and we disqualify ourselves from receiving those promises. Now God is gracious and He will still give us eternal life…He’ll even bless us in this life…but if we continually respond to God’s open gate by backing away from it, we risk receiving discipline instead of promises.

“Now turn around and don’t go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live. Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.”
Numbers 14:25 (NLT)

I find this to be two of the saddest sentences in the Bible. The Israelites have just been told that their dreams of entering the Promised Land will never be realized. Those sentences break thousands of dreams and bring thousands of heartaches. What caused the death of that dream? Their own fear – their own lack of faith.

Lord, keep me from myself! Help me keep my eyes on You and Your great love and power – because I don’t want to have the experience of the Israelites. I want to live out the purposes God has for my life. I don’t want to hear Him say “OK. Turn around…head into the wilderness…”

There are lots of consequences to living in the wilderness. There are also blessings – their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out for 40 years, they had food they needed…but they missed out on living in the land flowing with milk and honey. They missed out on the grape clusters that were so large they required two men to carry them. They missed out on accomplishing the eternal purposes God prepared in advance for them to do.

I’ve said it over and over again – I want to live like God has left the gate open. I want to embrace the challenges looking at God’s outcome not the obstacles in the way. The obstacles are there just waiting to be conquered! I’m guessing that you do too. Maybe that dream has been buried for awhile, but I trust it’s still there.

Don’t take my message the wrong way. Being in the wilderness isn’t always a result of sin. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and be tempted by satan. I am not saying that if you’re in wilderness it’s because you’ve sinned. I am saying that it could be because you stepped back from something God asked you to do.

Messed Up Hair and AllSo let’s examine ourselves. Is there something that has come to your mind as you’ve read the blogs in this series? Is there some area of ministry, some area of stepping out in faith, that you’ve been struggling to say “Yes” to God in? Don’t risk hearing God say “OK, turn around.” Boldly step through that gate. Run through it! Trust God to meet you, to have gone before you, to have already marked the giants as helpless prey. Take the first step and let Him show you that He’s laid out the plan and set things in motion.

The blogs in this series have come out of a sermon series I preached at my home church. Out of that sermon series we’ve started a new small group. It’s a group in which we share our God dreams and encourage one another to step into them. More than anything, I want to help you walk into the dreams God has placed in your heart…not get you excited about the possibility of walking into them and then having that passion die a slow death. If you’d like to be a part of a virtual group email me – Sandy@ApprehendingGrace.com. We’ll get one going. Because living like God has left the gate open is worth it!

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12Therefore, since we have such a hope [that is, the hope of our glorious salvation], we are very bold….17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12, 17 (NIV)

Dog Running Through Field with AbandonWhy aren’t we living life like Someone (God) has left the gate open? The reason at the top of my list remains the same – fear. My two previous blogs on the topic were about how the fear of condemnation keeps us from the freedom God has for us. The antidote to that fear is applying faith to the full gospel message – that not only are we given eternal life, but we are free from condemnation. It’s all right there in John 3:16, 3:17 and 3:18. Don’t stop reading at the end of 3:16. Eternal life is found in 3:16. Freedom from condemnation comes in the verses that follow. You can read the first blog in the series here, and the second here.

Today, I want to look at how fear keeps us from living boldly in the plan God has for our life. We’ll find that the antidote to that fear is the same faith we applied to God’s Word for our salvation. In this case, however, we’ll apply that faith to God’s ability to keep His other promises.

Turn with me to Numbers 13. Let me set the stage. The Israelites were about ready to go into the Promised Land – a land that God has promised them is flowing with milk and honey. A land that would be their own. One in which they would no longer be slaves. They had been slaves for 400 years in Egypt. Then God miraculously delivered them and He provided for them again and again as they made their way to this point of their journey. In preparation for the next phase of their journey, God said this to Moses:

“Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”
Numbers 13:2 (NLT)

Notice that the Lord described the land as “The land I am giving to the Israelites.” It was already a settled matter. God was going to give them the land. Send some men out to explore it! So Moses’ proceeded to do just that. He gave the scouting party instructions to check out the land and the people, and to try to bring back some samples of the crops.

