Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free To Be Me In Christ!

It was one of those times my mother was visiting at a friend’s house. I spied a girl next door and we struck up a conversation.  She invited me over to play.  We went together to play in her garage. I found out she was a ballerina and a little older than me. I wasn’t more than 4.  The playtime turned into bullying as she insisted that I had to stand on my tiptoes like a ballerina before she would open the garage doors and let me out. I was panicky but at age 4, I didn’t even think about crying for anyone to rescue me.  The friendship turned quickly into performance and I could not perform! It was ghastly. I tried knocking at the garage door but was quickly pushed away. Finally, my mother came looking for me.  I honestly don’t remember even telling her what happened. I may have, but I do still remember the terror of being locked away and having to perform. I also remember the tremendous relief at having my mother rescue me.

Performance. Perfection. Personality. Often the walk of faith can become a contest with these three.   We get saved and then we forget. So we begin to perform.  We find that we feel better when we’re achieving, executing and implementing. Busy becomes our best friend and cohort. If we can stay busy we can feel like we’re accomplishing something. Often though it’s a hamster’s wheel we find ourselves on.

While we’re busy performing we find that we need to be perfect – at everything. Perfection is the enemy of grace.  Why? Because grace says “Accepted as Is”, while Perfection says, “Keep working on it you’ll be good enough eventually”.  Perfection’s ally is comparison.  We look around at what others are doing and hope we can measure up.

If that wasn’t enough to garner attention and find release from the need to perform, here comes personality. Our nature is to become like those we’re around to find value, worth and esteem. Although I was not a ballerina, I found that I was trying harder and harder to be like my task master so that I could be granted good enough for release from the prison of that garage.  My usual childlike personality became frantic, terrified and ashamed.

We cannot make it out of the prison we are in on our own. You and I are destined to be prisoners all the days of our lives. Unless we are rescued! Rescue will never come at the hands of Performance, Perfection or Personality. It only comes from the One Who came to rescue, redeem and renew those who could not find freedom on their own.

Oh beloved, are you fighting for freedom? Are you searching for some measure of perfection to find peace? Have you found yourself wishing you could be more like “them” so you could be accepted?  Run this morning to the One Who made you just the way you are! Run to the Arms of the One Who says Accepted! Jesus is the Only One Who can set you free so that you can be truly free! Let Him show you the keys He holds in His hands. Let Him love you all the way to Calvary and beyond. Let Him teach you from His Word that the stone at the tomb was rolled away for your complete and total freedom! He loves you, loves you, loves you and He’s on your side – saying you are His, you are perfected in Him and His plans for you are awesome! Now that’s worth a Hallelujah!

Deuteronomy 24:18 Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God redeemed you from your slavery. That is why I have given you this command.

Psalm 107:2  Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

Luke 1:68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and redeemed His people.

Psalm 78:35  Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer.

Isaiah 48:17  This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.

Isaiah 49:9  I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.

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