Here it is. Sunday night. I am always in bed early to get some extra sleep before I start my work week at 5 am. I am talking early, 8:30 or maybe even 8 pm! But tonight I can't sleep. It is 10 pm. I've been laying in bed listening to snoring for an hour. WIDE AWAKE. Why did I drink coke this afternoon? I am never drinking soda again.
I miss Dad.
So after I inventory my upcoming weeks events, I think "just get up!". And in my email is this devotion from Thursday. After I start reading it, I realize that it's not the soda keeping me awake. It's the Holy Spirit prompting me, convicting me, to change my heart.
So I am sharing what I learned tonight.
When I Am Free - 17 Mar 2011
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
“Mom, the dog won’t come! I think she has run away again.”
Uggg….This was MY time. Why should I have to take care of the dog? I never wanted her any way! These were the stinky thoughts in my brain at 9:30 one evening after spending the day doing the “have to’s.” I was enjoying my few minutes of “want to’s.” I didn’t want to be interrupted!
As I got up off the couch, my daughter asked, “What is wrong?” It felt as though the Holy Spirit Himself was asking me. What is wrong with you?
What was wrong with me was me.
Do you ever suffer from Me Syndrome? You know, that time of the day or the month when you feel that now is the time for me? I sure do; often in fact. If it doesn’t help or benefit me, I don’t want to do it! I guess that is why Galatians 5:13 jumped off the page when I read it recently.
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (NIV)
Ouch! That really hurt! Freedom is given so I can serve. Okay, Lord, so where do you want to free me so I can serve?
Here is the short list of what was downloaded to my heart in a mere two minutes of journaling my response to that question:
When I am free from ambition, I am free to serve with a joyful heart.
When I am free from selfishness, I am free from irritation.
When I am free from jealousy, I am free to rejoice in the good of another.
When I am free from judgment, I am free to pray from a pure heart.
When I am free from expectation, I am free to enjoy whatever comes.
When I am freed from controlling others, I am free to see the miraculous.
When I am truly free, I will see the Kingdom of God in my life.
That is what I want to see –the Kingdom of God come in my life. What is that going to take? It's going to take tearing free from my own selfish thoughts and feelings. It's going to take looking at things from God's perspective. It's going to take God's help. In order to be free, I have to be free of me.
Do you want to be free too? Free to find total and utter completion in Jesus? What steps will you take this week to make that freedom a reality?
Father, when I don't get my "to do" list done, I am irritated and frustrated. When I am tired and one more person needs me, I feel angry and annoyed. Only You can free me of me, Jesus. I give You permission to do it! In Your powerful Name, Amen.
It's not my prayer, just my thoughts. Coincidence? Never! Thank you Lord for reminding me that I truly want to be free and only You can provide that freedom!