Were you ever bound by something, but you didn’t realize it?
Seems unlikely, but I think it so much more prevalent than we realize. I think we can see it in other’s lives easier, but obviously addictions bind though they bring the addictee some sort of joy or respite. Anything can bind you, but I am so excited about something that seems so contrary to the culture we live in. And I am so glad Jesus won’t give up on me that He keeps revealing things to me that will grow in my heart until the day that I die. And the best thing is that these revelations make me freer every day.
Galatians 5:1The Message (MSG)
The Life of Freedom
5 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
I used to read this verse and think…duh. It’s obvious that for freedom we have been set free. What other reason would there be? But I didn’t get it. You see we all like the Samaritan woman at the well have water pots that we carry. We have things we want in life. We have dreams and desires and aspirations, but we often don’t realize that some of those desires are actually binding us. Some desires may not be bad like wanting a family or a job or a friends, but if we hold on to them so tight they can actually strangle us from enjoying what is right in front of us.
The Samaritan woman wanted to be loved. Is that wrong? Absolutely not. Love is beautiful and building, but it can be binding too if you want it so badly that you are willing to trade the essence of who you are to get it. She carried a water pot, but after meeting Jesus she left that water pot behind to go tell others of the living water she had received that would never run dry. The question is do you want to daily go after your water carrying your pot, or do you want a wellspring flowing out of you every day that never runs dry?
But the problem is that when God tells us something like down your water pot, so I can carry it for you, we think we are giving something up. We think we are laying down a dream, but actually what you are willing to lay down will free you to have your dreams in the fullest, most life giving ways. God has this way about Him. He’s the best daddy ever. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine, so He wants you to stop striving and start living and enjoying life while He provides exactly what you need. What does that mean? That means that you have to start taking the little steps of faith, and allowing Him to work on your behalf so you can enjoy your life in this moment instead of when you get to someday.
I’ll give you my best practical example. Sometimes, I get caught up in comparing things….what I have, my talents, my kids, etc….to what other people have. But you know what that absolutely steals from me. Because in that moment, when I do that, I lose the enjoyment of the moment in front of me. I can’t enjoy my kids or my husband or my friends or my home because I am comparing it to someone else’s. The truth is I don’t know what other people deal with on a day to day basis, so comparing is unfair and unnecessary. And I lose when I compare. But when I give that up, I make connections and enjoy life and the people in my life, and that allows God to use those people to accomplish the purposes and provision He has planned for my life. But if I compare, I steal the influence and provision and joy that He had planned for that person to fulfill.
Judah Smith, you all know how I love him, preached a message one time on the parable of the vineyard workers. The parable talks about how a vineyard owner paid workers who worked all day, half day, a quarter day, and only an hour the same wage. But at the end of the day, the workers were angry that the men who worked only an hour got paid the same amount. I know my own sense of fairness screams about that. But God isn’t like that He wants to bless us all if we will just come when and where He calls. The problem is we get our eyes on others instead of God and in doing so we lose the joy of the richness of what we already have. Judah proposed that God sometimes puts us in position where we have to see others get something better than us to bring us back to a sense of realizing the importance of being happy for others when they are blessed. I think that is so important, but honestly, I think the truth is by trusting Him to be our provider, we get the benefit of this because we get to enjoy the role that person can play in our lives while seeing the provision of God for our needs too. God’s not trying to teach us a lesson. He is trying to tell us that He will be generous to all of us. And by striving and pushing for our needs to be met, we are actually binding the ability of the people in our lives to fulfill the role they were meant to play and we are blinded to the goodness of God right where we are at. Being content actually sets us free to enjoy every moment.
God has always wanted me to trust Him to be my provider, not look to myself to do it. Proverbs10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” He has always wanted me to look to Him and trust Him instead of myself. And I am thankful I am starting to do that. And each day I see how His provision is right in the midst of my every day life. It doesn’t mean I don’t have steps to take. It just means I follow His leading of peace rather than the knowledge and limited vision in my own mind. He really is faithful. And by laying down my water pot, whatever it is, He restores to me the joy of life right in the moment while He richly provides for my future.
It is for the freedom of the enjoyment of the moment right where you are at that He has set you free to trust Him, so that you never have to carry the weight of your own life anymore. And the best part is He is the best daddy. He knows your dreams…He made you and them. If you trust Him He will lead you down that path without adding any sorrow to it. Live big. Live free. Trust God. Enjoy your life! Lay down your water pot.