"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery". Galatians 5:1
Thankfulness: A Rethink
Ponder: Today we begin the next week of ponders on our Free! themes. This week we have two themes: thankfulness and the distorted images that we have of God, often picked up early on in life. Have you ever thought that God places impossible expectations on our lives? That you simply can't meet His standards? So you try harder and harder to meet them or you basically don't try anymore and give up on God altogether. Maybe even you have taken this out on others, you are so critical and judgmental when they do not meet, perhaps, your own impossible standards? Could you possibly need a reset in your thinking? I know I have had to rethink at times. What about the words from Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30? How does this fit with a concept of a God who places impossible expectations on our lives? Have I got Him all wrong? Is this where some of my life-controlling issues started?
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Action: Ask God, ask your own soul, where your expectations have been faulty, where they have been your own expectations and not God's for your life. Begin a new habit of asking Him what He wants you to think and how He wants you to live today. You may need to stop your own activity for a little while each day to ask this. It is sometimes very helpful to write down your thoughts and see how they change, how God moulds you as you continue to ask Him.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that Your yoke is easy and does not reflect the pressure my parents and then I have placed on myself. Help me to begin to live a different way, asking You every day what You have for me to do. Sometimes, Lord, I confess I just give up and have given in to what I want to do, when I want to do it and how I want to do it. I just don't want to live under a harsh taskmaster. Sorry that I have thought of You in this way. Please Lord, I forgive my parents, they were/are broken individuals, no different from me.
Challenge: Spend some time praying and thinking through the above verse. Thank God that He sent Jesus to die in your place for your sins because none of us could meet God's criteria for holiness. The beauty and grace of this is not more burden but freedom. We could not ever satisfy our parent's expectations but God satisfied His own perfect expectations for each one of us through the price Jesus paid on the cross. Wow! something to be thankful for. FREEDOM.