“Stand fast therefore in the liberty where by which Christ has made you free, do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage”, Galatians 5:1 KJV. This scripture has taken on a new meaning for me. We are in a season that the Lord is awaking people all over the globe. These people are being awaken to the truth and walking in new freedom. They are being infused with the spirit and strength of God to deliver his people from bondage. They are coming out of agreement with the spirit of religion and legalism.
I’m 37 years old and I have spent most of my life in church. It wasn’t until recently that the Lord took me through one of the greatest transitions of my life and opened up my eyes to see some truths. I believe that the Lord is awakening others as well. For far too long society has laughed and mocked the church. They have rejected the church and didn’t want anything to do with it. In this transition, I discovered that many people don’t reject the church because of God, they reject the church because of the people who are supposed to represent God. Instead of the representing the grace and love of God, they have taken on scribe and pharisaic traits; casting judgment, finding fault and expecting perfection. One of the saddest things that I have seen is, church leaders who have unknowingly slipped into building empires instead of building people. They use control and domination to get their congregation to build their visions. They keep the people at bay, by using legalism, forcing them to abide by cultural traditions that have nothing to do with God. I have seen people so hurt and disappointment by the church, that they rejected God himself, associating God with these people.
However, Jesus was very intentional about showing us what real freedom looks. Galatians 5:1 MSG bible reads “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
The word free, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, means : enjoying personal freedom, not subject to the control or domination of another. It means not bound, confined, or detained by force. You see, Ephesians 2:8 NIV bible reads “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” You cannot earn the gift of salvation, it was purchased for you by Christ! It is not by works that we have been saved but concept of works driven salvation mixed with grace has subtly crept into the church. People are being taught: Yes, you are saved by grace through the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus, but you must also follow our list of man- made do’s and don’t to be accepted. The saddest part is that the moment you break one of their rules or don’t follow their instructions properly, you are judged by the religious police and viewed through the lens of shame and condemnation. When religious people can’t fit you into their boxes, you are deemed rebellious. My dear ones, God does not expects us, to do ABCD to get into heaven. He does not demand that we participate in certain activities to earn his approval. Did you know that participating in church activities will not get you into heaven? You would be surprised at how many people have an unhealthy association with the church and have no real connection to God. In fact the Bible says, in Matthew 7:22-23:
“Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons? In your name perform many miracles? Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Wow, my God! I believe that many churches start off well, preaching the true gospel, but some how many get off course, unknowingly returning to work driven salvation. It reminds me of the scripture Galatians 5:7, ” You were running a good race. who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
The good news is that God has a plan for restoration. He has a plan to gather the ones that have rejected him because of false teachers. He has a plan to allow them to experience his real love, unmerited grace and forgiveness. He has a plan to restore the church. The word restoration as defined by Merriam and Webster’s dictionary : to bring back to or put back into a former or original state : to renew. The Lord is restoring the church back to His original intent, and purposes. The church will once again be flooded with people coming to receiving Jesus Christ. The walls that once divided race, denomination and preference will fall down! The reviving Spirit of the Lord will sweep over churches everywhere then we will see signs, wonders and miracles. People will experience true freedom and deliverance! The days of attempting to gain God’s favor through works will be over. The church will walk in a renewed understanding that where the spirit of the Lord is there is…FREEDOM.