The Apostle Paul perfectly depicts the condition of the human heart.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
First, in placing total trust in Jesus the human heart is set free.
The human heart was never intended to be in slavery to death producing systems, lifeless philosophies, destroying beliefs, life-controlling behaviors, destructive attitudes, sins of all kinds, self-loathing, or Satan the slave master.
Trusting in Jesus frees the human heart to its original intent. Place your trust in Jesus today!
Second, sometimes one places total trust in Jesus for salvation but fails to move into the freedom offered in Jesus.
Upon trusting in Christ, the battle is on for the heart’s freedom. Thousands of things will seek to bring your heart into captivity and thus rob you of God’s amazing freedom.
Third, because it is for freedom that Christ has set the trusting heart free, that trusting heart is to do two things:
- Stand firm therefore
- Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
The human heart easily becomes captive to prison guards who rob our freedom in Christ.
Various narratives have been written regarding the recent school shooting in Florida. One version, right or wrong, I do not know, is that guards did not boldly run into the fight but stayed outside in cowardice.
In thinking through that narrative, it is as if the Lord shouted,
“When the war is on for the freedom of the human heart, my people hide outside in cowardice, rather than run courageously into the areas of their heart, destroying the slave masters and releasing the freedom my Son provided for each one.”
Courage is necessary for standing firm and not submitting again to the yoke of slavery.
“If in this supreme test…a man walks straight up to the cause of his fear and is not deterred from doing that which is good; if, moreover, he does so for the sake of good—which ultimately means for the sake of God, and therefore not from ambition or from fear of being taken for a coward—this man, and he alone, is truly brave.”
Pieper, Josef. Four Cardinal Virtues, The: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge (Kindle Locations 1900-1903). University of Notre Dame Press. Kindle Edition.
Common slave masters hindering the freedom of Christ for which those who trust in Jesus have been set free:
- Self-reliance is replaced with complete reliance upon God. Jeremiah 17:5-9
- False beliefs (Untruth and partial truth) about me and the world are replaced with God’s truth. Psalm 51:6
- Strongholds of the evil one are replaced with freedoms of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17
- Defining statements about me are erased and replaced with God’s statements about me. I am who God says I am!!!
Walk straight up to the cause of your fear and do not be deterred from doing that which is good!
MCA Life Group
Listen – My Story
- Have you ever been called upon to walk up to a situation, person, or opportunity that you found fearful?
- When you think of freedom in your heart, what comes to mind?
- What is your favorite moment of feeling freedom of heart?
Learn – Digging Deeper
- Please read Galatians 5:1. A yolk is a device that locks an animal, like a harness, into a submissive role to the task master. What current day realities are “yolks of slavery” in the lives of you, your co-workers, and friends?
- Read Mark 5:25-34. The story starts with her in the yolk of slavery to a blood disease and ends with her experiencing freedom from the disease. What can we learn from this woman about walking in freedom?
- Pastor Kent presented four common slave masters hindering Jesus’ freedom in many Christian’s lives. Read John 8:31, 32 and consider Jesus’ promise of freedom and how you can apply to the four “Slave masters.”
Life – Taking it Home
- How can your Life Group help you walk in Jesus’ freedom?
- What steps do you need to take this week?
- Encourage each member of your Life Group to “walk straight up to the cause of your fear and do not be deterred from doing that which is good!”
Lift – Prayer
- Please pray for courage in each member of your Life Group.
- There is URGENCY for the citizens of Anchorage to come to faith in Jesus for salvation. Please pray, by name, for three friends, relatives, associates, or neighbors whom you long to trust in Jesus.
- Pray for harvest workers for Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.