I’m not really giving anything up in particular. I’m just trying to die to self more and become more of who God has for me in this season, in our community, family and the lifetime I’ve been given. I want to learn what keeps me from becoming the Bree God has for me to be! I’m learning to say ‘no’ to my idols in order to find freedom. You can read more about that concept here, aka, #yearofno.
For me, I’m learning to take my anger (usually at my kids) and tap into The Holy Spirit to give me the ability to love, instead. Ya know, you can get a direction out of your mouth, that feels like it must be paired with anger and still say it in love?! Who’d a thunk? Sounds simple and ‘duh’ but my flesh likes the quickness of getting my kids’ attention when I snap at them and when I’m at the end of my rope but it’s wrong and it’s not of God. I’m finding hope and through my efforts and prayers for redemption I’m seeing God’s grace being poured out.
I’m trying to give over my desire for sweets all of the time to God. I know what I should eat and what I shouldn’t but it’s just way easier to grab quick and yummy over healthy and time consuming. I also have a million excuses as to why I should be able to live like this right now, but it’s still a sin. I still like the quick satisfaction during a stressful day, every day. It’s harder to stop and pray and ask God to fill whatever I’m trying to fil.
These are the two areas I feel separate me from God the most right now. What do I mean by that? I’ve learned that idols in our lives, even ones that seem silly, take a place and stronghold in and on our hearts that are meant to be given to Jesus. This life we live is meant to be spent trying to get our hearts reflecting the heart of Jesus. This comes out in our families, workplace, neighborhoods, missions, ministry, etc.
It seems legalistic, tiring, maybe even boring. But, I can tell you, the more I find myself giving more of me over to God and the more I say ‘no’ to my fleshly desires and replace it with leaning in on The Holy Spirit, the more freedom I feel.
What about failing? Well, that happens and far more than I’d like to admit. But admit I will! And that’s where I want to go with this. Oftentimes, I read about how we try and fail and there’s grace. But, there’s a REALLY, REALLY important step before we can grab another helping of grace.
Repentance leads to freedom. Freedom from sin and strongholds.
Grace is there, it always will be. It will not run out. What a beautiful gift from God. But I do still think we play a responsible role in accepting grace after we’ve accepted our failure and repented.
How can real change, God-making-new change really happen if we aren’t acknowledging our shortcomings, our failures and if we do not repent them to our Heavenly Father?
It can’t. It’s just a part of this messy walk at becoming all who God has for us and all God has for us is full of freedom.
I want that freedom, freedom from the bondage of my sins that Christ took at the cross. It’s right there, that freedom. We just need to be willing to take the right steps to get there. We have to decide if walking toward all who God has for us to be is enough, to be more like Jesus.
Find a trustworthy friend to share your journey with, or maybe your small group. Not just for accountability, but to share in the victories and how God’s showing Himself.
The process is messy but the outcome is beautiful and will continue to be as we are given another day. Another day to be more like Him.