daily devotional

Today, we celebrate freedom. Friends and families gather. We fire up the girl. We jump in the water. We light up the skies with fireworks. As a little girl, there was no single day of the year I looked forward to more than the fourth of July. As a 42 year old woman, I still get giddy over the smell of sparklers and all things red white and blue. As Americans, we celebrate our freedom. Something most of us have done absolutely nothing to earn and there are others we should be thanking. Thank you!

Are you living free? Free from anything and everything that serves to hold you back? What is causing you to live a life short of the life Jesus came to offer you? We all have chains. We all struggle with bondage of some sort. Some are more visible than others. Addiction or a toxic relationship. And other forms of bondage are more widely accepted as “normal” these days. Irrational thoughts and fears, lack of self-control, a rollercoaster of moods, procrastination. Did I get ya yet? Yes, that’s bondage. A bad habit, a rut you’ve worked your way into, a continual cycle of start strong and fizzle quick, those are chains, and those chains are holding you back from living the very life you were created for.

Scripture tells us a story of two men, Paul and Silas who had been stripped, beaten and thrown into prison. I suppose you could say they were having a bad day. Naked, bloody, chained up and locked up. Yip, bad day. They were stuck. They had every right to be angry, They had every right to be throwing a fit. But you know what they were doing instead?

Acts 16:25-26 says “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”

Impossible chains were broken. Prison doors flew open. They were set free. What caused this? Paul and Silas were praying and praising when they had every right to be cussing and worrying. Our prayers appropriate the power of God. Our praise summons the Almighty. This is how we are set free.

Understand this right now, God doesn’t want you stuck for another day. His desire is not for you to battle those thoughts, fears, moods, or bad habits past this very moment. His desire is to set you free. He wants to break your chains.

Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

You have an enemy in this world who is a thief. What’s the thief after? He’s after YOUR life. The life you were created for. The life that’s available to you through Christ Jesus. The life where you’re living up to your potential as your best self. Every single day the thief is trying to steal that life from you and convince you that how you are is how you’ll always be. He shows you the chains you currently battle and whispers you’ll never be free. But the devil is a liar and you don’t have to listen to him for one more moment. He’s been killing your dreams. He’s been destroying your relationships. Stand up and tell him, not today Satan, not today!

Jesus has come so that you may have life and have it to the full. What does that mean? He is offering you a BIG life. A life free of whatever has been holding you back. A life worthy of celebration and fireworks my sister! The price has already been paid for your freedom. You did absolutely nothing to earn it, all you must do is accept it.

Even at this very moment when you may be struggling with worries and fears and temptations to keep doing the same darn things that got you in the predicament you’re in, you can claim your freedom and start praying and praising. You’re no longer a slave to your old habits. You don’t have to be that person today. Jesus is a chain breaker. He is a life changer. John 8:38 says “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

The Son is setting you free. Now you are free indeed. Pray and praise and step out of those chains into the BIG Life you were created for. Your freedom has been bought.