Freedom to Be

I am a spirit being with a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and a body.  If I really know and understand this, why do I continue to allow my mind to compartmentalize what I do as either spiritual or non-spiritual, as either of value to God or as keeping me from things that are of value to Him?

This is not the first time I’ve battled this issue, but it’s time to settle it for good.  When Jesus ministered on this earth in His physical body, having received the same Holy Spirit now living in me, His whole life was spiritual.  Think about it.  When He paid taxes to the government, a spiritual principle was at work – paying taxes to whom taxes were due.  He ate physical food as sustenance for His physical body, taking time away from the “important” things of life.  He walked, physically, from one place to the next, probably spending some of that valuable time simply laughing and living with the disciples, rather than teaching or preaching “spiritual” things. At the same time, He was the most relaxed, worry-free, anxiety-free, stress-free person to have lived, which means He was never separated from His Father in Spirit or action until the cross!  Because He remained in the secret place at all times, regardless of where He was physically, all He did was spiritual – for the glory of God.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. AMP

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. NIV

Jesus Christ lives in me by His Spirit.  If Jesus didn’t struggle with this, why do I continue to go back to this old mindset?  It only causes frustration.  When I do those things that are required for basic living – cooking, cleaning, shopping, exercising, washing the car or the dog, etc. – a nagging thought goes on in the back of my mind that I’m being kept from the spiritual.  Then, I feel guilty for not doing those “spiritual” things, and I don’t live fully in the now.  Like Paul said, “Who will rescue me from this body?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25) That’s not how Jesus lived then, and it’s not how He lives in me now.

Jesus’ Spirit is alive in me.  That is where I choose to dwell.  In this place, whether I eat, sleep, exercise, shop, pray, read the Bible, teach, or whatever else, there is no condemnation, no imaginary line of separation between spiritual and non-spiritual.  My life is hidden with Christ in God.1 It is all for His purposes and glory.  If I live and move and have my being in Him,2 what part of me is not included?  None!

So, today I’m slamming that door on guilt and condemnation,3 locking it, and throwing away the key.  It was for freedom that Christ set me free, no longer to be subject to any yoke of slavery,4 so that’s what I choose going forward.  I rejoice in His freedom to be the one He’s called me to be, all facets included: child of Abba Daddy, wife, mother, teacher, grandmother, cook, writer, book reader, pray-er, exerciser, praiser, friend, housecleaner, dog owner, student of God’s Word, etc.

Won’t you join me in this glorious freedom to be5 in Christ – all day, every day?

1 Colossians 3:3
2 Acts 17:28
3 Romans 8:1-2
4 Galatians 5:1
5 Romans 8:21

Lessons on the Way to China (Part 2)

There were so many time-sensitive details, especially early on, in the preparations for this China trip.  Finances were the biggest part at one time, as you know from my last post.  There was another time, though, that it was finances plus getting the passports off to Washington, D.C., to get the Chinese visas.  One particular afternoon, when the mailman had again not delivered the passport long-since sent from our team member in Germany, I was so far out of the place of God’s peace, despite all my loud praying against demonic spirits, that I knew I could do nothing else until I had returned.

As I opened my journal and began to cry out on paper and verbally, the Holy Spirit quickly helped me see my part (again) in the whole delayed process.  It was fear.  Fear that the passport was lost.  Fear that it would arrive so late that I couldn’t get it to the visa place and back before I left town on another trip.  Fear that no one would be here to sign for it when it was delivered, and what if those arrangements fell through?  Fear that I’d not be able to get it in the mail back to Germany until after I returned, which made it much less likely to get there on time.  Then there was the fear that not all the team members would have their money for the trip.  Fear that, even though we’d sent the first half of the money toward our trip to the missionaries, the other half wouldn’t be in on time, and we’d be delinquent.  Fear that we’d not get all the money at all!  Do you feel yourself getting uptight just reading my list of fears?  These fears, that I’d not seen, were growing like a cancer out of control – until the Lord opened my eyes.  Even as I wrote down what the Holy Spirit was showing me, I felt the peace returning.  Fear was exposed and losing its power over me because it was out in the open, glory to God.  God loves me so much that He delivered me even before I repented for not trusting Him and yielding to fear!

1 John 4:18  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  NIV

It was because of His love for me, not because of my repenting, that He drove out the fear.  The simple fact is, God loves me!  If He didn’t love the other members of my team (which, of course, He does), He loves me!  He called me to lead this team.  He called me, as leader of this team, to submit to the missionaries in China.  He called me, as leader of this team, to get all the paperwork handled efficiently and in a timely manner, so that there would be no rushing around – even where the team member in Germany was concerned!  Because He loves me and has called me, He has provided for all of it – mailing and finances.  I either believe it, or I don’t, and I choose to believe it and act upon that belief!  I’m getting back into the place of grace.  From that place of grace, which is so full of the peace of God, I stand in faith and declare:  “That envelope has been discovered and is being rushed to me even now.  Blinders have been removed and all other hindrances released.  In addition, I declare again, from the place of faith, that all finances are even now being brought forth with much eagerness to sow to this work of God in China – without further delay – and all for the glory of God!  Mine is to stand and watch!”  I can declare all this because God loves me!

As I write this on March 17, from a February 9 journal entry, I wish I had immersed myself in the above entry, especially during the last 1 ½ weeks.  The finances have all come in, glory to God, but the passport with the visa stamp seemed to be lost somewhere between the states and Germany.  With less than 2 weeks until our departure date, all pertinent parties have been scrambling around to make a way for our team member to have a valid passport and visa on time.  We have prayed.  We have commanded.  We have declared in what we thought was faith.  Every now and then, I’d remember that God loves me, but I never re-read my journal entry.  What a difference it would have made.

I came to the place of knowing we had done everything in the natural we possibly could, seemingly without success, and that if God didn’t get this passport there, it wasn’t going to happen.  I had actually come to a certain level of peace, though I wasn’t in faith for it to work out.  But God . . . !  There it was in my inbox this morning, the subject being “we’ve got mail.”  Needless to say, I knew what that message contained, even before opening it.  After one month in transit, the passport had arrived.  I did some whooping and hollering, with shouts of praise to the Lord!  What relief!  But, what stress could have been avoided if I had only let that deep-down revelation of the Lord’s love for me continue to fill me and drive out the fear?  My Father had so much more peace for me in the waiting, that it must have been hard for Him to see me not choosing to rest in His love.   I’m not condemned – only thankful that I’m walking in His glorious freedom once again!

1 John 3:1  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! . . .”  NIV

Psalm 91:1  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].”  AMP

God loves me!  God loves me with perfect love!  If I will dwell in this secret place of His love, there is no fear that can attach itself to me, no matter what goes on around me.  In this place of His love, I remain stable and fixed under His shadow, Whose power no foe can withstand!  I will need to be reminded of this over and over through my life, I know, but my desire is to keep growing in the knowledge of His love for me, recognizing fear quickly, and running back to the absolute safety of the secret place of His amazing, unlimited and immeasurable love for me.  God loves me!  P.S.  God loves you the same way!