Liberty in Christ occurs in a variety of forms. First, there is the liberty of eternal life as described in Romans 6:23 which says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Second, there is the liberty of operating outside of common expectations. Jesus Christ was a rebel. He was of Jewish descent, yet did not conform to many established practices and laws. He drew ire because he intentionally associated with those who were otherwise ousted and despised in Jewish society. Today, reaching out to express love by serving and encouraging others – especially those who aren’t in a position to reciprocate – is a radical concept that is counter to our mainstream culture.
Third, Christians enjoy freedom from sin. Romans 6:14 says “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Christians commit sins daily, either by what they do or neglect to do. Yet, forgiveness is available for the asking. The trouble is, we seek God’s forgiveness but often do not forgive ourselves.
Guilt is a trick of the enemy. Just as God has many names, satan does too. Satan literally means “The Accuser” or “Slanderer”. Guilt and shame are deceptive spirits that hinder our prayer life because they burden us with feelings of unworthiness. The word devil means “deceiver”. The devil tries to convince you to replay the most painful experiences because he knows guilt and shame can distract you and hinder your prayer effectiveness. Focusing on past regret, sorrow, guilt, and shame restricts your ability to face the future with joy and confidence. You cannot anticipate God’s blessings by looking backward. We cannot focus on prayer needs for today if we are trapped in the past. God knows our past, present, and future. We need only to confess our sins and seek God’s forgiveness. John 1:9 reminds us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Since The One who created us can forgive us, then we can receive his grace and walk in newness of life. We can be free to intercede about the prayer needs we encounter daily. This is a continuous cycle. The more often we practice confession and forgiveness, the more liberated we become in God’s kingdom. The more liberated we become in God’s kingdom, the more effective we are in praying for ourselves and others.
Philippians 3:13-14 advises:“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
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