I have many young sisters in Christ who have become true friends and I love it. Spending time with them and encouraging them in their relationship with God has marked my life in a sweet way. And as I share stories of my own journey with God, I’m regularly steered down memory lane.
Below are a few freedom keys from a humble 27 year old girl who lived far too long under pressure and expectations of religion instead of freedom and joy in Christ.
You need to know that another’s faith is not your faith.
You must decide what you believe and how you are going to build your life around it, not living informed by another’s influence or pressure or opinion. You must discover and know God for yourself. Simply knowing things about Him from secondhand sources won’t be enough to sustain you when life gets challenging. Sitting in church to hear the Bible taught is essential to your life as a believer, but hearing how God has inspired someone else won’t necessarily change anything in you.
We are all different and God leads us in unique directions. Be mindful of feeling you aren’t doing “enough” because you aren’t doing it like someone else does. God wants a relationship with you. Don’t settle for a secondhand version of THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE when you could experience His wonder, power, and presence yourself.
You need to know that you will not always FEEL strong or spiritual.
There will be moments and days when you’re wondering if your faith is even real or if you actually believe what the Bible says.
Listen to me, friends. Your faith is not grounded in your feelings or your performance, your faith is based solely in and on Jesus Christ, who never changes. This means that on days you doubt He’s really there, He’s not surprised, and He can handle it. Reality is, He was and is and is to come (Revelation 1:8), whether our faith feels strong or weak.
He didn’t look ahead to your life before He created the world (knowing all along sin would enter and His Son would have to die for humanity) and make decisions based on your being a perfect Christian. And He didn’t set His redemptive plan in motion to now see what you struggle with and wonder why He did it in the first place. His design is relationship, and He wants you to come as you are – always.
You need to know that your godly decisions are not the basis of God loving you or on you spending eternity with Him. But, His way of living is THE best way.
Maybe you’ve grown up hearing one of these two messages.
One, fill your life with all the good religious things like church and ‘quiet times’ and friends who think like you do and try really hard not to sin and God will be happy with you.
Or two, God knows we’re human with a bent toward our sinful nature. He will forgive us every time we ask, so we don’t speak honestly about how all sin leads only to death, never life.
Yes, we will battle sin daily as we walk this earth. Yes, God is merciful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness EVERY TIME we confess and repent. Yes, we should not make life habits of rebellion against God. Yes, we should fill our lives with people and practices that fill us with more of God than distract us from Him. But we must beware of obsessing over how good we’re doing and losing sight of the person who is our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and our life (Galatians 2:20).
God’s call for you to obey Him is not because He needs you to do or be better. His call for your obedience is A, because He is worthy, and B, so you can experience the depths of abundant life with Him. You will never be perfect, but you will never regret any time you choose God’s way over your own.
Think about what makes you the happiest or what you desire most. Whatever just came to your mind, Jesus is better. Contrary to what the world says, joy and confidence and rest and beauty and fun and peace and strength are found in sticking close to God, not in how you look or achievements or popularity or being the best.
Be real with Jesus and He will become real to you.