"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." (Gal 5:1)
Having worked for the past 12 years in a department where there was very poor management and no representation, in a department where the most common answer to our concerns was "sorry, we can't change that", the entrance of a sharp, tip-top manager came as quite a culture shock to all of us! For the first time in 12 years, we felt supported, loved, cared about, and represented. For the first time in 12 years our programs began to leap forward. In fact, we have accomplished more in 9 months since she came onboard than we accomplished in the whole 12 years prior to that! And for the first time in 12 years there is job satisfaction among my co-workers.
But old habits die hard. Yesterday I was explaining to my manager just why I hadn't yet returned a certain long-distance phone call. I commented about how it was such a hassle to make long-distance calls, and I just hadn't had the time to put wait while the call went through. She looked at me kind of funny, then she wanted to know why making a long-distance call was a "hassle". I shrugged. "You know," I said, "it's such a hassle to have to go through switchboard!" She just stared at me for a second, and her next question caught me a bit off guard: "Why don't you have a long-distance access number?" I explained that when the new phone system had come into place a year earlier, we were all told that we couldn't have access numbers anymore. She immediately went into action. She picked up the telephone, and while she waited for the party on the other end to pick up, she demanded to know why she hadn't heard about this problem a long time ago! Within a space of about 2 minutes, I had my own long-distance access number!
But her question continued to haunt me. Of course I knew the answer. I had been told I couldn't have an access number, so I figured that was the end of the discussion. And why would I have dropped the issue so quickly? Because for 12 years I had programmed myself that the answer would be "no". And if you think the answer will be "no", then why ask?
As I pondered this, it occurred to me that for 12 years I had been so much a victim of poor management, that now, even though I was no longer a victim, I still expected to be treated the same way -- like a victim! But the good news was, I didn't have to be a victim any longer! I had been set free! And now that I was free, the only reason I didn't have what I needed was because I didn't ask!
Does this sound familiar to anyone, friends? Paul tells us that it is for "freedom" that Christ has set us free! Not to be bound again by the yoke of sin and all of its baggage, but for freedom! What does this mean? It means that through Christ, we can be all that God intended us to be. We can know immeasurable joy, good health, freedom from worry and stress, total freedom from addictions and from the effects of our former lives, financial security, resolution of relationships -- everything our hearts ever desired!
But, if this is true, then why aren't Christians "cashing in"? Could it be that they, just like me at work, are so used to not getting what they need that they have become victims of their past? Could it be that they don't have because they don't ask? James tells us: "You do not have, because you do not ask God." (James 4:2-3). And why don't they ask God? Could it be because they are so used to not getting what they ask for that they figure: "Why bother asking"? Could it be that they have lost faith in the One they are asking?
Remember my long-distance access number? I would have never thought to ask. But when I made my frustration known to the right person, the problem was immediately remediated. The good news is that once you've accepted Jesus into your life, the "right person" is ALWAYS with you! All you have to do is ask, believing that He will make all things beautiful, in His time!
So don't spend another day burdened by your addiction. Don't let another moment pass in bad health. Don't worry for even another second about your bad finances or your bothersome situation. Instead, take it to your new "manager" -- the Lord Jesus Christ! His response? He'll probably say something like what my manager said, "Why didn't you tell me this before?"
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:13-14)
In His love,
In His love,