The more I worried, the more the joy drained from my heart. I fussed. I shushed. I began to panic.
And then, I heard Holy Spirit tell me to step outside the tent. (Don’t you just love it when God puts you in timeout?).
I stepped out into a wide open space where I could feel the wind and I began to sway. Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart again, “The more freedom you are willing to experience, the more freedom your children will enjoy.” So I began to dance and twirl with big, beautiful, awkward movements.
In those moments I made an exchange. I traded in fear and the need to control for the freedom to be joy-filled and carefree.
As I opened my eyes, I saw my little girls playing and my son dancing. I saw the host of the feast running with laughter as children scattered all around her in a game of tag — all of this during worship. When we choose to live out our freedom, it is worship to the One who freed us!
I used to think freedom was something I needed to work hard to maintain. Now I think freedom is an invitation to adventure deeper into the heart of God toward us.
Friends, like Israel we are free but each day we must make choices to walk in that freedom. Walking in freedom takes trust and practice.
You see, Israel was free the moment they walked out of Egypt, but they had to make choices that built upon their trust in God rather than live under the heavy slave master of fear.
As we read in Exodus 16 (and throughout the book), God extended opportunities for Israel to go deeper and to explore his heart toward them. Each time they were hungry, they had a choice to trust God as a Provider or complain. When they needed water, they were free to choose the Well of Living Water or panic.
Sometimes it seems easier to have the predictability of the hard task masters (fear, coping mechanisms, etc.) than to trust in Holy Spirit, who is described as wind (Jn. 3:8). C. S. Lewis put it best in his novel, Prince Caspian. Aslan, who represents Christ, informs Lucy that in His kingdom, “Things never happen the same way twice” (Lewis).
I used to get annoyed with reading Israel's 40 year saga in Exodus, like, “What are y'all doing? Can’t you see He didn’t bring you all the way out of Egypt to let you die in the wilderness?”
Then I realized, I am like Israel. But I am learning to trust, and so are you! One reminder from heaven can settle our hearts and awaken us to freedom - we just have to choose! I don’t know about you but I would rather have the freedom Jesus offers than any counterfeit! Let’s choose to live out our freedom daily as an act of worship to the one who freed us.
Memory Verse: "He has sent me … to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." Isaiah 61:1b
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes