Today’s entry comes from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World.
“It’s true that the Amish are not free to do some things. However, they are free from many others. They are not free to buy the latest fashions, but they are free from the anxiety of what to wear and free from the habit of recreational shopping. They are not free to buy the latest flat-screen TV, but they are free from the influence of TV. They are not free to buy the latest car, but they are free from the temptation of purchasing a status symbol, including the debt that goes along with it.
“Although Amish women are not free to use makeup on their faces, they are free from the pressure to look ‘perfect’ or to fight normal aging or to be a size 2 when their body wants to be a size 10. The Amish are not free to accept Social Security checks, but they are free from worrying about who will care for them in their old age. They are free from trying to keep up with the Joneses, free from feeling inferior to others, free from competition among friends. They are free to be uncool.”
Isn’t it the very pressure of trying to be cool, worrying about what others think of us or what the future may hold, that at times drives us to our drug of choice? Kind of gives new meaning to less is more, doesn’t it? Secure children of God trust Jesus. Therefore, use your biblical filter to hear and follow His voice and you’ll reduce the negative influences/pressures in your life. “S”et Free Nowww
W.E.B. Du Bois once said, “One of the most important things to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are, for what you might become.” The Lord desires us to be like Him not just for the sake of being like Him, but because it means we’re getting and staying closer to Him. (James 4:8)
This reminds me of a story I recently heard. This person reverted back to their old way of handling life. As they were relating their story, they realized that one of two things happened. As their enemy’s darts were flying, they either lowered their shield of faith or it was too small. Either way, the flaming lies hit and they reacted to the situation with their drug of choice.
Yeah their old way brought immediate gratification, but the fallout has been both painful and embarrassing. They now have to burn the latter of the two into their memories. Do they like the results of handling this situation their way?
If not, it’s time to process the situation through their biblical filters. If they want to be closer to Jesus, they need to ask the Spirit why they dropped their shield, truths that would have helped them keep listening to and following Jesus, or what truths are needed to make their shield bigger?
When the Spirit shows them the answer, they have a decision to make. Will they choose to remember how good it felt in the short term or embarrassing it felt in the long term when the next decision presents itself? If they want long term enjoyment it’s time to apply the truths the Spirit gave them. Remember: each situation can bring you closer to Jesus, the source of the long term feel good, by leaving you behind.
Set Free Now“W”w
A good friend of mine and I were talking early this morning (5:30AM ugh!) about how we live in a polluted world. We weren’t talking about the ecology either.
We live in a heavily sin stained world where we’re surrounded by lies, even rationally driven lies, but lies none-the-less.
This doesn’t change the moment we’re born again either. We’re simply brand new fish swimming in the same cesspool of lies called this “world” where our old thought patterns are reinforced, leaving our old behaviors room to operate. These lies must filtered out.
The Word of God is our filter. It allows us to swim in a very small bubble of pure water in a much polluted world. The truths of God’s word act like my email server’s spam filter. It keeps hundreds of useless and harmful ads/emails from ever entering my brain as my eyes simply never see them. God’s truth filters out the polluted water so I can drink in the good stuff – Jesus.
There are times when unauthorized emails get through this filter though. I can easily spot them, however, and unsubscribe. Again, the Word of God becomes the filter to spot those unwanted emails and then in the Spirit’s power unsubscribe from them so I don’t have deal with them again in the future.
We live in a polluted world where harmful messages surround us each day. We must have a biblical spam filter in place to filter out those messages. We must be listening to Jesus in the Word for the specific truths needed to filter out the junk of this world so we can swim in the pure living and refreshing water of Jesus. We also need lie-fighting truths to spot and delete the messages that somehow get through our spam filter.
Reading through the Bible in a year has been a huge help in forming that small bubble around me as I swim in this world’s polluted system. It’s uncanny how what I’m reading in the Word is exactly what I need to keep drinking in Jesus throughout my day. How’s your time in the Word been today?
S“E”t Free Nowww
I wrote in my journal a few days back, “I know who I am, but not how to be who I am.” We all seek to know who we are, where we’re going and can we do anything significant or worthwhile along the way. Where we go for those answers will determine whether or not we live in bondage or freedom.
Jesus gives us the answers to all those questions. One, He tell us who we are the moment we place our faith in Him, secure children of God (John 1:12). He tells us that through faith in Him we have life both now and forever (John 11:25). He further tells us that by listening to and following Him we can do something significant and worthwhile along the way (John 14:12-13).
Once we know these truths, however, living them out in everyday life is another issue. This is why Jesus said in John 8:31, “If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I know who I am, where I’m going and that I can do something worthwhile with the life given me at both my physical and spiritual births. How to be who I am is a daily journey; and, who I listen to will determine how that journey looks and feels.
So let me add to the above entry, “I know who I am, but how to be who I am is why I must keep listening to and following The I AM.” (John 8:58) I’ve seen the I AM change my life; thus, I’m going to continually strive to hear and follow Him.
Who are you listening to? “S”et Free Nowww
One writer put it this way, “Men are not merely swept away by movements, they create movements. Heroes matter. Great men matter. So do evil ones.” In this case, two shots by one man started WW I that not only toppled four empires, but created the Middle East geography that’s still wreaking havoc today.
One man, Jesus Christ, is still changing the course of human events through one decision made before time began – to make us secure children of God (Eph. 1:3-11). His one choice, to listen to and follow the Father, started a movement that can’t be stopped.
Yes Jesus is also God, but that doesn’t diminish the choice He made. And whether we like it or not, our choices matter as well. Your choice to listen to and follow Jesus to walk in freedom over your drug of choice not only affects your life, but of those watching your life as well.
Don’t diminish the influential power one choice can make – either way. Who knows if a believer in Christ had made the choice to follow Christ and not religion that the person whose shots started a world war might have made a different choice that day.
Choose to exercise the truth today, it will set you free. Choose to follow Jesus today, others just may follow.
Set Fre“E” Nowww