***I must give a shout-out to Rev. Bankole Akinbinu! Thank you for STANDING! God bless you!
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.“
Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)
God has a way of proving things to us. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross to prove His love for us. God orchestrates events to show us – to prove to us – that His word is true. Sometimes, God shows up so that we don’t have to repeat mistakes. God knows us and does works that cover us from submission to things and places and people we’ve already encountered and endured.
Galatians 5:1 is pretty simple. Yes, we are sometimes bound by our brokenness, and discouraged by those and our own thoughts that become the resting place of our doubt. There are times that people become our masters, in the sense that we have forced ourselves to believe that we must answer to them and get their permission to live and operate righteously. To live righteously? Galatians says, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” This means that Christ unlocks those places in which we were once/are arrested. Christ cares for us such that He will bear our burdens. Christ speaks to our storms and the waves and the winds obey Him. Christ looses us from the binding forces around us so that we can be FREE! Christ frees us simply for us to be free. No longer broken or hindered, but free. No longer hurting and discouraged, but free. No longer afraid or timid, but free. No longer ashamed or bound-but Christ offers freedom so that we don’t have to submit to bondage again!
The scripture goes on to say, “Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” That is pretty heavy for me during my struggles. As clear as this text is and as simple as it is to accept and receive the freedom that Christ offers, the question is: why do we stay submitted to slavery? Have we been enslaved for so long that freedom looks like a threat rather than an opportunity for breakthrough? Have we grown so comfortable in our servitude to that which belittles us? Have we? Well, if we have…I’ve come to remind us that we don’t have to stay where we’ve been and that we don’t have to remain in our lifestyles any longer because Christ sets us free. Set means to be positioned in a particular place or posture. Christ re-positions us in freedom, and if that isn’t good news for you it is surely good news for me. This freedom means that I can live differently than submitted, that I can live in a new place, position and posture. No longer inferior. No longer in fear. No longer living to please people. No longer living without knowing what freedom living feels like!!! How can you receive this offering? “Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit AGAIN…” I know the yoke has held you for so long, but freedom is an opportunity for your release. I know that he or she really loves you but freedom comes that you might love yourself, too. I know, our struggles aren’t overcome by fear, but in freedom – fear can’t survive. I offer you freedom today. I offer you Christ. He who came to free us for freedom. If you stand firm and don’t turn back to the torture. If you stand firm and don’t forfeit this opportunity, you can live differently. You’ve already submitted, you know what it feels like to be governed by another. If you want the chance to chose for yourself, if you don’t want to be overtaken but be offered – don’t submit again—STAND firm!
If you’ve never encountered this Christ who offers freedom and you would like to accept and receive this opportunity to stand because you are tired of living in submission here’s what Romans 10: 9-10 (NRSV) says, “because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.“
Decide to be saved from submitting again. Decide this time to stand instead. God bless you and sustain you in your standing!