When I think of the word freedom, I easily wander off in the imagery of a young woman skipping through a field. The wind blowing through her lengthy hair, arms out with fingers grazing over the long grass and wildflowers, with her head pointed to heaven, allowing the sun to warm her face. What a refreshing feeling of zero constraints must be. Freedom defined is just that: removing of any forces preventing movement or actions (in a nut-shell). At first thought, freedom is associated with worldly matters people have so selflessly fought for, like freedom of speech, freedom to vote, and freedom to bear arms, to name a few. But the kind of freedom I would give ALL that up for, the freedom that allows my rest, is the freedom from myself!
Let me begin with a quick run-down. My name is Brittney Vandiford, and I am a super stellar person if I do say so myself. I have been incredibly blessed with a husband who is also a super stellar individual. We have three children who are being raised to put God first, and I do pretty fancy them! So, when Micah asked for some literary magic by yours truly for her blog, I was thrilled! Of course, by thrilled, I mean I instantly became anxious and wanted to hide under a rock, but thank God I said yes. The reason being, the Lord has put words on my heart, and the only way to draw more people to Him is to tell as many people as I can about Him. So, buckle up; it may get bumpy.
Allow me to explain the freedom from myself a little more in-depth. Over my youthful years, I did a tremendous job adding more and more constraints to my relationship with God; let’s call these constraints “chains.” Every time I chose the world over what God had for my life, another chain consumed my body. Imagine anything with a chain; perhaps a dog on a chain or a ship chained to an anchor. These things can only go as far as their chains allow them. Now imagine living life with chains around your body, hanging off you and dragging behind you. These chains are currently determining your actions. You no longer have free will; if you move too fast, you fall, and if you resist, the chains become tighter. You become captive to the choices you are making, so much so that you cannot escape them. This is a heaviness in your life that can seem overwhelming and impossible.
Romans 1:28 NET reads, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.”
The longer we deny God, the longer we are slaves to our flesh, the heavier our chains become and the further from our destiny we go. Alone, the chains remain and are indestructible by the flesh. However, our God is a Way Maker, a Miracle Worker, a Promise Keeper, and a Chain Breaker!
What exactly led me to live in chains? I was so lost, battling an addiction to cigarettes and good times, crippled by anxiety and depression, a liar, a jealous person, and incredibly bitter. I chose sin over God because it “felt” good in those moments (kind of like how eating an entire sleeve of Oreo’s with a glass of milk feels good until you hit the scale….ooopsie!) Anyhow, I knew I had to rid myself of these crippling freedom chains before it was too late.
I wandered around a cross-road and thought, Am I too far gone? How could God possibly still want me after all this time and all these poor choices? But, let me tell you, friends, if there is one thing I know with every fiber of my body, it is that God absolutely, no questions asked, is 100% still pursuing your life with Him and will never deny you! So, I want you to understand; it is time to rid your own body of these chains and RUN to the Father!
1 Corinthians 10:13 NET reads, “No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
There is no shame in our stories, no sin too ugly, and no situation too hopeless. Whatever you have walked through or are currently walking through, God will meet you there. He will give you every ounce of strength required if you allow him.
Romans 10:13 NET says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Notice He does not say, will be saved UNLESS..or SOME will be saved. He clearly lays it out for us. EVERYONE has this fantastic opportunity; why waste it? Allow Him in and come boldly before the throne with GREAT expectation. Get ready for God not only to break chains but for total restoration and transformation. Be free from your past, be free from your sin. Do not let your history determine your future.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know what I have planned for you, says the Lord, I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.”
Remember the young lady frolicking in the field…living in freedom? It is me, and I want you to join! Are you ready?
Connect to the Mender.
Be a sender.