Set Yourself Free (Part Three)


Exodus 6:6 …I am the Lord. I will free you…

Have you given yourself permission to be free by believing in the finished work of the Cross?

The Lord set the children of Israel free from the torment of Pharoah, but they could not shake the mindset of a slave. Something always held them back.

It was discouragement.

Exodus 6:9 So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.

You prayed but didn’t get healed. You believed God, but somehow things didn’t turn out the way you planned. And discouragement crept in. Doubt overtook your mind. And before you knew it, you were wandering in the wilderness going nowhere; feeling like a slave to circumstance; slave to the world.

There are some things in life you go out of our way to avoid – anger, lying, gambling, adultery. You know such sins will destroy you. But discouragement – you don’t go out of your way to avoid discouragement. 

Perhaps you should.

Because it killed a generation. 

The children of Israel died in the wilderness because they could not let go of discouragement. 

Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

When the Lord spoke to a new generation He commanded them not to be discouraged because discouragement stopped their parents from taking the Promised Land. Discouragement will stop you from possessing all the promises God has for your life. Discouragement will stop you from being brave enough to believe in the freedom of life in Christ. 

If you want to be free – really free – you’ve got to be free of discouragement.

Here’s how:

Psalm 42:11 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! 

You’ve got to praise Him again. Praise until you are not discouraged. Praise until you believe. Believe and you will be free.

God has done all He can. Your freedom has been paid. 

Believe yourself out of discouragement. And as you do, you will step into freedom.

Set Yourself Free (Part Two)


Revelation 1:5b All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 

For four hundred years the Israelites were exploited by cruel leaders in Egypt. But because of the death of every first born son, they were set free.

For thousands of years God’s very own creation – those He formed in His likeness – were slaves to sin and death. But because of the death of His only Son, we were set free. Done. Finished. Freedom has been paid for in full.

Galatians 5:1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. 

The children of Israel did it – the Most High set them free, yet they never let them selves go. The Galatians did it – set free through the blood of Christ, yet somehow they wound up slaves to the law again.

You are free. Now stay free.

But how?

Galatians 3:22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. 

Believe. If you want to stay free all you have to do is believe.

First, believe that the blood paid for your freedom in full. Then believe the Bible more than you believe the television. More than you believe your neighbour. More than you believe your boss. More than you believe the doctor. 

You receive freedom only by believing. You lose freedom by not believing, doubting and worrying. 

The problem with the children of Israel was they did not believe. And they lost their freedom.

Next week, I’ll show you why.

In the meantime, believe. The promise of freedom comes by believing. It’s all you have to do. You may as well get good at it.

Believe. Only believe.

Set Yourself Free (Part One)


Exodus 6:6 “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment.”

Do you ever wonder about that generation of the children of Israel? The ones oppressed by Pharaoh. The ones who saw the plagues. The ones who put blood on their door posts. The ones who exited Egypt with all the gold. The ones who watched the parting of the sea. The ones who ate manna and saw water spring forth from a rock.

The ones who even after witnessing so many miracles first hand, never entered the Promised Land. The ones who died in the wilderness.

I wonder about them. They saw God move with their own eyes, yet something held them back. Their freedom had nothing to do with their effort and everything to do with God’s power, but they just didn’t get it.

They never let themselves go.

Which leads me to another pondering thought: I wonder if we are like that generation? I wonder if we remain slaves to the world because, even though Jesus has set us free, we have never let ourselves go?

Living free is a choice, and like the children of Israel, it is a choice only we can make. Father has done all He can. He sent Jesus Christ to free us from slavery to sin, sickness, lack and death. We are free. 

But are we living free, or do we still long for Egypt? Is our heart still the heart of a slave?

Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 

Church, it is time we set ourselves free. We are not slaves to fear. We are not slaves to sickness. We are not slaves to lack. All the promises of Christ are yes and Amen.  There is a Promised Land for us to take.

Let’s not be like the generation of Israelites who wandered aimlessly in the wilderness. Jesus Christ has set us free. The Cross accomplished it all. Now give yourself permission to be free.

By the way, I have a new article on Crosswalk about my journey back into jogging and how it helped me listen to the strong voice within. It’s worth a read. How to Listen to the Strong Voice Inside You – like, tweet, share, etc.

More than Comfort


I sat at a dinner table of women engaging with one another. Pulled together to celebrate the birthday of my childhood friend, I knew most people only as acquaintances, yet the common bond of motherhood united us. In the dimly lit restaurant we shared celebration and stories – struggles of our own seasons.

If I were there to preach I would have told them to become a new wineskin. But I was there to listen. So I listened.

I discovered we’re all going through it. You have a two year old; you have a teenager; you have a job; you don’t have a job – we’re all going through it. We all need comfort. The world is a horrible place and things go horribly wrong. 