The spies went out and indeed found the land as God had described it – a fertile where a single cluster of grapes was so large that it took two men to carry it back to the Israelites. They also gathered samples of the pomegranates and figs. Let’s pick up the story as the men return with their bounty and report their findings:

25 After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned 26 to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces.”

28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”

30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”

31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Numbers 13:25-33 (NLT)

That last phrase caught my attention – “And that’s what they thought, too?” That’s the only verse we have that gives us any indication that the spies actually interacted with the residents of the land. Apparently these giants didn’t seem to have a problem with the twelve men stealing their grapes and pomegranates. There’s no indication that they paid for them. I’m thinking it would only have taken two of the giants to conquer the twelve spies, what with two of them loaded down with grapes and a couple of others carrying pomegranates and figs.

Do these men not realize that they just walked through the enemy’s camp unharmed? Apparently not.

Let’s just set that aside for now because there’s a more significant question:

What’s wrong with this whole discussion? What was the focus of it? Their whole focus is on what they thought they could do. They’ve looked at the circumstances and they’re no longer asking “What did God say?” or “What does God want us to do?”

How did the story start? The Lord said “send men out to explore the land I am giving them.”

We’re back to our issue of faith. The Israelites didn’t run into the land that God had opened the gate for them to enter because they were looking at the obstacles instead of at their miracle working, lavishly providing God.

Moses and Aaron and Joshua and Caleb begged the people to trust God. Read Joshua and Caleb’s plea recorded in Numbers 14, starting in verse 7:

7They [Joshua and Caleb] said to the community of Israel, “The land we explored is a wonderful land! 8And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us! 9Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
Numbers 14:7-9

“They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

I can’t get past that statement – “they are only helpless prey!” Other translations say “Their protection is gone.”

Yes, they have fortified cities…yes, they are big and strong…but they are still helpless prey. They have already lost their protection. They are ready to be conquered. God has opened the gate, let’s run through it!

Do you believe that God will provide all that you need when you run through gates He has opened?

Today’s application of faith is to believe in God’s ability to do what He’s promised – to believe in His power. The Israelites failed in that faith and because of that the failed to enter the Promised Land. Instead of trusting God’s promise, they looked at the circumstances, and chose not to believe that their enemies were already helpless prey, that they had already lost their protection. If they had believed God, that faith would have brought boldness into our lives. Do you hear the boldness in Joshua and Caleb’s words?

Keeping our eyes on the Lord and trusting in His promises brings boldness into our lives that gives us the freedom to live like someone left the gate open. It’s what Joshua and Caleb were urging the Israelites to do – “let’s go get ’em” was their message.

What gate has God opened for you? If you believe that God loves you unconditionally, have you run through the open gate? If not, is it because you’re looking at what’s on the other side with natural eyes instead of supernatural eyes. What is on the other side of that gate? The fulfillment of God’s eternal purposes in your life…and the impact God wants to have through you on the lives of others. Is that what you’re seeing? Or are you seeing the giants between you and that fulfillment? Don’t look at the giants, look at the promises of God. Those giants are inhabiting the land that God has already given to you. They are helpless prey – if you boldly trust God. If you boldly go into the land He will deliver them into your hands.

What kind of giants are they in your land?

  • Is it the giant of not having enough time?
  • Is it the giant of not having enough money?
  • Is it the giant of not having enough energy?
  • Is it the giant of not having the wisdom or knowledge?
  • Are they giants of long-established patterns that are hard to break?
  • Is it the giant of complacency – being quite comfortable where you are, thank you very much?
  • What have I missed? Whatever your giants are…

Messed Up Hair and All“They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

Let’s engage our faith – to take the promised land! That’s a big goal – a God-sized goal. Let’s engage our faith to pursue God goals that are bigger than we are. Let’s engage our faith to live like God has left the gate open for us!

