You have been set free. Your chains are broken. God has made all things new. Do you feel that way today? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you hope you will. Maybe the freedom Jesus Christ paid for doesn’t feel like you thought it would. Through Him You are no longer a slave to anything- not pain, not despair, not depression, not fear, not shame, not death, not abuse, not opinions, not bad bosses or toxic friendships, not pressure, not disease, not anger, not regret – nothing – unless you choose to be. “You were bought at a price. Do not be the servants of men. Brothers, let every man, in whatever condition he is called, remain there with God.” (1 Corinthians 7:23-24) You are no longer your own, but just as important is this: Nothing else and no one else owns you either.
“There is a difference between knowing you’re no longer a slave and acting like you are no longer a slave.”
There is a difference between knowing you’re no longer a slave and acting like you are no longer a slave. Which are you? Today is the day to start something brand new, to walk in a new direction, to cease the former things, to renounce your old ways, to do things differently, to tear off the chains you’ve allowed yourself to continue carrying and to walk free. Will it be easy? No! You have an enemy who seeks to devour you (1 Peter 5:8-9) and if he catches wind that you’re walking in the freedom Christ gave you, he’ll do everything in his power to scare you away from it. You’ll experience all the old feelings – the fear and anxiety, the anger and depression, the lusts and the temptations because Satan wants to see if your faith is in your head or in your heart. Don’t believe the lies! You walk by faith, right? And not by what you FEEL, right? Push past it. Only God’s Word is true, the rest is all lies. You are not who you once were, from the moment you gave up your rights to yourself and received Jesus Christ who set you free. So stop acting like it! “For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
In the book of Philemon, Paul sent the slave, Onesimus, back to his master, even though Onesimus had run away from his place of slavery, which was a crime punishable by death. By rights, Philemon could exact any punishment, even death. However, Onesimus had come to Christ during his time away and so Paul wrote to request, “that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” (Philemon 1:15) The slave, Onesimus was free in Christ, but he had to see himself that way, that he had become the brother in Christ of his master, Philemon- regardless of any other circumstances. Even if his position didn’t change in the natural realm, everything was different spiritually. Remember this: For those in Christ, slavery is a mindset – so is freedom.
Thought for today
Legally, however, Onesimus was still a slave. So, what now? Remember this: In Christ, you are no longer a slave, you are a “beloved brother…who in the past was unprofitable… but now is profitable…” (Philemon 1:11) Onesimus had been set free in Christ, but he still had to return to “real life”, to the place that had once enslaved him. What would happen once he got there? Onesiums was faced with a choice- and you are too: Would he continue to think of himself as a slave or as a man set free in Christ, who had the position of a slave in the natural realm of society, but was free in Christ in his spirit? “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Here is your word for today, for the freedom you have struggled to walk in: “Forget the former things,” the Lord spoke through Isaiah. “Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19) “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:22) Which is it? Slave or free? How will that change things for you starting right now?
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