July 3, 2009 
The Fight for Freedom
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Friend To Friend 
I rarely watch television but have, in recent days, been drawn to the coverage of our troops who are fighting on foreign soil.  It is a stunning sight to see the diligence and courage displayed by these men and women as they march relentlessly toward their objective ... freedom for those who are prisoners of an evil regime.  All along the way, these freedom fighters have encountered major obstacles and unexpected attacks.  Still they move forward.  The plan is in place and these determined soldiers let nothing and no one deter them from their goal. 

You and I fight a war every single day. Our Father created us for freedom, but we constantly give up ground to the enemy through an old habit, a wrong attitude or a defiant action.  Still, the Holy Spirit marches relentlessly through our lives with one goal in mind, total freedom for the precious child of God. It is amazing how many times I offer Him few weapons with which to fight. I have placed little or no truth in my heart and mind.  My shield of faith has been tossed aside. Sin has tarnished the breastplate of righteousness. I am a pitiful warrior who has gone into battle with few weapons and little preparation. 

I remember watching the people of Iraq bring down the statue of Saddam Hussein.  God pierced my heart with the truth that there are things in my own life that need to be grabbed by the throat and brought to His feet in complete surrender.  Then, and only then, will I experience the freedom for which He created me.  I am so very grateful that I serve a God who is wholly committed to me and to His plan for my life - even when I am not wholly committed to Him.

We are living in uncertain times.  War and rumors of war fill the media.  The economy shows little sign of improvement.  Countless homes are in crisis, reeling from the devastation of an affair, a child in trouble or the familiar and suffocating weight of apathy.  It seems that everywhere we turn, we see a pile of broken dreams and wounded lives.  Some of you are dealing with a great sense of loss that has left you paralyzed and helpless in the darkness.  It is almost as if the winds of Hell itself are blowing through your life and the storm is raging out of control.  Fear has been waiting in the wings of your circumstances for the opportunity to take center stage in your heart and mind. Direction seems unsure at best and the pathway is filled with obstacles and hidden dangers. 

We are living in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary faith. Our Father is not surprised by the events of our life nor is He unaware of our struggles.  Each and every one of them must pass through His hands and came to us with His permission.  Trust Him.  Abandon yourself to Him in childlike faith, knowing that no matter how you feel, no matter what you see - He is in control.  Choose to give Him praise now - when the skies are dark and the winds are blowing.  And when the storm is over, you will see the evidence of His hand and heart at work in your life.

Lift up your head and turn your heart toward home where your Father waits to gather you into His arms. Put your trust in God and keep your eyes fixed on Him, the author and finisher of your faith.  Choose to believe what you cannot see and refuse to depend upon what you can understand or explain.  Stand firm, knowing that freedom is yours today

Today, my friend, raise His banner high over your life, declaring that the King is in residence.  Throw off everything that would hinder His work in your life.  Rejoice in the truth that He has come to deliver you from bondage and to set you free.

Let’s Pray 
Father, thank You for the freedom You offer each one of us when we come to You in a personal relationship.  Give us the courage to stand firm in Your truth, Lord.  Fill our heart with Your truth and wisdom so that others may see You above all else.  Thank You for the men and women who fight today so that we can experience the freedom of our country.  Please keep them safe, strong, and encouraged.  Remind us to pray for them, Lord, as they stand in our place.  And thank You, Father, for the freedom You offer through Your son, Jesus Christ. 

In Jesus’ name, 
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
Read the following verses and think about how these truths can set you free.

Ÿ         Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Ÿ         Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”

Ÿ         Proverbs 4:25 (NCV) "Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good."

What one obstacle is standing in your way of God’s freedom in your life?  What step do you need to take in order to walk in freedom?

More From The Girlfriends 
I am sure most of you heard about the sandstorm followed by drenching rain during the first days of the war with Iraq.  Some say it was the worst in over a hundred years.  Our troops were bogged down and could not move effectively. The media was already wondering if the troops were in a "quagmire" and dire predictions of gloom and doom came from the left wing media.  But what they failed to report was that after the weather had cleared, the Marine group that was mired the worst looked out at the plain they were about to cross. They were shocked at what they saw!  Hundreds, if not thousands of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were uncovered by the wind and then washed off by the rain. If they had proceeded as planned, many lives would have undoubtedly been lost. As it was, they simply drove around them and let the demolition teams destroy them.

Do not despair!  No matter where you are or what you are facing, take hold of the eternal and steadfast truth that you can trust your God!   His grace is enough and His love is certain.  For encouragement during discouraging times, enroll in Mary’s online bible study, Light for the Journey. Be sure to visit Mary’s online store where you will find practical and powerful resources to strengthen you for your life journey. 

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