God has blessed Mars Hill with an incredible team of men and women who love Jesus – the risen, reigning, and returning King. Together, we passionately pursue Him as we work to see the Great Commission fulfilled. Together, we study the Scriptures. We embrace and celebrate the mystery of faith and the magnificence of our AWESOME God. And we long for our Savior’s return, when we will know fully as we are fully known.
The Holy Spirit has breathed unique wisdom, discernment and gifts for service into each member of our staff. That said, we are delighted to commence a new series of devotionals, in which each member of our staff will be sharing insights from their inimitable journey with our Father.
We hope that God’s redemptive work in our lives will resonate with what He’s doing in yours.
Today’s devotional is from Carol Fairbanks.
Carol is our Graphics Intern and a student at Texas A&M.
I’ve always been a rather artistically inclined person, so I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone that one of my favorite ways to connect with the Lord is through music. There is one song, in particular, that has taken a special hold in my heart ever since I heard it, called I Am Set Free by All Sons and Daughters. It is a song that I can turn to if I just need a simple moment of worship or if I need something much more profound. The words to the chorus say:
I am set free
I am set free
It is for freedom that I am set free
While this chorus is admittedly simplistic, it reminds us of something extremely important: Christ set us free. And that freedom is worth praising God for!
This song references, specifically, Galatians 5:1, which is what we’ll focus on for the rest of this devotional. Galatians 5:1 says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
I think that this verse, this thought of freedom in Christ, resonates with me so much in this season of my life because when I look back at where I was the gravity of Christ’s ability to set us free is astounding.
Not too long ago, I was certainly not enjoying the freedom that Christ has given me. I think it would be accurate to say that I was far too apathetic to care that God had better plans for me—or that He had plans for me at all. Specifically, I’d gotten tired of waiting for God to provide for me a relationship that honored Him. I felt like I’d waited long enough and that if He wasn’t going to answer my prayers and desires, then I would just try to do it myself.
This, quite unfortunately, led me to shoehorn relationships into my life that compromised my moral convictions and neglected everything I wanted and needed. It didn’t matter if the guy I dated loved God or if he even actually cared about me. So long as he gave me attention and helped me feel like I was maybe not as alone as I knew I was, I figured that was enough. I went to church every Sunday, but that was the extent of my “spirituality.” I hesitate to call it spiritual at all, since it was so empty. I was chained down to this sin of making some guy my god. I expected these relationships to fulfill my self-worth and self-image—things that humans cannot do, only God can.
This semester marked a big change for me. Come January my father sat me down and told me straight, “Carol… what are you doing? God has so much better planned for you, so why are you attracted to these guys who are just not good enough?”
I broke down. I knew that I was searching everywhere for freedom from my self-loathing, my hatred of the way my life felt—except for in the one place it could be found. I cried out to God to rescue me out of where I was and thankfully, He delivers!
God has used this semester to grow and challenge me in new and beautiful ways and I wake each day excited to see what God will show me. I would be remiss to not mention how much Mars Hill has played a part in this change. I’ve been able to see some of the amazing things that God has been doing throughout the world and I get to spend at least one day every week AT work having fellowship and time focused on God. He’s been able to show me through the work I’ve done this semester just how cool it is that He has a place for me in the grand scheme of things and His plans are bigger and better than I could ever imagine. These are all things that I’m so grateful to have been able to see a glimpse of.
So, thank God, that He’s set us free for the sake of freedom and from the bonds of slavery. And thank God that He uses our freedom found in Him to use us and shape us in incredible ways!