I’ve always been a hat person; and, metaphorically, I wear many different hats. I write this blog and have started a podcast. I own and run my own business. I stay at home with my boys and homeschool. I co-lead a life group at church, where I also teach and speak regularly.
All of these roles are good things. But, when I start looking to each of these things for my significance, I’ve steered myself in the wrong direction and set myself up for discouragement.
Because the truth is that none of these things are lasting. None are perfect. All will disappoint me at some point. All will leave me feeling unsatisfied and striving for more. Some things will fail and fall apart. And, when those things fall away, I will be left with discouragement, hurt, anger and confusion. Why? Because none of those good things was ever supposed to give me significance.
We were never meant meant to find our significance in anything else except Jesus.
So, why do we? Honestly, it seems easier sometimes. When I’m at the helm of my own life, I only seek to please myself. I don’t have to take anyone else into consideration. I control everything and that seems easier. Except that it isn’t. Because the truth is that we can’t control anything. We may think we are in control, navigating our own lives, but that’s an illusion we've created in order to maintain the facade of freedom.
Freedom. That's an interesting word. We strive so tirelessly for control so that we can be "free" to make our own choices and run our own lives. All the while, not realizing that true freedom rests in Christ alone. " For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. " (Galatians 5:1, ESV)
True freedom rests in Christ alone.
The freedom we think we've found in controlling our own lives and answering to no one is actually the greatest form of bondage because it is a slavery of which we are most often unaware. We can't know what's going to happen in the next moment. We don't know if the decision we've just made will have negative implications years down the road. We don't know there may be something better waiting for us if we had only chosen differently. And, yet, we delude ourselves into thinking we do have all the answers and we do know what's best. The truth? Only God knows. The Creator, Author and Sustainer of life knows the end from the beginning. He knows what's best and He wants to guide us, if we will only let Him.
When we seek to please only ourselves, when we find our worth and significance in the roles we play, when we grasp the reins of our lives and refuse to let go, we bury ourselves in bondage. We weren't meant to carry that kind of power, our frame is too small and our spirit too weak. The freedom Christ speaks of in Galatians 5:1 is a freedom of the soul from sin. Because of Christ, we no longer have to earn our way to God. We no longer have to do it all on our own with our limited strength and abilities. We no longer have to fear. We no longer have to carry the burden of control, of failing, of succeeding, of not being enough, of not doing enough, of being left disappointed and empty after a lifetime of striving. All we have to do is lay hold of our freedom by clinging to Christ.
In Him, by Him and through Him we have all we need. Don't you see? His very presence is the answer to everything we seek and everything we need.
In Him we are made complete. In Him we are made strong. In Him we are loved. In Him we are secure. In Him we are made right with God. In Him we are enough. In Him we have true freedom.
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