HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!!  I am praying that we never take for granted the amazing gift of FREEDOM we have been given!!  I also pray we remember that it was bought with a price and that price was sacrifice!!  As we celebrate our Freedom and remember all those who have given their lives to secure it, I hope we are reminded of the Ultimate Freedom we have been given and the Ultimate Sacrifice that purchased it!  It is around this time of year that I begin to think on Galatians 5:1, “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!”  Oh, I hope we know that Jesus came to set US FREE!!!  He came to set us free from the bondage of sin and death, from the yoke of wrath and punishment, and from the chains that kept us separated from relationship with Him!  When He died in our place on that cross, He called out, “IT IS FINISHED,” and at that moment ALL HE came to do was Forever Accomplished!  The veil was torn, making a way for each one of us to come into God’s presence.  The wrath of God had been poured out, ONCE for ALL, on Jesus and Forgiveness for our sins was freely offered.  The Power of Sin, and the Grave are Defeated and we have been SET FREE!!!  For all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord this Freedom is Secured, and yet here Paul begs the people to NOT GO BACK AGAIN TO THE YOKE OF SLAVERY!!!   Some translations say to not “SUBMIT” again to the yoke of slavery.  It would be like, if after we won our freedom in the revolutionary war, we then willfully chose to submit again to the yoke of Britain!  That would have been ludicrous and yet we will often make a similar choice in regards to submitting again to the yoke of sin!

 Several years ago the Lord granted me a very personal insight to this phenomenon.  I had been driving with my toddler son and my baby daughter while listening to the radio.  At that time, there was a news story on about a 911 call the fire department responded to regarding a child who had got their head stuck in a toilet seat.  Needless to say, the mom had been hysterical because she couldn’t get the seat off her child’s head.  The report shared just how the firemen were finally able to remove the toilet seat from the kid’s head, and the whole time I was listening to this I was completely judging this mother.  I kept thinking how in the world was this even possible and what kind of mom would let this happen to their child!  I am giving you real insight into the sin that was in my heart!  Well, do you know the verse, “Judge NOT, lest you be Judged” from Matthew 7?  I kid you not, THE VERY NEXT DAY I was in my kitchen when I began to hear screaming from the down the hall.  I turned and saw my son running to me from the bathroom, crying, as he was desperately trying to remove a toilet seat from around his head!!!  I stood in shock for a few moments, and could not believe what I was seeing.  We had been potting training him using those little toilet seats that fit on the normal toilet seat and he had decided, while I was doing dishes, to put it on over his head.   I panicked and began to try to pull it off until I finally realized that it was not budging!!  I was determined NOT to call this in, as my husband worked at the Hospital and I didn’t want him to know about this just yet, especially since I had told him the night before about the irresponsible mother from the radio!   I tried everything until I finally came to myself and began praying!  The Lord quickly reminded me that the news report had also described how the firemen were finally able to remove the seat!   I began Thanking God that I had heard that story and I also began repenting for my harsh judgment of that poor mother.  I raced for the Vaseline and began rubbing it all over my child’s head and neck.  It took a long while, but I was finally able to FREE my son!!  I fell back in exhaustion as relief washed over me.  It was FINISHED!  I grabbed the Vaseline so I could put it away and asked my son to follow me to the bathroom so I could clean him up.  As I was entering my bathroom, I turned around and saw that my son still had the toilet seat and was attempting to put the thing BACK ON HIS HEAD!!!!  I yelled out, “NO!” and rushed to take it from him.  I immediately began to say to him, “Honey, do you realize what I went through in order to FREE YOU?  DON’T’ EVER PUT THIS BACK ON!”  I couldn’t believe it but He had almost went back again to a LITERAL YOKE OF SLAVERY!  I was stunned, yet at that moment the truth of Galatians 5:1 rang in my heart!  This is exactly why God has to warn us NOT to GO BACK!  How quickly we forget the cost to set us free and how horrible the bondage was!  I could almost hear Jesus say the same thing to me, “Honey, do you realize what I went through in order to FREE YOU?  PLEASE, Do NOT PUT THIS BONDAGE BACK ON!  STAND FIRM IN YOUR FREEDOM!”  If you have been set free by Jesus Christ, Celebrate that Freedom today!  Walk in it!  Live in It!  Stand Firm in it!  He set you free so that you would BE FREE!  Do not SUBMIT again to the BONDAGE of the ENEMY!  “Who the SON sets FREE is FREE INDEED!”

Scriptures to meditate on:  Galatians 5:1, John 8:36, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Cor. 3:17

Ashley Possin