Have you ever been weighed down by the things in your past?
I know I have. I tend to forget that “the old has gone” and I begin to live as if it is in control.
I can be burdened by a struggle or a sin that Christ already died for.
I fear that it has the power to pull me away from His love.
But God tells us a different story.
He tells us that in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! -2 Corinthians 5:17
In Christ, we are transformed. Renewed. Redeemed.
Our names are written in the Book of Life.
In salvation, we are His, never to be snatched from His hands.
Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” -John 10:27-29
I want to encourage you today, that if you are still living in bondage to the old, if you are stuck looking backwards, you don’t have to.
There is freedom in looking forward. There is freedom in setting our eyes on Christ.
God has made you new and He is calling you to step forward.
He is calling you to unimaginable freedom.
You don’t have to live in the pain and pull of your past.
It is okay if you feel stuck. It is okay if you feel burdened by bondage or sin.
Living in freedom doesn’t always happen the moment we are saved.
It is a process.
Freedom comes when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and as we continue to turn our hearts to Him.
If you are drowning in bondage or fear that your sin has stolen your salvation, DON’T. No one can snatch you from His hand.
BUT, sin can snatch you from peace, freedom and fellowship with God.
If there is a sin or struggle that is smothering out your faith, I encourage you to turn from it. Place your eyes on Christ and step forward.
James speaks of the utmost importance of turning our hearts toward Christ. He reminds us that our faith and fellowship with God will die if we continue to wander from the truth and the freedom that comes from our salvation in Christ.
When we let our sins and struggles drag us away from the freedom and love of Christ, we are to remember the significance of our salvation.
Throughout the book of James, he speaks to Christians, those of us who are saved, who have wandered from the truth. He reminds us of the importance of walking in truth and fellowship with God.
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. -James 2:22
James speaks of an authentic and active faith that results from our salvation.
I want to encourage you that if your actions aren’t aligned with some of the teachings of James, Jesus, and the Word of God, to ask God to open your eyes to the bondage that is holding onto your heart.
Ask Him to show you the steps to freedom.
He is waiting for you to let Him in. When you ask Him to help you overcome the parts of your life that are still holding you from the freedom that comes from your salvation, He will answer.
God is calling you forward.
Our salvation does not fluctuate with our shortcomings.
When we believe and allow Christ into our hearts, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and saved from hell, an eternity separated from God. When we believe, our hearts are made His and we begin the process of sanctification.
But as we walk in our salvation, we are called to continually repent of our sins, to turn from them and to place our eyes and our hearts on Christ. We are called to a faith that is active and authentic.
When you find yourself drifting from living as God has called you to, I urge you to take captive your thoughts and your actions and to make them obedient to Christ.
For many of us with difficult pasts, sanctification can be a long and arduous process.
But again, let’s look back to the book of James,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4
These trials, these bondages and sinful desires that tempt you, they are testing your faith. They are creating in you a perseverance that leads you to sanctification.
You are on a journey to healing and redemption.
As you struggle, remember the love and power that Christ displayed when He died for you.
He is making you new. Keep your eyes on Him and above all, keep moving forward.
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