My cup is totally running over tonight!!! We had 22 people in our house today and we watched football, ate food, laughed, told stories, and had some good ol' fashion fellowship. The highlight, though, was a conversation three of us gals had in my kitchen. What is legalism? Where does it come from? Why do people stay in it? Two of us had experienced legalism and lived in it for a while. Tonya hadn't. Let's just say, Tonya has a joy and freedom that is contagious! It's one of the things we love about her. But she is very confused by those of us that have lived in legalism. As she flipped her hair back and wrinkled her nose she said, "What's up with that?" How awesome would it be to wonder how legalism feels? As we tried to explain to her what it is, the words we that came up were "spiritual straight-jacket" and "shackles". We had a hard time explaining it but we were VERY familiar with how it felt. All I know is, I have had a taste of freedom and NEVER want to go back to the slavery of legalism again. I love being in love with my Savior! And I definitely don't miss worrying about whether or not I'm measuring up to the church's extra rules and demands of spiritual purity. So, on behalf of all the people that love livin' for Jesus, and for all those peeps still stuck in the muck of "the law", we decided we want to host a Freedom Rally! I'm humbled to be a servant of God, but I want to boldly proclaim it from the mountain tops that "I love Him!" I wish somehow I could tell my friends still "shackled up" that they don't have to live under that burden anymore! And those of us that know what freedom in Jesus feels like want to dance the night away! So...Let's have a rally! What do you want to share at our rally? Are you a former Pharisee, too? Are you ready to throw off your chains? I AM FREE AT LAST!
What a joy to see those last words written in bold letters... I AM FREE AT LAST! I'd forgotten that I wrote them, and here I am, two years later with a blog named the same thing, still thankful for for my freedom!
My mom is here visiting and last night we talked about some of these very things. As we looked back, one of the things we acknowledged was that you don't know you are even in legalism until you get out of it! If someone would have walked up to me and tried to explain that I was a legalistic person, I wouldn't have believed them. Wait a minute, someone did try to tell me that. It was a high school boyfriend and I thought he was crazy and it made me mad! By rationalizing his comments away, I overlooked the heart of what he had been trying to get at. So, if you are like I was, it may be hard to see legalism in your life if you are still in the middle of it. A litmus test I suggest you take to see if you, too, are living in legalism is this: You may be a legalistic person if.... you live in constant guilt and feel that you never measure up. You may be a legalistic person if... you live in constant condemnation of those around you. I realize these questions are not near as fun to ask as "You might be a redneck if..." but they may be worth asking if it could be the beginning to freedom. Live free! One of these days, there is going to be a Freedom Celebration, a heavenly one, and how precious it will be to shout and sing together of the great love and joy we have in Christ. If that kind of freedom and rejoicing is legal in heaven...I'm sure it's legal on this side of heaven as well. Shout it out friend, "He loves me and set me free!"
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1