Living joyfully free is falling back into God’s arms and releasing your worries, problems, concerns, and fears. Living joyfully free doesn’t mean you won’t have trouble or problems; it is allowing God to take full control—trusting and believing He has your best interest at heart.
This isn’t a regular devotion book. Each page is a stepping stone, a place to pause and ponder; they are a field to run through, a mountain to climb, a river to splash and play in God’s living water. Let’s have a picnic with The Bread of Life and spend time Son-kissed by God’s Son.
God invites you to live joyfully free. Explore how you can start today.
Where is the abundant life God promised in the midst of illness, suffering, or catastrophe? To be honest, it’s often hard to find. Sometimes life just stinks. Life is hard and difficult. People do and say terrible things. The waters get deep, the fires get hot, but God never leaves our side.
The more trials I've endured, the more I've experienced God’s unending faithfulness and love. With each hurdle crossed, each skirmish survived, comes strength, fulfillment, and joy. God calls to each of our hearts to not only have eternal life but live victorious lives.
Living joyfully free in Christ is similar to falling back into someone’s arms, releasing our worries, problems, concerns, and fears to the capable, mighty hands of God.
When our son was beginning to walk, he would latch onto something for support. If he held onto the coffee table, he stood on his feet and walked. If he held our hands, he walked. As long as something was connected to his hand, he believed he could walk, and he did. Finally growing in confidence, he placed one hand on his shirt gripped it like crazy, and walked across the room. If he took his hand off his shirt, he crashed to the floor. Hand on shirt, he walked.
He trusted and had confidence in his belief that what he held would give him support. His shirt was not his true source of support, and once he knew his legs would hold him up and he could walk on his own, he ran free.
What we know, believe, and trust makes us who we are. God wants us to run free, enjoying who we are in Christ. God wants the best for us, to bring the best to us, to bring the best out of us, to live the best life. Trust that God wants more, and has much more planned for your future. God is a God of pressed down, shaken together, free-flowing, abundant life.
Living joyfully free doesn't mean we won’t have trouble or problems, but in allowing God to take full control—trusting and believing He has your best interest at heart. Living joyfully free doesn't mean all is right with the world but knowing all is right with God. Heavenly Father thank You that no matter how crazy this world is, and how wild my circumstances may be, I can live joyfully free knowing You love me and my future is safe in Your loving hands. God Happened
When I was in high school my dad found a small farmhouse on ten acres near where his new job was located. He purchased the land for $35,000 and then proudly showed the family. My mother sat on the front porch and cried. The yard had been swept clean (literally), and the surrounding land was infested with ticks and snakes. The underbrush beyond the yard was so thick you could stand anywhere away from the house and not see two feet beyond -- yep, we owned the land as far as the eye could see.
The kitchen was painted Pepto Bismol pink with yellow and brown counter tile, the small laundry room was “Lydia Pinkum Gray” (scary, huh?), and other rooms were painted blue and green. There was no such thing as neutral in this house.
There was only one tiny bathroom for our family of five. The closets were only large enough for Sunday clothes and a pair of overalls. During our first month, my dad killed twelve poisonous snakes. My dad became so adept at snake removal the blue jays took notice. These birds literally flew to him, chirped to get his attention, and then would lead him to where a snake was hiding. The snakes didn't have a chance. Sixty three poisonous snakes was the final tally.
Why did my dad buy the home? It had beautiful “bones.” Underneath the interesting paint choices and the tangle of shrubs, stood a beautiful home and land. However, revealing its inner beauty was a long, hard process. Our family did the majority of the work—sanding and staining the hardwood floors, framing in and adding new closet spaces, along with paint, paint, and more paint.
During this process, the well ran dry, and we literally stood on the little stoop of a porch washing our hair in the rain. We brought in water from other sources for drinking and cleaning. With the new, deeper well came the blessings of clear, rust free water. People driving by would slow down; some would stop, watching in amazement at the transformation of the little farmhouse.
God looks at our lives and sees the potential to conform us to the image of His Son. He gently (sometimes painfully) scrapes away the old paint, clears out the underbrush, kills the snakes, digs deeply into His cool, clear, refreshing living water and creates something beautiful. Those who pass by will marvel at the testimony of our changed and restored lives.
And when they ask, “Wow, what happened to you?” We can tell them, God happened! “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) Stink Bombs We all have them, the collection of stink bombs—things the enemy has done to us or the messes we've created. They are nauseous and often downright embarrassing.
The enemy bombards our minds and thoughts attempting to make us doubt God and His goodness. Or the enemy taunts that we aren’t good enough, that God (or anyone else) won’t love us after what we've been through or what we've done. I've lived in the stink for years, hiding myself in the smoke screen trying to convince myself and everyone else that all was right with the world. But limping through life isn't what God intended.
Jesus came to set the captives free. Not partially free, somewhat free, maybe a little free, but completely and totally free. When the enemy throws stink bombs, God blows back the stink to restore, renew, and use everything for good. When we allow God to walk us through and provide soul healing, He uses our difficulties to help in the battle for others. What better way to defeat the enemy than turning the evil used against us to provide freedom for others?
All around us, people are dying – mentally, physically, and spiritually. And our stories may well be part of their rescue. What the enemy used to hurt you, throw back on him, heap the mess right back on his slimy head by allowing God to heal you and share your testimony.
I am blessed to interview people for Living Joyfully Free Radio, and every person has a story, a testimony of God’s faithfulness. Those who wallowed in the mud of sin, God picked them up, dusted them off, and set them on their feet again, granting unfailing, unmerited, grace, and favor.
Our list of “stink bombs” are now mere markers of God’s amazing healing and restoration. God never fails to forgive sins. He never fails to heal the wounds of the past. He daily grants beauty through His wonderful creation. He supplies every need. And every day He lavishes His extravagant love. God never fails us. Even on days when we wonder where He is and why our situation doesn't change, God never fails us. Even when we can’t see what will happen next, God never fails. And God will never fail you.
Regardless of what messes the enemy has heaped on your head, God’s extravagant love never fails. God’s love ... endures forever, is faithful, just, righteous, merciful, abounding in love, great, everlasting to everlasting, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich, covenant of love, love that makes deserts bloom, love that reaches to the heavens, living water love, the love of Christ is wide, long, high, and deep, love that floods the soul with joy, unfailing love. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. Psalm 33:4-5 (NLT)
Lisa Buffaloe, author, speaker, and founder and host of Living Joyfully Free Radio, loves sharing how God’s joyful love has set her free from a difficult past. When she’s not writing, blogging, or speaking, you’ll find her out hiking and enjoying God’s creation with her family. She is the author of Unfailing Treasures, No Wound Too Deep For The Deep Love Of Christ, Living Joyfully Free Volume 1 and 2, Nadia’s Hope—a 2010 Women of Faith Writing Contest Finalist, Prodigal Nights—a 2011 Women of Faith Writing Contest Finalist, and Grace for the Char-Baked. Visit Lisa at www.lisabuffaloe.com or www.livingjoyfullyfree.com