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12Therefore, since we have such a hope [that is, the hope of our glorious salvation], we are very bold….17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12, 17 (NIV)

Dog Running Through Field with AbandonIn Part 1 of this series, I posed these questions: Are you bold? Do you live in freedom? After confessing that my answer wasn’t always affirmative, I introduced what I consider to be the top reason I don’t live in freedom: fear. I went on to say that an issue of fear is really an issue of faith. Fear takes many shapes, that is, we can be afraid of many things, but the shape that keeps us in more bondage than anything is the fear that we will disappoint or be rejected by God. And that, my friend, is an issue of not believing – not applying faith to John John 3:17 and 18 to the same degree that we apply it to John 3:16. When we apply faith to all three verses, a tremendous freedom comes into our lives because we know – we know – that we are not condemned by our Father, the Creator of the Universe.

Read my earlier post for the whole picture.

Today I want to delve into the subject a bit further jumping off the passage we ended with last week.

15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,…
Romans 8:15-17a (NIV)

God has made us co-heirs with Christ. He didn’t do this because He was required to – no one was forcing Him. He didn’t do it reluctantly, He did it because He wanted to! God’s heart is to bless His children. The story of the prodigal son is perfect for illustrating the Father’s love. Jesus is the narrator of the story that is recorded in the gospel of Luke. Remember that as you read through the story. This is not Luke’s story – it is Luke’s account of the story that Jesus told.

First, a little background – a rich man had two sons. The younger son became impudent and asked for his inheritance. You have to understand that in the culture of Jesus’ time, such a request was a tremendous humiliation for the father. Despite his humiliation, the father loved his son and gave him his share of the inheritance. The son immediately left and squandered his inheritance on wine, women and song. After losing all his money, he hired himself out as a farm worker to an employer who fed his pigs better than he fed his hired hands. Scripture says that the son “came to his senses,” realized that his father’s workers had it better than he did and thought “I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’” Luke 15:18-19 (NLT)

So the son began his journey home. His father saw him “from afar off” Scripture says (Luke 15:20) and he ran and welcomed his son home. He threw him a lavish party to celebrate that his lost son was found. It’s a beautiful picture of how very much God loves us – He watches for us from afar. Then, when we turn toward Him, He runs toward us, throws His arms around us, puts His robe on us and His ring on our finger and throws a party. And God throws a lavish party – even the angels join in rejoicing when the lost are found.

But the story goes on. The older brother had been out in the field working and when he returned home and learned that his father was throwing a party for the younger son, he became quite angry. That’s where we pick up in Luke 15:28

28“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him,29but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.
Luke 15:28-31 (NLT)

What a powerful paragraph. First, notice the word the older son uses – he said that he had “slaved” for his father. He had the mindset of being in bondage or servitude to his father. Yet what was the father’s response? “Everything I have is yours.” The oldest son had access to all the father had, but he was living like a slave – not because the father required, but because the son didn’t “own” it. He didn’t live it.

Remember, Romans 8 said “we are co-heirs with Christ.” We share “ownership” of everything that is the Father’s with Christ. God has given us everything…but sometimes we live like slaves. We live in fear that our Master will disapprove of what we do…or who we are. We don’t throw a party because what will He think? We don’t run through the open door because…we might have it wrong…

We still have this fear because we haven’t gotten it into our spirit that  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned,” (John 3:18) and “there is now no condemnation” (Romans 8:1) – there is no judgment against us!

God has given us everything – it’s a loving Father who does that. It’s not a father that’s holding back, waiting for us to make a mistake. It’s not a father that doesn’t trust us.

Scripture says He loves us with an everlasting love. The word means perpetual – ongoing, non-stop, throughout all eternity.

It says He loves us with a perfect love, a complete love.

When we get that into our spirit, there is no fear of condemnation. There is no fear of a guilty sentence. Fear is replaced by rejoicing. Better yet, fear is replaced by boldness and that boldness is demonstrated in the freedom with which we live our lives.

