Real Freedom

July 4, 2011 at 7:39 am (Faith, My ramblings)

I am grateful for our country and like most people, I love picnics and fireworks. It seems like this is what July 4th is all about. We have many freedoms simply because we are American and many people paid dearly with their lives to give us this freedom. We celebrate them and their heroic valor towards us and our country. We are grateful to them. I don’t find anything wrong about celebrating but today I would like to talk about a different freedom. A freedom that only Christ can bring. Galatians 5:1 states, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Christ has ultimately set us free. Freedom from the law, sin, death and eternal separation from God. That’s the freedom I want to celebrate. I love what Martin Luther writes in his commentary about this verse,

“Our conscience is free and quiet because it no longer has to fear the wrath of God. This is real liberty, compared with which every other kind of liberty is not worth mentioning. Who can adequately express the boon that comes to a person when he has the heart-assurance that God will nevermore be angry with him, but will forever be merciful to him for Christ’s sake? This is indeed a marvelous liberty, to have the sovereign God for our Friend and Father who will defend, maintain, and save us in this life and in the life to come.”

On July 14, 2001, I was set free. Set free from a life filled with self hatred, guilt, shame, drugs, alcohol and all the debauchery you can imagine. I woke up with one of the worst hangovers I have ever had and I was in my bed covered in my own vomit. I wanted to die. I had tried to take my own life 6 times and twice ended up on life support. Doctors didn’t think I would live. I was anorexic and my body started to feed off of my own organs to survive. I had a horrible heart murmur yet smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day. I didn’t care. I hated my life. I had no purpose. Until that fateful day almost 10 years ago. I woke up and thought to myself, “I just can’t do this anymore. I remember asking God if He was real and if He was, He had to help me.” It was the strangest thing because within a few minutes, I felt a calm and peace I have never felt before. That began my new life in Christ and my new freedom in Christ. Click here if you want to read my entire testimony. My 10 year Christian anniversary will be in just 10 days. I can’t believe that I have also been sober for 10 years.

My life is so different than it was 10 years ago. It hasn’t been without trials or temptations but the Lord got me through them. I am amazed how much the Lord has changed me and continues to change me to be more like Him. I fail everyday and everyday I get right back up and choose to walk in His grace and mercy. The kindness of God boggles my mind and many times I wonder, why me? Then I think of the portion of scripture in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” This is why I share my testimony with everyone who will listen. I have received much comfort and want other people to receive it as well. I want people who are struggling with addictions and shame and all that goes with it to see that God is real and is who He says He is and will do what His Word says He will do. If God can take a grievous sinner like me and use it to bring glory to Him, then I will continue to boast in Him.

Happy 4th of July and don’t forget to thank the giver of real freedom, Jesus Christ.

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