Devotional by Jenny Rowan
Imagine a jail cell with no bars. You enter the cell and then you face fear and one bar goes up; then you have self-hate and another bar goes up; then you doubt God’s Word and another bar – before you know it all the bars are up and you are trapped in the cell. The enemy is on the outside of the cell clapping, because he did nothing to put you in there. That was all you but he’s cheering you on with your fears, doubts, and self-condemnation, but you look down and in your hands are the keys to your freedom. See Jesus has given us the keys to our Freedom. Matthew 16:19 NIV says “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” As a young girl I heard my dad preaching the above in a message and it has stuck with me all these years. I love visuals that help me along this journey of faith and this one is a powerful one because it shows how we can so easily trap ourselves. However, just as easy as we do that we can breakthrough! God has given us FREEDOM! Freedom not only for ourselves but for the freeing of others as well.
When I think of the word Freedom I immediately picture that scene from Braveheart with Mel Gibson who is playing the character named William Wallace. He’s got blue face paint and he’s riding up on a horse. He challenges the Scottish army that has gathered to fight the English. They are about to retreat because fear has taken over them. Several shout those fears that the English army is too great. He then says to them, in the midst of their fears, “You have come to fight as free men and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?” You hear several in the crowd yelling no and one man shouts “No, we will run!” This just spurs on William Wallace to encourage the army that this was their “one chance to tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our FREEDOM!” The army erupts with loud cheers as they are now ready to fight.
God has called you to encourage yourself in the faith. “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 definition of encourage is “to give support, confidence, or hope; to help or stimulate (an activity, state or view) to develop.” How do you do that? You take the keys that are in your hands and you speak powerful life giving encouraging words over yourself. You replace fear with faith, self-hate with God’s love, confusion with peace, anger with joy, hurt with forgiveness. Before you know it the bars that have surrounded you are gone and you are FREE. It doesn’t stop there though because there is an army. An army of people that are afraid to advance against the great army that is trying to take their freedom. They are waiting for you who have grasped that freedom to encourage them, to rally them, to start a revolution of Freedom!
Dear Jesus, I thank you that you have set me free and thank you that I am able to take that freedom and set others free! Let’s do this!! AMEN