Last week I had the pleasure of going with 57 other people from our church to YOUTH CAMP! This is one of Tyler and my favorite things we do with the youth. We love to see life change happen and be there to encourage and remind them when life gets hard. It’s so exciting!
My small group gals. We called ourselves The Sassy 7. haha!
I try my best to go into camp with an expectant heart. Not only an expectant heart that the Lord will do huge things in the lives of our youth but also in my own life. Jared Herd (a pastor in Dallas, Texas) was the speaker for the week, and I was extremely encouraged by him. I want to share an illustration he shared with us that continues to stick with me.
This particular night he spoke on Psalm 119:32…”I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” He made the point that “commands” and “free” don’t usually go hand in hand. Some people may look at the Christian life and think, “it’s just a bunch of rules, and I don’t want any part in that.” What they don’t realize is that when you fall in love with Jesus and begin a relationship with Him, you GAIN FREEDOM. Freedom from sin, freedom from bondage, freedom from the demands of this world, sweet sweet freedom! When you’re growing with Jesus your heart is more inclined to follow His commands. Besides, God isn’t trying to take something away from us by His commands, but they are in place to continually keep us free!
So here’s that illustration I was talking about…
Jared and three of his friends were on a road trip when his friends decided to stop on top of a bridge. Of course, as all college boys think to do, they decide they should jump off said bridge. A bold red sign with huge white letters was plastered on this bridge that read “DO NOT JUMP.” They ignored the sign, began taking off their clothes, and were getting ready to jump. When all the sudden like a miracle from heaven a police officers pulls up. He doesn’t even get out of his car. He comes over the loud speaker and says to the boys, “I’ll have you know we’ve pulled many dead bodies out of this river. What you don’t see from the bridge is underneath that water lays many power/energy lines. But go ahead, jump if you want to.”
You see…these guys didn’t see the danger ahead. From the bridge they couldn’t tell that there were power lines waiting to electrocute them as they ignored the warning sign. They were living in the moment thinking about all the fun they would have by jumping off this bridge. In our lives, Jesus Christ sees the danger awaiting us when we don’t heed to His warnings and follow His commands. Just as the sign wasn’t in place to take away their fun but to give them life, so Jesus puts His commands in order that we may have life…life abundant and FREE!
Walking around in begrudging obedience is not what the Lord has intended for believers. If we continually seek Him, we find it more desirable to walk in His ways. He has the most beautiful life planned for us. When we decide to ignore what’s clearly spelled out for us, we may regret it for the rest of our lives. May we walk in obedience as we grow closer to our sweet Jesus and experience life abundant and free!