12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold….17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12, 17 (NIV)

So, friends, what will it take for us to live our lives with abandon – as if someone has left the gate open? Because God has. He’s put before each of us open doors – we can ignore them, shy away from them, walk through them with trepidation and fear, or run through them excited to see what’s on the other side – excited to be apart of the adventure called walking with Christ, excited to be living the purposes for which God created us.

One thing it takes is knowing that we know that we know that He loves us. He loves me. He loves you.

  • He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. He doesn’t condemn you.
  • He has already seated you in heavenly places.
  • Christ is eagerly waiting to introduce you to His Father as His bride. He is proud of you.
  • He is on your side.
  • He loves you with a perpetual love.

Messed Up Hair and AllBelieve it. Say it out loud. In the morning, remind yourself “I am loved by the Most High God with a love that is eternal, perpetual and radical.” “He has adopted me as His child.” “I am a co-heir with Christ.” When the voice in your head begins to whisper anything negative about you or your life, repeat “I am not condemned – I am not found guilty. I am a child of the King. I am loved. I am loved. I am loved.”

Let faith rise up in you in a way that it never has before – then live like someone left the gate open. Because that someone is God and He has open doors before you just waiting for you to explore! They are doors that lead to His purposes for your life!

Let faith arise!

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12Therefore, since we have such a hope [that is, the hope of our glorious salvation], we are very bold….17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12, 17 (NIV)

Dog Running Through Field with AbandonAre you bold? Do you live in freedom?
God asked me that question recently. My answer was “[gulp]…sometimes?” and God used that as a conversation starter.

“Where the Spirit for the Lord is, there is freedom.” Do you live in freedom? What does freedom look like? To me it looks a lot like the image at the right. Living in freedom looks a lot like “living like someone left the gate open.” It’s living without chains and fences and gates. It’s walking through open doors…no, it’s running with confidence through open doors.

I have some exciting news for you today. God has set an open door before you! He’s opened the gates! I am not being prophetic in any way. I’m simply being biblical. Scripture is so clear that God has prepared works for each of us. Ephesians 2:10 says:

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

God has called us, prepared us and prepared work for us. That means there are open doors. They may not be the doors we expect. They may not even be the doors we want. But they are open doors.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to squander the opportunity to accomplish God’s purposes. I don’t want to live my life on the sidelines, especially when it comes to fulfilling God’s purposes. I want to live my life knowing that God has left the gate open and any door He’s opened I want to run through because what’s on the other side is the fulfillment of God’s purposes in my life.

Let me repeat that. What’s on the other side of doors that God opens is the fulfillment of God’s purposes in my life. And I can’t think of anything greater. I truly can’t. I can’t think of anything greater than accomplishing God’s purposes.

Yet I don’t always live like that. Why? When my heart’s desire is to run hard after the purposes God has for me and to love Him with abandon, why don’t I? I’m sure there are many reasons, but the one at the top of my hitlist is fear. I hate to admit that. I prefer to believe I fully trust God. But I know that sometimes fear still holds me back. It can take many different shapes, but all of them have the same root – lack of faith.

Fear is trusting that God can’t or won’t come through for you. It’s not trusting that God loves you so much that He will deliver you from whatever the enemy throws your way. It’s wondering if He will deliver you. It’s wondering if you’re worthy enough, important enough to Him or good enough for Him to lead you safely to the other side.

Today’s blog is going to begin to look at the lack of faith that comes from not fully understanding and embracing God’s love.

I see a relationship between three things: Faith, Freedom and Action (living like someone left the gate open). If I were to create a formula from the relationship, it would be expressed like this. Translate the symbol => as “leads to.”

Faith => Freedom [Faith leads to Freedom]

Faith + Freedom => Action [Faith plus Freedom leads to Action]

If we are not living like God left the gate open, it is in large measure because of a faith issue. And for most of us, I don’t think it’s an issue of believing that Christ died for our sins. I believe it’s an issue of understanding how that act flowed out of a heart that loves us more radically than we can imagine.

