Heart of Freedom
Heart of Freedom
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.”
She did not sit close, but she never sat very far away. Each week as I taught Bible class, a woman would come in silently, with bowed head and her lips pressed tightly together. She barely moved until after the final prayer, then she would slip out without a word. Almost two years went by; she was very faithful but very reserved. Although I said ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye,’ she never responded with more than a word or two.
Finally, the word of God broke through, and she began to climb out of the hole that sin had dug for her. Sin has a strong pull trying to captivate every heart and then bind it as if to say, “there is never a way out for you.” This precious one was wooed to an altar of prayer where she met Jesus. She cried, she prayed, she shared her sorrows, and she repented. She cried and prayed some more, spending much time on bended knees with a mentor at first and then alone.
Finally, I heard her story. She was a former pastor’s wife. She started to engage in an inappropriate relationship she knew was wrong. She was angry with her husband and the church, and she thought she did not care. “Jesus would take her back,” was her thought. Her actions dissolved a church, and her desire to know Jesus died too. Finding her way back to Christ was a long journey, but Christ met her. When He did, her total countenance changed in a moment. No longer did she sit with her head cast down during Bible Study. She stood with her hands raised, head lifted, eyes smiling, singing loudly, shouting, “Amen” and “Hallelujah.” She had been set free! The bonds that held her heart captive had been broken, and a heart filled with freedom in Christ burst forth.
This is the beauty of the gospel that never grows old or faded! “Return to Me, and I will Return to you,” declares the Lord of Hosts (Zechariah 1:3).