How Are We to Live?
Through God’s plan and Christ's actions we all can experience freedom. A kind of freedom that releases us from the pressures and burdens of this world. However, this freedom is a daily choice. It is freely given, but cannot remain when we take it for granted and allow our flesh to rule our lives. This is why we are called to, “serve one another humbly in love.” This is the one requirement God has for our freedom. Freedom from worry, anger, contempt, fear, resentment, and any other emotion that threatens to imprison us. When we choose to love over all else, as Christ did for us, knowing that someone does not deserve it, we choose freedom for ourselves. Our freedom grows the more we love. If there is anything to take away from God’s word each day it is to love. It is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves and others.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:13-15 NIV
This is the battle we are up against every day of life. Our sin nature is strong and the world around us bolsters the sin filled life. In fact, it encourages us to stay the course of the world. This all because, when we are in the trappings of the world we find immediate comfort. Comfort is a very alluring emotion. Although when we follow the world and ultimately our sin nature is that comfort ever sustaining? Of course not. This comfort that we persistently chase is fleeting. Why else would we be chasing it? This is why we were never meant to do life on our own. We have been called to God to be completely dependent on His love and direction for our lives. This trust requires us to surrender all logic of how we know how to live. This new reality beckons us to deny our flesh and turn to Him in all things. One of the most powerful ways we can do this is to love beyond comprehension, but rather for the sake of trusting His power in our lives.
As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Romans 7:17-20 NIV
A Story of Denying the Flesh:
I have learned in my walk with God that boundaries are a necessary part of life. In order to stay with Him in all things I must ensure that I impose limits on myself. This became very evident to me when I realized my propensity for rationalization of my actions.
Several years ago I was unfaithful in my marriage. I had convinced myself that because my intentions were not malicious, but rather in love that my actions were not so bad. Of course this was completely wrong. I had been selfish and self serving. I struggled with a spirit of loneliness that drew me into a relationship that was not of God.
I am grateful that not only God, but my husband were both able to see beyond my sin and forgive me. However, it was not by their forgiveness alone that pulled me from the depths of this earthly pit. With God’s help I was able to forgive myself, draw closer to Him to heal the space that this spirit of loneliness ruled and then set the necessary boundaries that would never allow me to make that mistake again. These boundaries are kept because of my God purified love for myself and others around me.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- Write down the feelings that burden you today. Could they be remedied by praying to God for the strength to love in place of them?
- What comforts have you been chasing? Write down an area in your life that you persistently chase comfort and see how you can surrender that to God.