We’re kicking off this year focused on the Holy Spirit, His Freedom, and His Fruit! Next week our worship and workout will celebrate His love as the first fruit of the Spirit. But let’s chat before moving forward . . .
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM! And what a beautiful gift it is! But while we pursue and celebrate freedom in the Spirit, we can’t overlook or underestimate the individual power of this freedom . . .
The Lord entrusts us with a gift of freedom while continually stressing our need to be connected to the Vine. Because while so many of our daily choices may be valuable, they may not be good for us. The NIV translation of the above scripture states ‘I have the right to do anything, you say – but not everything is beneficial.’ While we’re in this season of new year’s resolutions, new habits, new challenges, and forward thinking, let’s seek freedom in and through the Spirit as we press on because what is beneficial for me might not be beneficial for you. And what can easily become my master may not be a struggle for you. I pray we are Spirit-led in ALL things so we may experience true freedom!
What I communicate through Holy Barre is often just an overflow of what the Lord is teaching me, and this truth above has hit too close to home recently in the area of alcohol. Over the past year or two, I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking wine each night. This routine began slowly but towards the end of last year was 2-3 glasses every single night. Of course I felt shame in my nightly numbing, but in my own attempts for freedom, I justified my actions as ‘loosening up’, ‘giving grace’, ‘helps me relax,’ and ‘it’s not a big deal.’ Thankfully this habit was purely my choice, not one of physical dependence, but it was NOT good or beneficial for me, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
My loving husband had to directly address the issue to initiate my breaking the chains, and it was in our conversation that he shared how alcohol can create this roller coaster of highs and lows. (Too much sugar can often have a similar effect.) Little did I realize the anxiety, imbalance, stress, and even physical symptoms I was feeling were actually a result of the nightly wine. Rather than helping my peace, the wine was hurting my peace.
But isn’t that how the enemy often works? Convincing us something is harmless, might help us, maybe even good, but eventually that thing becomes our master. The Spirit was speaking this truth to me all along, but I continued to use my freedom to chose wine. Removing alcohol completely from my daily life has truly brought freedom as I’ve jumped off that shame cycle, and I’m excited to move forward into this new year with one less chain holding me down.
I’m not going to get legalistic and knock alcohol completely, and I plan to keep Napa Valley on my bucket list as I would still love to visit wine country. But I pray when the time is right, my focus and worship remain on the Vine and the vineyards rather than the fermented grapes in the glass.
So what’s your ‘wine’? What’s your master? What in your life may appear ‘good’ but is not beneficial for you? Are your choices connected to the Spirit and bearing good fruit?
I can’t answer that for you – that’s between you and the Gardener. Maybe conversations that appear to be filled with care and prayer are really just gossip. Maybe working out is too big of a priority in your schedule? Maybe attempts to maintain structure are honestly just an effort to control. Maybe the foods you eat don’t have the nutrients to grow. Maybe the beverages fill your body and/or mind with weeds. Maybe what we watch, read, or listen to block out the Light to thrive.
Continuing with our Vine and fruit analogy, our Gardener gives us the choice where and what to cut or prune. What’s hindering your freedom in Him and your ease in bearing fruit? Let’s grab the shears, cut the chains, and thrive in His freedom! He’s ALWAYS near to guide us!
Before you go, thanks for reading. And please tell someone what is holding you back from experiencing true freedom. Just like grapes grow in clusters in the vineyard, we’re better together and created for community.
Cheers to a new year, new freedom, and new fruit!