Devotional by Rachel Campbell
Sitting through your father’s funeral is never something you think about or look forward to in life. But I remember that very day so clearly. I remember helping my shaking and disoriented mom with her hair and makeup. I remember the strange and sad quiet that filled the house before we left for the funeral. I remember me and my nine brothers and sisters being sat in the front row of the church when we would have rather sat behind everyone else so we could cry in private. I remember it all, but the one thing I remember most vividly was the moment I experienced the greatest sadness. It was the moment that I was able to pin why I was so deeply hurting. This moment was when I realized that my dad had left this earth and entered heaven without ever becoming free here. Yes, my father received eternal life, but the saddest truth is that he was never able to experience what it would feel like to experience being set free in his life here on earth.
See my dad was an amazing pastor. He loved people with every fiber of his being. There was no question that he was a Christian who loved God. But what our family knew and the rest of the world did not was that our father who was in God’s House every single day and studied the Bible devotedly also carried a huge chain of addiction to prescription pain medicine. It was something that he struggled with for well over a decade. He learned how to manage it in public, but at home it was very evident that my dad and my pastor was certainly not living in freedom.
As a daughter, it was heartbreaking to witness the struggle. I believe that freedom was in his grasp, but somewhere along the way, managing the addiction and living a life of excuses, lies and blame had become the norm. That’s the choice before every one of us as we live out this life. Will we live in deception and with facades which are sometimes the easier road, or will we push through and chase after the truth that will set us free? I believe that choosing truth is in many cases a much harder path, but it’s the only one that will bring us to a place of true freedom!
On the day of my father’s funeral, I made a covenant with God that I wanted to not only go to heaven, but I wanted to do the hard work of becoming free here on earth. That is God’s intention for us, for me. I love this scripture:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV
The funny thing about going after freedom in our lives is that the pursuit never really ends until we get to heaven. I know in my personal journey, once I find freedom in one area, I find something else that I feel the prompting of God to work through. So if you know that there are some areas in your life that you need to break free, don’t feel ashamed but rather, welcome to the very large club!
A few things I’ve learned about getting free…
Christ is our freedom fighter
The verse I mentioned in Galatians says that CHRIST HAS SET US FREE. Freedom has already been won for us because of the price Jesus paid on the cross. He is passionate about seeing us free. In other words, your freedom is a guarantee through Jesus and His power, not your own!
The Holy Spirit is our helper
I have learned that in order for my life to become truly free on earth, I have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. I need to feel the nudging and hear the whispers of God when I don’t realize that I am falling back into old habits of bondage. We can’t get free alone, but thank God we don’t even have to try!
Get violent with your captivity
“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 KJV There comes a time when we all have to get violent with the sins, mindsets, past hurt and traumas, and areas in our life where we are not yet free. We are talking about freedom and the enemy of your soul doesn’t want you to be free. We can’t afford to be passive or dismissive when it comes to our liberty! We have to get to a place where we violently despise the things that are holding us captive and go after freedom!
This year at Devoted Conference, why don’t you come expecting to leave changed. I know that I am! Let’s be the girls who chase true freedom while we are here on earth! The world needs us to be free. Our families need us to be free. Our communities and churches need us to be free. Most importantly, God wants us to be free!