Hey Church Family!We wrap up this series on the Real Jesus this week. What is crucial to remember is that while we end this journey this week, it's really just beginning. We are on a continuous journey of grace to discover the Real Jesus. What if more is more possible? What if Jesus is bigger than you thought possible? This side of heaven, there's always more to discover about the Real Jesus.
As you discover more and more about Jesus, you grow in freedom. But freedom is something we all struggle with. We regularly feel the pull back into sin. Every day we experience a drift back into old patterns and our previous life. Sometimes we profess the resurrection, yet we have to admit that it has not set us free in every area of our lives. Sometimes we feel stuck. Sometimes we can't seem to break free of shame or guilt. Sometimes our appetites and addictions still seem to have a hold on us. We want freedom, but we just can't seem to grasp it. What do we do?
First, We must understand that freedom is possible. Too often we walk around assuming our current brokenness is normal. We've become so used to sin it is as if we can no longer imagine our lives free from its control. The addiction is there every day. We fall to the same temptations every day. As a result of this, we walk around believing this is all there is to this life. We say, "This is just who I am." Our brokenness becomes the "soundtrack" that plays in the background of our lives.
But transformation comes—freedom comes—by renewing our minds (see Romans 12:2). The first thing that must change after encountering the Real Jesus is our minds. We have to begin thinking God-thoughts. In other words, God's thoughts about you—how he loves you, cares about you, has plans for you, believes in you, what he says about you—must all become the thoughts that dominate our minds. Who's thoughts have become the soundtrack of your life?
We must also remember that freedom is a team sport. You cannot experience freedom on your own. It just doesn't work. Try playing any team sport by yourself. Good luck! James talks about this when he says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (see James 5:16, emphasis mine). God promises forgiveness when we confess to him. But he doesn't promise healing when we only confess to him. The healing comes when we invite others in.
Too many of us are walking around trying to find freedom on our own. Quit fooling yourself into thinking you can experience the freedom Jesus wants for you on your own. Who knows your story? Who knows your struggles and secrets? Not everybody needs to know. But somebody should. Who walks with you on your journey and has the courage to let you know when you're drifting? Who is that person in your life?
This type of freedom is a game-changer for us. I pray this helps you understand a little more about the freedom we were made to experience.
Together in Christ,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods