What the _____ are you looking at!?!

I’m backkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

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I’m sorry for not being around for the past couple of months. I started writing about 20 different posts, but none of them really excited me. They were all blah. Which is how I felt my life was going.

If you have been alive for any amount of time, you know that life has its ups and downs. It seems like the older I get I see people around just working hard to hang onto the highs of life. It seems like that is what culture teaches as well – work hard so you can be secure and happy.

That is what I was focusing on – ‘how can I make sure I’m happy?’. Nothing wrong with asking that but when it becomes the center part of your life – trouble starts. For me, it results in STRESS like major stress, probably because I know there are things beyond my control.

The result of this is I get hyper-focused on doing my part to make sure I am happy, my goals are met, or that I’m providing for my family. The ironic part about all of that is I believe God is in control of things and that He will take care of me. You would think that I would find some peace in that – well I don’t.

SAY WHAT!?!?!

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It seems logical that if I truly believed God was in control, that he knows what I need (Matthew 6), and loved me – that I would not get so stressed. In fact, I should be so free from stress.

While that’s true, this is how I have distorted God’s freedom. I know that God will work, but I know that they way he works is through us. Meaning I feel like that I still have to do my part. If I don’t do it right – then God can’t use me, take care of me, or work in me.

Wanna know what I learned? 

That is another fancy way of putting the responsibility on me. I’m saying God will work IF I do _____. If I don’t do _____ then God is sitting in Heaven saying, “man I don’t know what to do. I really wanted to help Nate, but he didn’t do the 1 thing I needed him to do. I’m strapped to that”.

Seems silly when you say it out loud….. but I get so focused on making sure I’m perfect or doing my part that I miss out on life, and who knows what else I’m missing out on.

I’m focused on the wrong things. I’m looking at everything around me instead of the one thing that should guide me.

See this is what is amazing about the Gospel message –

WE ARE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

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Imagine a life where we are not a slave to the things we know we shouldn’t do – but still do anyway. Or imagine the trapped feeling we have because of hurts that we’ve experienced. Or what about the worries we have in our life (house, school, money, success, meaning, etc.frustrates). Imagine if we were free from all of that.

We are through Jesus!! Romans 6, 7, and 8 is one of my favorite sections in the Bible because it talks about the freedom we now have. Doesn’t mean we can abuse that freedom but it means we are no longer a slave to all the things in life trying to enslave us!

I think one of the things that frustrate God is looking into our lives and seeing how we are enslaved to so many things when freedom can be found in him.

Let me be clear

Just cuz your free doesn’t mean you are perfect / won’t struggle ever again. In fact, there are probably things in your life that you will struggle with your entire life. BUT you don’t have to be ruled by them. So maybe you have a tendency to be a slave to your lust, anger, or something you know you shouldn’t be doing. That won’t ever completely disappear but if you focus your life on Jesus it will die down and you will find freedom.

I return to writing, not because my life is better or things have changed. I return to writing to declare that “I’m no longer a slave to the things in my life that work hard to enslave me (sin, worry, and stress). Instead, I’m free from those things and I declare that my focus and devotion will be with Jesus.”

Let me tell you, when you daily make that declaration – there is a peace that doesn’t make any sense at all. It makes no sense because there are still things to be worried about, there are still temptations in life, yet you have peace and are fighting against them in ways you normally don’t.

I pray I use my freedom to be a blessing to all those around me. Even after following Jesus for 15+ years I still find immense freedom in choosing to walk with him daily. I hope I share that with people around me because I hate to see them weighed down by things that they can be free from.

If you need to recommit to daily choosing to follow Jesus I pray you do so. If you feel like you are following Jesus well, I hope you are sharing that love and freedom with others. Lastly, if you think following Jesus is stupid and you are reading this because you like me, thanks for making it this far! – I hope you reconsider Jesus because there is freedom available for us.

-Nate

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