April 25, 2010 was the day I was born again. This year, it will mark a seven-year journey of knowing God. I usually write posts around this time reflecting on my walk with Christ over the past year, but I feel like this one needs to be a bit different.
Yesterday, my church sang “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. I’ve heard it sung a couple of times, but this time, it really resonated with me.
My pastor’s message was about placing small “gods” on a throne meant only for God Himself. Even good things likes spouses and children can become sinful if we build our identity on them. As he said, “sin is placing our identity in anything other than God”.
This past year (and all seven of my years as a Christian, plus a few before my conversion) really drove that point home. Looking back, I can see God lovingly prying my hands away from things I was clinging to instead of Him. At the time, I didn’t understand. Much like a small child who has been told they can’t play in the street, I was upset, wondering why God would allow such things to happen to me. I thought these painful events would end up being the death of me…but to the contrary, they ended up leading me closer to the true source of life; Jesus.
In these past seven years, He has resurrected things. He has restored things. He has renewed things. He has breathed life into dry, dead bones and killed deadly, sinful habits that were once viciously alive. I have seen Him do miraculous things, things that couldn’t possibly have happened without Him.
There is no joy apart from Him. Suffering with the promise of being in His presence tomorrow is greater than trading Him for a short-lived happy moment. I can trust in Him during a storm because He will be there in the morning when the sun is shining again, arms wide open.
I’ll make this one short, but I’d like you to reflect on the lyrics from the song I mentioned earlier. They really ministered to me, so I hope they do the same to you:
You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
We are no longer slaves to fear, brothers and sisters.
We are children of God.
Grace & Peace.