Friday, November 14, 2008

Free At Last!!

"Free at Last. Free at Last. Thank God Almighty, I'm free At Last."

What do you think of when you hear or read that quote? Do you think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who made this quote famous? Do you think of freedom from this life? Do you think of freedom from incarceration, bondage or oppression?

When I hear this quote, I think of the freedom I found in Jesus Christ. I'll be the first to admit that I've spend a great deal of my life thinking that I was free but in all actuality I was a slave. I believed I was free to come and go as I pleased, sleep around as I pleased, talk as I pleased and even be addicted to various substances and gambling as I pleased. But at the end of the day you know what I found out? I was still a slave. I was a slave to my own fleshy desires.

One day during worship service I felt "out of place" when the worship leader instructed the congregation to lift up "holy hands" to God. I didn't think I was worthy to lift up my hands to the Lord because in my mind they were far from holy. I realized that I truly wasn't free. By the time I came to this realization it was already too late because I had now been bound by something else - something even stronger than my past sins. I was bound by a defeated, shameful spirit. I was bound by condemnation. It wasn't the condemnation of my peers, relatives, or even church members. I was bound by the worse form of condemnation: self-condemnation. The enemy whispered some lies in my ear and I believed them. He told me once a ______ always a _____ you fill in the blank how it pertains to your life.

I believed that I had gone too far, crossed the line and was outright unforgivable. I began to hold my head down in shame and think there was no use in praying because I couldn't understand what God would want to hear from a sinner like me. My mind couldn't even conceive the notion that my thoughts were so far from the truth.

But then I read Romans 8:1-4 and I came to learn that I couldn't be good because "I" couldn't be good - not without the help of the Holy Spirit, that is.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in sinful man,in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

Why was I walking around with my head hung low when the Word of God clearly told me that there was NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus? I was in Christ Jesus yet I was still feeling condemned. The holy men of times of old couldn't live holy (without the Spirit of the Lord). Why did I think I was any different. Whenever preachers declared that I needed the anointing because it was the "anointing" that destroys the yokes of bondage, I thought they wanted me to jump around or speak in some strange tongue. I mastered going for sprints around the church and falling out but I didn't understand that the anointing was the power of God working in me and through me.

At this point in my life I thought that I no longer had to follow every letter of the bible to a "T" (we do) but I also thought that I had to "act" like I had the anointing instead of allowing God to deliver me and endow me with His Spirit. I was a slave to self-condemnation and a slave to the Law. But the apostle Paul explains to us that God's law was powerless because of the flesh - the very demon that I was battling. So God in His infinite wisdom, had to come down to earth Himself in the flesh (Jesus) to live holy and become the perfect sacrifice so that I could be reconciled back to Him.

I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like a whole lot of trouble to go through for someone that doesn't even appreciate the sacrifice. God sacrificed Himself for me. I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh, died on the cross, rose the third day and now sits at the right hand of God. I could handle that He was conceived immaculately and born of a virgin. I believed that He healed the sick, raised the dead, and turned water into wine but I struggled with the fact that He could forgive me. I struggled with the fact that I was worthy enough to lift up "holy hands" and worship a holy God being so void of holiness myself.

Thanks be to God that since then I have come to understand the significance of what Jesus did for ME on Calvary. He set me free. I can lift up Holy hands at my desk, in the car, in my house and in the sanctuary and not feel guilty. Now I feel guilty when I don't worship Him. No one has to prompt me to worship Him and no one can tell me that I am unworthy to worship Him - not even myself.

Free At Last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at Last.


SLC said...

My God! I'm bout to lift Holy Hands in this cube.

Forgive the pause, my hands were up.
It's so good to be free. Thanks for the inspiration.

I promise to Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made me free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Have a fruitful weekend.

Shanita Waters said...

Amen! Galations 5:1 is another scripture I hold near and dear to my heart!!

It's SO good to be free.

Just To Praise Him... said...

Hey! Glad you came by for a visit! Yes mam, I'm ALL ABOUT the praise. I rather do it than breathe...I also like the music that you have listed in your profile. We sing much of all that at my church. We sing alot of Clint Brown, Martha Munizzi, Israel, etc... Please come by again for another visit soon!! Have a mighty mighty blessed one in Jesus!


A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I "thought" I was free until I became BAPTIZED now I "know" I'm free. Praise GOD, I'm finally free. Oh how I want everyone to feel this good.

I once was lost but now I'm found!

I'm so glad that all of you have found me as well. GOD truly has a plan for "us" and this blogging helps me when I feel overwhelmed in the law enforcment world of crime and senseless acts of violence.

Love, peace & continued blessings!

Sit A Spell said...

So glad you could "sit a spell" on mama's porch. In Christ we are free...never let the evil one whisper in your ear that you are not! Even Jesus said..."get thee behind me" refering to the evil one who tries so hard to pull us down. Interesting enough, I sing praises to God when I am having one of "those" kinda moments. Whatever pops into my head, comes out! Sometimes it's an old hymn, a childrens Bible song or current day paraise song...I just sing to HIM. Have a blessed weekend.


Sit A Spell said...

That's PRAISE song...


God's Girl said...

Great post! Isn't is the best to freely worship our God? Heaven is going to be awesome!!!!

B His Girl said...

Understanding freedom. It blows our mind when we understand what Jesus did for us on that cross. I'm free too! Free at last! I think Martin Luther was ahead of his time. I believe God gave him some insight into a deeper truth and we are all still getting it! :)

Van said...

What joy I read in your post.

Shanita Waters said...

@ Just To Praise Him - I had an awesome time at church yesterday. I wish you could have been there. I was there "Just to Praise Him" and thought about that when I opened my messages this morning and saw your name. Thanks again for stopping by.

@ Free Spirit - the enemy never ceaeses to amaze me just how far he will go to try to convince us that we aren't really free. Whenever I begin to hear him whispering lies of doubt and fear, I start to call him the liar he is and thank God for the truth because the Truth has set us free.

@ Shell - you are so right... thanks a bunch for stopping by and I'll be headed back over to sit on the porch with you in a little bit.

@God's Girl - thanks for stopping by!

@Van - I'm glad to have you. Be sure to come back again.

Just To Praise Him... said...

Girl, you gotta keep them men feeling like they are best thing since sliced bread!! Chris hasn't seen it yet so I don't know what he will think. Keep on keepin' on and keep pressin' in!! God's gonna bless ya for it!! Have a blessed day!!!


Sharon said...

Holy,holy,holy, this is Awesome!
I feel the power in this.
It is good to be free Amen!!
Keep on writing, it's wonderful
Be Blessed my sister