Friday, October 5, 2012

I Choose Freedom!

A post from the Ordinary Man vault that I like to bring out every year around this time.

Ask my beautiful wife and she will tell you where my favorite place is in the fall. It’s Ada!!


Every year, when student come back to college and dorm parking lots are full and I can no longer roll through the stop sign where they cross going to class for fear of making a hood ornament out of bewildered freshman, when I can hear the Friday night bands warming up for the home football games, when there’s just enough nip in the morning air that I have to wear a jacket knowing I'll have to shed it by noon because only in Oklahoma can you scrape frost in the mornings and be in a royal blue mesh half shirt by noon, it excites me! I love Ada in the fall!

I've had a connection here since college. It’s where I graduated college, made lifelong friends and really grew into adulthood; it’s where I became the Jim Kelly of ECU intramural flag football (1 semifinal appearance and 3 championship appearances and never brought home the title). I love Ada in the fall!

It was here in the fall at college where I met this awesome girl I NEVER EVER thought I had a chance with. I remember the first day I saw her at the Pesagi Dorm lounge in an ECU Pom jacket and jeans faded down the back. NEVER WOULD I HAVE A CHANCE WITH THAT GIRL! Turns out she married me! That blows my mind every day!!

My favorite place to be in the fall is Ada!

And this morning as I pulled out of my drive at home I was reminded of this and so much more. You see where we live now, I believe, has one of the best views in Ada and in the fall the sun is at just right angle and I get this view every morning on my way to work (if I don’t oversleep).
This beautiful view reminded me that at this time two years ago (now 5 years) we had just moved into this house and I was struggling with overcoming some feelings of guilt in my life when one of my closest and dearest friend gave one of the greatest pieces of advise on this subject I’ve ever read. I think as Christ followers we all need to hear these words from time to time. Below is a summary of his email to me. Enjoy.

Recently, God gave me some insight on this issue. A few weeks ago, he impressed upon my heart to read through the Bible. Well, when I got to Exodus God really opened my eyes to how the Israelites were like me (and the rest of us). Here was a group of people who had just witnessed first hand incredible miracles (the plagues, the Red Sea parting, manna/quail, the cloud and the fire) yet they still grumbled and at one point after all they had observed they told Moses they wanted to go back to captivity and live again as slaves. Can you even imagine?!?

Although that seems crazy to us, we do the exact same thing ALL OF THE TIME! When we worry about things we don't have control over, when it seems impossible to break free from habitual sin, when we doubt God's love for us, when we feel overcome with guilt, etc., etc. we are CHOOSING captivity over freedom. My theme for the last few weeks has been: I'm not going back to captivity; I'm going to choose freedom.

Does God use feelings of guilt to convict us and expose sin? Absolutely.

But he also wants the best for us and he wants to bless us so that we can praise him and thank him and so our lives can be a testament to his goodness and grace.

I think what we have to settle in our own mind is whether our guilt is from our flesh, that part of our flesh feels naturally drawn back to captivity

or

whether our guilt may be the Holy Spirit convicting us over something in our life that needs to change.

If it's your flesh, get over it and choose freedom.

If it's conviction guilt, then make the changes God wants you to make, forgive yourself, and then move on.

This is something we have to get over if we are living in Christ. This is something the church has to STOP using as a submission tool!

"Why" you ask? Because a friend of ours named Jesus died for us and when he did, guilt died at the foot of the cross as well!! We are forgiven! I CHOOSE FREEDOM!!

Thank M! Don’t know what I would do without you brother!