Never before have I heard anything that encapsulates my journey with God in one quick message better than this does. I don’t know if you can experience it like I did without the years of journeying through the questions I had behind the concepts taught here, but if you want to know my passions and belief statement, here it is folks.
I wish I could embed it, but I can’t figure out how. So please visit Flatirons Church for the whole service. If you prefer to listen to only the message rather than watch the whole service, you can do that, too.
A little background on the subject: This series is based on the Galatians, a book in the New Testament of the Bible. It was written by Paul, one of the first guys who traveled around telling others about Jesus coming to save the world. Paul was raised a Jew, and after Jesus’s death actually killed people who believed in Jesus, thinking He was doing God’s work. But then God revealed Himself to Paul, and Paul became of one the most prolific writers about the new order Jesus came to bring to earth.
A little background on me: Perhaps the reason I’m so passionate about this particular message is in my early years I longed to know God but became caught up in religion. I felt enormous pressure to do it all “right.” I talked before about how my need to be perfect was incredibly damaging to me. You can read more of my story here. In my mid-thirties I went through some deep healing. During this season I awoke one morning to the Spirit whispering to my heart, “It is for freedom I have set you free.”
These words are found in Galatians, the book this series at my church is based upon. That morning I jumped out of bed and grabbed my Bible and read the whole passage: “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, therefore don’t return to a yoke of slavery.”
And that has been my goal ever since–to walk with the Lord in the light of His acceptance and freedom, not caught up in trying to follow rules or please people, but to become immersed in His love and unconditional acceptance and to discover how to live a life that offers it to others without destroying myself. Part of freedom is learning boundaries. Much of freedom is learning there is only One to please, and all others fall underneath that first goal. Resting in His Love, not my efforts, is the best part of life.
Tagged: Bible, Flatirons Church, freedom, Galatians, hope, If the son sets you free you are free, It is for freedom Christ set you free, Jesus, joy, Paula Moldenhauer, theology
Great message, thank you for sharing. This issue is so common, I think we all suffer from this sometimes.
It’s strange how freedom to live in grace is hard for us humans . . .
Working my way down rather than up. Saw your comment about this podcast, and have now had the chance to listen.
Paula, I so hope and pray that you are not the only one so touched. All of us – each and every one – have lived one of those options: fight, flight or compliance. It is the way of the world. And one phrase from your minister: it is not our job to understand grace … It is our job to enjoy it.
These chapters The Lord has taken me through? It all comes back to that. To enjoying grace. To being perfect for my Father – and holding His opinion higher than any earthly opinion (love that “even your own”).
So a big thank you for flagging this post. And a big thank you for sharing something so personal and precious to you. It is a very special gift.
I love that phrase about enjoying grace vs. understanding it all! And what is amazing about being perfect for the Father is that even that is not of my effort, but Christ’s. It is HIS sacrifice and perfection that flows over me in the blood HE shed. Only in Him can I be perfect. Takes the pressure, you know? So instead of worrying about doing everything perfectly I can simply enjoy walking relationship with Him, trusting Him to change me from the inside out.
Paula, what I don’t get is this: why when having been given everything – we then decide we know better. That we have to work, sacrifice, give things up. And stifle the pure joy our walk with him should be. Never perfect – never needing to be.
And the other comment from that sermon: I let my kids chuck fireworks in the street until they faint. Joy, fun, fun, joy!!!
Pressure? What pressure!! 🙂
Paul your comment about our conversation made me smile. 🙂 Love your openness!
Listening to this message made me do something today – I told my kids that we no longer have a ‘rule’ that you need to read the Bible before any other book in the morning. I made that rule because of course I want the best for my children, but it was just putting a burden on them. I hope that they will continue to read the Bible because they want to know their Heavenly Father better, not because I told them they had to.
I love your heart, Jo. I know that your desire and mine are the same, to raise children who know and love God. It’s a bit of a quandary to parent in new covenant grace, isn’t it? I think there is something to being intentional about spiritual training/teaching when they are small and transitioning to it becoming their own as they grow older. But even when they are small our best intentions can put a burden on our children. I guess what you’re making me explore is how I would do things the same or different in my new understanding of grace.I know I’d still read the wonderful Bible story books we read together, and great literature and biographies that showed faith and character lived out in a good story. But I’d probably also be careful about things going too long or being inappropriate for their age. I know sometimes my children felt force-fed by the devotions I required. I wonder how I could still maintain family devotional moments without that sense? What thing I know I would continue was Scripture memories and praying over them. And praying they will have a love for God and a desire to CHOOSE to read His Word–which is where we started with this, isn’t it? Blessings on you and your sweet children. May all of them and mine, too, discover the true character of God and walk in an adventure with His Spirit! Forced Bible reading can be boring . . . but walking with Him? Never.
What a beautiful conversation!! Sorry for butting in. Just wanted to say your words here – brief and honest – jus ooze love in every direction. Love of the kind we yearn for in the walk we walk with our Lord. I am wowed. Totally wowed!!
Thank you Paula for your thoughtful reply. I am sure that the best way of raising children who love God is to love Him ourselves, and also to love them in an extraordinary way.
Family devotions can be tricky because we have a ten year age range. Maybe I need to cater to the younger ones a bit more so that they get something out of it.
Paul, As to your earlier comment–my theories of why we still try to make it about is, well, pride. We want to think that somewhere, somehow we have a bit of control or goodness or something. Or we think we’re unworthy and ought to have to pay up–which again is just reversed thinking but still pride. It’s really all about HIM. But what’s crazy is that HE–the one it is all about–indwells and shares HIS glory with and through us. HE makes so much about us, not the earning part, the joy part, the shining part. That part that gets to be Light because of His Light imparted.
And thank you for your kind words about our parenting thoughts.
For some reason I didn’t see your second comment until now, Jo. I love what you just said–the best way to raise children who love God is to love Him ourselves!! Who we ARE, how we live is definitely more impacting that all that teaching stuff. Thank you for such a wise reminder. I hear you on the tricky thing with family devotional time with such an age span. My four only spanned 6 years not 10, and we had struggles with the age gap for sure. One thing that helped me some is to allow the kids to play quietly during devotions or read alouds, you know, cars (without sounds) Legos, or drawing/coloring . . . but when you have really little ones that won’t work either. There’s no perfect in all that for sure. And like you said, living the love is the most important. Thank you!!