How to have a 4th of July fireworks kind of life
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” - 2 Corinthians 3:17
As we celebrate Independence Day and reflect on the freedom we’re blessed with in this country, I’d like to share another important freedom we can all experience.
It was a great year in history – In 1991, the band R.E.M released their hit single “Losing My Religion.” Do you remember it? Ok, now that you’ve got the tune stuck in your head, let me tell you a story. It just so happens that in that same year, I made a life changing decision to make Jesus Lord of my life and was baptized in the church I grew up in. The meaning behind the song’s title really has nothing to do organized religion, but since that song came out and I was baptized, I have actually been trying to lose my religion. Sounds weird, but it’s true.
Maybe you’ve heard stories about the Pharisees? They were the guys that Jesus was always getting on to about being legalistic and judgmental. They were good at following the rules and quick to look down on others. They were religious. Growing up in the Church I got pretty good at not breaking rules and committing the “big sins.” That lifestyle kept me out of some trouble but it also kept me from experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus. Maybe I wasn’t out robbing banks or leading the police on any high speed chases but I did have Sin in my life that no one could see – anger, jealousy, lust, lying, etc. – But God saw all of that!
1 Samuel 16:7 “…Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
A few years ago, God put some incredible women in my life who showed me how to break free from my religiosity. I learned that He wants to have my heart and not a check list of all the rules I followed and looking good for all to see. For the first time in years, I started reading the Bible & praying everyday. When we decide to make Him Lord of our daily lives, we lose our religion & gain a relationship. Jesus came here to free us from the penalty of all Sin. And in that freedom we have an opportunity to know Him and live an exciting, 4th of July fireworks kind of life! Just think about all the beauty that is kept inside an unlit firework. But once it’s set on fire and explodes into the sky, there’s no hiding what’s inside! What if our lives were like this? We can let God’s light inside and then we can shine bright, beautiful, and free for all to see!
If the Spirit is truly in us, it will change us from the inside out.
John 8:32 “So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.”
Father, we confess that we have not made you Lord of our lives. We repent of our religiosity & ask for your forgiveness. Please God teach us through your Word and Holy Spirit how to live daily for you. We want to make you first in our hearts and experience the freedom your offer. In Jesus name, AMEN.
~ Erin Ramsey
Your Turn: Have you lost your religion yet? Are you missing out on a personal relationship with Jesus? Do you have women in your life that He is using to help guide you into a deeper relationship with Him?
1 Corinthians 8:9
1 Peter 2:16
2 Timothy 1:7