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It's All Up To You!
You Determine Your Success
" Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom is an awesome subject and is also a powerful force from heaven that the born again believer has access to. However, it seems that there is a high percentage of Christians that struggle with being free.
In the verse above the Apostle Paul gives us insight into the freedom that Jesus purchased on our behalf. The first two words of this scripture, "Stand fast" gives us insight into how the freedom of Jesus works. However, before we look at this, exactly what is "freedom."
In the King James Version of the Bible quoted above the word "liberty" is used when referring to freedom. The original word used that was translated to "liberty" is a word that simply means "freedom." More interestingly is the root word, which carries the meaning, "unrestrained (to go at pleasure), i.e. (as a citizen) not a slave."
I like the word "unrestrained" as it pertains to freedom. What is unrestrained? When you are unrestrained you have freedom of movement, therefore anything that restrains restricts movement. Let's look at a few examples in our life where we are not unrestrained.
Speed Limits: When we drive our cars we are restrained by speed limits or the capacity of the vehicle that we are driving.
Restaurants: It may not seem like it but there are also restraints when we go to a restaurant. You can only order what they serve. You can't go into an Italian restaurant and order a taco.
From the two examples above you can see how there are many restraints in our life. One of the greatest restraints is money. The car you drive, the house you live in, and the clothes you wear are all subject to the income you make. Health is another common area of restraint. As a healthy 49 year old I would never consider joining the rodeo. Even though I am healthy I am smart enough to know that my body is past the time of doing such physically strenuous activity.
Now, let's get back to the Bible. In John 8:36, Jesus said that who the Son sets free is free indeed. If freedom is "unrestrained" there there is a way to live unrestrained indeed. But in reality we know that very few people have unrestrained lives.
While I know that I used restaurants and speed limits as an example above I did that only to illustrate how restraints are placed on us. My purpose here is not to suggest that there is a way that we can drive any speed that we want to. The "freedom" that Jesus was talking about is in context to promises that we can find in the Word of God. Promises like, "By His stripes we are healed." or that we can have "all sufficiency in all things." When we find promises in the Word of God it is implied that we can be unrestrained in these areas.
What then keeps us from being unrestrained? The Apostle Paul addressed this in the first two words of the scripture we started this article with -- "Stand fast."
The Apostle Paul's command to "stand fast" is NOT something Jesus did for you. It is something that you have to decide to do. You and I have to not moved. If we do a word search on the original Greek word that was used we would find that it means, "to be stationary, i.e. (figuratively) to persevere."
So what exactly do we do in order to stay stationary? Do we just stay in church? Do we not stop praying? How is it that I am supposed to "stand fast?"
Let me answer this question. God has given us the operating manual to life. It is called the Bible. It is His Word. Within the Words of this book is story after story of how we are to trust in the Lord. God declares Himself as our Source, as our Lord, as our Supply, as our Deliverer and as our Savior and instructs us to do what the Word of God tells us to do. We are to trust Him for our increase, for our health, for our protection, and for every other aspect of our lives. However there is a very telling scripture found in the book of Proverbs (14:12):
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
The great battle of the Christian comes from the temptation for us to try and take things in our own hands. Instead of just trusting the Lord we try to make it happen. There are even times when the Lord will speak something to our hearts and instead of allowing Him to open the door we start running with the vision trying to bring it to pass.
How do we "stand fast?" Don't go the way of "our" analysis. Don't do what seems right, find out what the Word says about our situation. Trust, trust, trust in what God has said about our situation, even though it may look like it will never happen. We have to trust the Lord and not be moved from this trust!