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. (Gal 5:1)
I do not choose to go back and do the bidding of the enemy today. The joy that fills my soul, even when everything in my life seems to be coming apart and happiness seems to be miles away, is greater than any other love I have ever known! I look for that joy, I seek that "feeling" that embraced me when I realized I was saved! And I don't have far to go to find it anymore ~ it's always there waiting for me to "tweak" it with just the right words of praise to my heavenly Father!
Satan would have me worry and fret, stumble and fall, but the Lord God, through the Holy Spirit, holds me up and helps me to stand firm! He gives me the strength NOT to do certain things and act certain ways and each day that I walk with him, I become stronger and that new way of life becomes more a part of me. It's no longer foreign for me to lift my hand in praise, to say "Amen" when the preacher says something I agree with, or to say the words "God bless you" to a stranger who does something out of kindness! I see how the love of God has changed me. I've witnessed his awesome power at work in my life and the lives of those around me. He has brought me to my knees and opened my eyes to many things. He's given me the courage to walk forward and not shrink from my obligation to him. "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Ps 23:3). Why would anyone who truly knows God willingly want to go back to that existence of emptiness?
There are those whose faith goes far beyond the faith that I have, there are those who struggle to find their faith and there are those who could care less about God, faith or salvation. Pray for them - they need to unlock the door to their heart and soul and allow God to change them! They need the courage to say "no" to the ways of the world, to the ways of their human flesh (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, sexual immorality, anger, greed and laziness). I watch the friends of my past fall away and become distant. I no longer pursue a continued relationship with them simply because there is no longer anything that we have in common. They refuse to give up their old ways, I refuse to give up the Lord! The saying "when you find that Christ is all you have, you realize that Christ is all you need" actually has meaning in my life! Being a Christian is not something I do just on Sundays or in the morning when I write this post. It's actually not something I do ~ it is who I am!
I continue to pray for my family and friends to allow the Holy Spirit to open their eyes, their hearts and their souls to the way of the cross. There IS joy in pain and there IS hope in the Lord! We have been set free ~ stand firm ~ praise God...and LIVE!!!