Friday, July 23, 2010

Finding Freedom

What does freedom mean to you? 

Some people think it means being free to do whatever they want to do.  They don't want anyone to tell them what to do and don't want to answer to anyone. 

That can be a recipe for disaster as someone always seem to get hurt in the process.

Christ came to set us free.

As believers, we are free from the condemnation of sin.  Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.  I'm so grateful to know that I am already declared righteous before God.

But I still have to live in this world and deal with my flesh. 

I want the acts of service that I do to come from a heart of love.  I want my motive to be pure and not feel pressured by others or to please others. 

However, it can be so easy to say yes to so many good things. 

Have you ever agreed to serve on a church committee or felt pressured to volunteer?  After all, if you say no who will do it? 

But there are times when we can become so busy serving that we longer take the time to be still before Him.  We  may find that all of those good things weren't what He called us to do after all.  And wouldn't it be sad to find that we missed out on His best for us because we were simply too busy?


I love to  read from a devotional called Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young.
I can't tell you how many times these writings have touched my heart.
Here's an excerpt from the July 22 message:

"Find freedom through seeking to please Me above all else.  You can have only one Master.  When you let others' expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds.  Your own desire to look good can also drain your energy.  I am your Master, and I do not drive you to be what you are not.  Your pretense displeases Me, especially when it is in My "service."  Concentrate on staying close to Me at all times.  It is impossible to be inauthentic while you are focusing on My Presence."

How about you?  Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with activities?  Have you ever felt resentful that you always seem to be the one who voluteers?  What is the motive for your busyness?

Many people are involved in activities and ministries they are truly called to do.  But I think it's important to examine our motives. 

I hope this gives each one of us something to think and pray about, including me.



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31 comments:

Cathy said...

Yes it does give me something to think about. Thank you.

Beth in NC said...

Absolute truth Debbie! I am STILL so burned out from years of serving that I have remained a bit hidden. I spent at least 16 hours a week serving at our last church. It was crazy.

Joan Davis said...

Interesting point. I've known people who have been "chained to the ministry"...and being more of a Martha than a Mary. You are so right. It is important to pray and examine our motives for our service. Are we serving because we love God and want to give back where ever He wants us to? Or, are we concerned about the praise of others for how much we do? God sees our hearts and our true motives. Knowing that helps things stay in check.

Living for Him, Joan

Charlotte said...

What a good post. It is easy to get back under bondage after being set free. I like the pictures that you used to illustrate it too.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. Evidently that program is just for Mac. One time I checked to see if it was available for PC, and there was a message that it was no longer available. Next time you buy a computer, you might want to consider a Mac. I hesitated to buy one because they are more expensive but I had heard so many good things about them that I thought it would be worth the try. I am so glad I did. Hubby bought a new HP a few months ago. It is newer than mine but I would trade with him for anything. I love my Mac.
Have a great weekend.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

This is what I was dealing with in my "unbalanced" post...the saying - "Good is the robber of the Best" The enemy knows if he keeps us busy with the good things we will miss the Best...which is what the Lord has for us. It is so hard to stop and make sure that what I am spending my time on is the Best and not just being busy with good....even harder when juggling a large family and different struggles in life.
Thanks for sharing...a point I probably need to read each day

Xmas Dolly said...

I wanted to stop by, and thank you for stopping by. I've been very busy with planning our vacation & we're leaving tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend.

Sonja said...

Yep Debbie... this is a big one! I spent a lot of years in the name of service to the Lord, doing...working...running...saying yes to requests, etc. In retrospect, I am certain that lots of it was done with priorities less than intact. I know He sees the heart though, and He loves us anyway. There is still plenty He expects of us, but it's nice to be free from the sense of 'duty' and do it straight from the heart.

Good one Debbie!

Love you sis!

Sonja

Barbie said...

As someone who not only serves at church, but works there, I think most days I do double time. And I do worry that if I don't do, then it won't get done. I am learning to put up my boundaries and to say no, yet it is still so hard for me. Thank you for these words to ponder.

Rachel said...

Such great reminders. It's so easy for me to simply say yes because it's a needed thing -- and yet forget to bring it to my Fathers feet. I loved this post.

God's blessings to you.

Rachel

myletterstoemily said...

dear debbie,

yes and amen! these are such wise
words of encouragement that i
needed to hear.

thank you.

love,
lea

myletterstoemily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hk said...

It appears that alot of people related to this post, and I join the ranks. I think as we mature as Christians, we realize that we can't do it all, and yet, there is so much work to be done. It is a hard call sometimes, but as we seek the Lord, I believe He reveals to us what it is we should invest our time in. For some, church business is really just an escape from what we really should be doing. It can just be an excuse for not taking care of our homes, or more importantly, meeting God.
Good post.

Denise said...

Very thought provoking sis.

Tammi said...

Oh boy...I'm still chewing on this one! Very good! First thing I thought of was Martha and Mary. Martha was busy with much serving. Which in and of itself can be a good thing. But Mary was at Jesus' feet, listening, soaking in His presence. Mary "hath chosen the better part." I've been thinking about the importance of His Presence for about a week now. The way you tied this post all together with the Ribbon of His Presence--serving but finding freedom by dwelling in His Presence--just gave me more to chew on! THANK YOU! This was especially for me today. :)

Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Debbie,
I was here to read this post the other day...and I came back to read again. I could be wrong, but it seems that you added a few new lines to it.

Oh, the quote by Sarah Young was so special... what a delight to read this post! So many beautiful thoughts that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Another blog friend has also quoted often from Sarah Young, her name is also Debby, in her blog Markings in the Wood.

I should really get hold of this book someday soon.

Freedom is when we are free to do what is right... not to do as we want...but true freedom does come when we have the desire to do what Jesus wants... it IS an exciting journey!

Loved visiting you today and reading this post again.

Much love, Debbie,
Lidj

Debra Kaye said...

Debbie,

I spent years in that cycle!!! Then one day I heard a televangelist declaring Gods work couldn't go forth without $$$ and get on the phones and dial dial dial and it clicked inside of my heart that each time I pressed someone to volunteer for a Childs program or ministry, I was basically doing the same thing as that televangelist!

I was so burnt out from being at church and never saying no and chasing people down and feeling guilty if I couldn't do something and feeling upset with the people who showed up and never did anything...oh what a brutal cycle!

But now, I wait for God! And oh the freedom! And guess what....His work is still going forward!!! Hallalujah!

Love you! Great post, my friend!

eph2810 said...

Powerful message Debbie. Yes, sometimes we can end up being too busy for just sitting at His feet. We cannot serve when our cup is totally empty...we need the time with Him to fill up that cup.

Thank you for the reminder to not over-commit ourselves and get burned out.

Pia said...

hi debbie. i really miss blogging. i'm not officially back yet but very soon i will be. i'm so glad to have seen your name in my inbox saying you left a comment. miss ya!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

A very needed message to be reminded of...we all have our strengths and the Lord has given us unique personalities...I am not one that is of a leadership role, but feel most comfortable serving...if there is something to do, that I can do, I will do... I have had to learn to say no as well. Because it is so easy to get caught up in the "busy-ness" and miss so many important blessings. Thank you for this post.

Blessings & Aloha!
(thank you for stopping by, dear friend :o)

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I love this place...Carmel, CA

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