In John 14:16 Jesus promised to send a Comforter. Comfort is important, so important it is one of the names of the Holy Spirit. Your comfort is important to God. If you need comfort, look no further than the Holy Ghost. Comfort is one of the things He does best. 

Just don’t stay there.

The Holy Spirit was sent to do more than give you comfort. He is power to set you free.

We lived in a world where sad stories are celebrated. We look for comfort, but not answers; happy with sympathy.

Jesus died for a whole lot more than to comfort you in your pain. He sent the Comforter to bestow power from on high. Power that leads to freedom.

There is room for comfort. If you need comfort come to the Spirit and get all you can. But refuse to settle for comfortable. Refuse to settle for pain. Jesus died for your freedom. Walk in it. 

The Holy Spirit is the ultimate comforter. Bathe in His presence. Allow Him to whisper words of comfort and life. But also look for power to overcome the discomfort. You don’t need to remain there. You have been born again into freedom.

Yes, we’re all going through it, but we are not alone. We have the Comforter who will guide us into truth, power and freedom. I will allow Him to do that in my life. Will you?

Only Believe – Mark 5:21-37


I tasted bitter dirt and grit between my teeth. My face covered in sand. I pushed my body back to its feet. To keep running. Fast as the wind.

Everything ached. I was no longer the picture of athleticism as I was in my youth. The years had made way for a rounder belly and more mature physique. But that day called for a return of the fitness of my youth; muscles unused and almost forgotten were at full capacity. I was on a mission. To save my baby’s life.

Crowds started to build. I pushed past friends and members of the synagogue. What did they think of me; running with my robe hitched above my knees?

I heard a man’s voice ask, “Is that Jarius?”

“No,” replied a woman, “he would not barge past so aggressively.”

There was no time to explain. No time for niceties.

I forced my way through another group strolling toward the sea.

“Watch where you’re going will you?” Along with other words of abuse.

“That’s Jarius from the synagogue. Why is he rushing so?”

If only they knew. They would have understood.

My legs were burning; breath strained. My body wanted to give in. I could not let it. She could not die; my mind reeled at the thought and pushed me forward through the throng.

I reached the peak of the incline and paused to assess the valley. That was the first time I saw Him. The man who made blind men see and deaf ears hear. The man who called the lame to rise. Could he heal my daughter? My little one; love of my life.

I surged forward at a faster pace, but lost my footing once again, tasted dirt, and who knows what else. But with my eyes on the one they call Teacher I was invigorated. I pressed on as though angels carried me toward Him.

Jesus wandered through the crowd smiling and engaging everyone. He left no one out. Pure love and compassion radiated His being.

I was far off but closing the gap. Teacher glanced up from the child on His arms and gazed into the distance – at me. It was as though He saw me; saw my pain. In His glance I knew everything was going to work out.

With renewed hope and energy I thrust myself through the crowd of a least one thousand. I heard murmurings of, “Wait your turn,” but pressed on. They would have done the same in my shoes; if they had left their only daughter pale and still. Nothing could stop me from getting to the man who would save her life.

With the Teacher in my grasp, I lunged forward and fell at His feet. But the journey was far from over.

I looked up. Compassion and love held my gaze. I was overwhelmed and reassured – everything would alright. He knew my plea before I uttered a word.

“My daughter,” I stammered amidst shortness of breath. “She is dying. Come.”

And with that, we were off. Slowly at first, because of the pressing crowd. I sped ahead to clear a path.

I ran for minutes before realising Jesus was no longer at my heels. He had stopped and was talking to a woman, her face to the ground; every now and then she looked up with tear stained face.

I raced back in frustration to join Jesus, oblivious to my own servants charging over the summit, shouting my name.

“Your faith has healed you. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I stopped. I wanted to tell Jesus to hurry, that my daughter was near death, He should not waste time here. Instead tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. The atmosphere was electric. She was healed. She found her miracle. I hoped I had found mine.

“Jairus. Master Jairus.”

I was woken from my dream as I turned to see my personal aide heading toward me; his face ashen. Before he reached my side I knew what he would say.

I collapsed. Defeated. Broken. It was over. Her life was over. And so was mine.

My aide embraced my bent form; his tears flowed as heavy as mine.

“Oh, Master, she is gone. Gone. There is no need to bother the Teacher any more.”

We were so close, I thought it would be alright. I thought He would make her better. But He was too late. I was too late.

As I lay there on the ground sobbing I felt hands grip my cheeks and raise my head. It was the Teacher; His eyes like fire burnt into mine.

He spoke with power yet in a voice so soft only I could hear, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

The weight of death fell from my shoulders. He called His three closest confidants and we moved forward. But this time was different. Fear was not chasing me.

I believed. Everything would be alright.