Because when we know how much we’re loved by God, freedom comes into our life. We are transformed from the Much Afraid people we are in the natural to men and women who step out in boldness.

There was a long period of time in my life when I was extremely buttoned up — uptight, fearful of what others thought, never doing anything to draw attention myself. There are two things that I attribute the changed me to. One is the unconditional love of my husband. I know that he is so much in love with me that I can fail a thousand times and he’ll still love me. And I fully understand that God has given me Phil to illustrate God’s unconditional love is for me. When I began to understand that God is not the Authoritarian in the sky waiting and watching for me to make a mistake, but always cheering me on, always enabling me to do better, always loving even when I fail…when I began to grasp that, an amazing freedom came into my life.

Let’s start at a very fundamental verse.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned…
John 3:16-18a (NIV)

The fact that God would love us enough to send His son Jesus, the fact that Jesus would willingly leave all the glories of the Godhead and heaven and come to earth to live within the limitations of a human body and then die a horrible death – these things demonstrate – prove God’s love. God didn’t just say “I love you,” He proved it. His deeds prove His Word.

And yet, we believe verse 16 but somehow verse 18 doesn’t become part of our faith. Whoever believes in Him is NOT CONDEMNED.

Say it out loud “I am NOT CONDEMNED.” Go ahead – say it! I’ll wait!

Do you believe it? Has it gotten into your spirit to such a degree that you live life like God left the gate open? Are you ready to run through His open gates?

Well, if you’re like me, you’re not all the way there yet – at least not all the time. If you’re like me, there are still voices in my head that are condemning and negative. “I’m never going to be able to …” “I can’t possibly…” “If I were good I’d…” “I just can’t…”

I’ve come to understand that if I truly believed that I am not condemned, the voice in my head wouldn’t say many of the things it says. Because the things that the voice in my head says are inconsistent with God’s Word. God’s Word says that if we believe in Jesus we are NOT CONDEMNED.

God’s Word says it, but we don’t believe it because we still sin. Sin is bad. God loves us, so He convicts us of that sin. We feel it in our hearts and our spirit. And that conviction leads us to repent, to ask forgiveness. And (hallelujah!) we’re forgiven. But the enemy steps in and takes conviction and twists it into condemnation. He hammers us with it over and over again. He distorts God’s truth, which is what he’s good at, and we become willing accomplices when we embrace his condemnation and repeat it over and over to ourselves.

The Apostle Paul understood the relationships between sin and forgiveness and condemnation. In Romans 7 he said this:

15I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good…

21It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22I love God’s law with all my heart. 23But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 7:15-25 (NLT)

Does a slave have freedom? No. A slave does what his or her master requires. And in this case, the master is sin. So what is it that Jesus does – he frees us from the slavery to sin – but there’s so much more – He doesn’t just free us from the slavery to sin, He frees us from the condemnation – the charge of guilty – of sin. Let’s pick it up in Chapter 8 verse 1:

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death….

15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,…
Romans 8:1-17a (NIV):

There’s that word again – “condemnation” – and Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Say it out loud again – “no condemnation.” The word literally means “no judgment against” – There is no judgment against us! Tell your heart, “heart – there is no judgment against you!”

Why is there no condemnation? Paul explained why – because the Spirit of Life has set us free – delivered us. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

God loves us so much that He has made us equal with His Son. I’m not saying that we’re God or we become God. But I am saying that God says we are co-heirs of all that is His. Co-heirs with Christ. God didn’t do this out of obligation. He did this because His heart is to bless His children. His heart is to give all that is His to His sons and daughters.
Messed Up Hair and All

Good parents don’t condemn their children, they love them unconditionally. They may discipline them to teach behaviors and principles that will lead to a good life, but they don’t condemn them. God is the perfect parent. He loves you. He even really likes you! You are the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).

We’ll continue on this theme, but for today let’s pause – again and again through the next few days – to remind ourselves that we are NOT CONDEMNED by the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let that be the starting place, or perhaps the next step, in your journey to freedom…your next step to living like God has left the gate open…even if it messes up your hair!

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