by Sandra Allen Lovelace
My days were busier than they’d ever been. There was no way I could keep up. Something would have to give, but what? I thought and prayed, organized and planned to no avail. It was as if I were trapped in a forest of responsibilities, unable to see any light. The escape route appeared one especially dark Saturday.
I called it a Day Apart—no alarm, no list, no schedule, no phone, no internet. Just me, my Bible, a notebook, and a pencil … for as long as it took. And it took a while. I checked the concordance for references to captive and freedom since that’s who I was and what I wanted. Surely I’d find some sort of strategy to handle my situation.
God is usually into a deeper process, and this confab was no exception. Rather than simply solve problems, the Father’s plan entails the transformation of minds and hearts. With what I found in the pages of my Bible, God worked to change my heart and guide my action. His Son came and gave His life for that very purpose—to ransom souls and empower the redeemed to enjoy new life.
Jesus explained His role with Isaiah’s prophetic words. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim release to the captives, to set free those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18 NASB). Those weighed down with burdens of any kind are called to receive Christ’s gift and come out from under the expectations from without or within which drive us—into His arms of grace.
The Old Testament commandments had their place, to underline our inability to satisfy the standards of a holy God. But the once for all atoning life, death, and resurrection of His Son settled the debt. A whole new world of opportunity awaits those who walk forward in Him. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NASB
And He did not leave us to find our way and fight temptation alone. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17 NASB) The Holy Spirit indwells each believer to guide and equip us to meet the challenges ahead.
We don’t need to be overwhelmed by the obligations we face, nor succumb to their pressure. As we come into God’s holy presence the demands fall away. The more we adopt the truth of who He is and all He’s done for us, the easier it becomes to pursue His purpose in His peace.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 ESV
About the author: Sandra Allen Lovelace is a continuing missionary, a pastor’s wife emeritus, and a home-school pioneer. She’s an award-winning speaker and author, and a sought-after mentor. Sandra’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). Her current manuscript is Wallflower Women: How We Got Stuck and Ways to Gain Our Freedom. She enjoys hiking with a camera in her hand, best done on an international adventure. Sandra and her husband Curt are transitioning to South Carolina.
Connect with Sandra on her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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Join the conversation: Have there been obligations in your life that held you captive? How did God provide the peace you sought?