We’re free.

A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate. As we flip the calendar to 2010, we step into the New Year motivated and energized, determined to leave behind any disappointments, failures, and unmet goals that plagued us in 2009. We’re ready to move forward.

As I look back over the past 12 months, I can honestly say it has been a good year. Not the easiest year of my life, but I was blessed nonetheless. God has been pruning me, showing me aspects of my character that need a little attention….make that a LOT of attention. And, this pruning, although necessary for growth and maturity, has at times been quite painful.

It has felt somewhat like a neverending emotional uphill climb for me, and the terrain has been challenging. However, I’m pressing on, continuing to ascend the mountain before me. My eyes are fixed on Jesus, my Guide. He is making my path clear. Just today I felt Him take my hand to help me navigate through a difficult trial. His tender touch reminded me that I am not alone and that His grip is strong. I found comfort and security in knowing that nothing can separate me from His love – not doubt, despair, discouragement, frustration, anger, indifference…NOTHING.

Today I’m especially thankful that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus. After living a sinless life, Jesus took our place on the cross, was resurrected, and returned to heaven to be with the Father. And, because the Lord didn’t want us to be alone, He sent His Holy Spirit.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

If we know Christ and have chosen to follow Him, we are free. We’re no longer bound in chains as slaves to sin. In other words, even though we still have a sinful nature (that part of us that wants to do wrong), through Jesus we have the power to overcome the desires of our flesh.

First, though, we must choose to walk in victory, which begins by telling our flesh “NO!” when it rears its ugly head, demanding to be fulfilled. Next, lies that we’ve believed, sometimes for years, must be replaced with the truth of God’s Word. Finally, and most importantly, we must seek the Lord above all else every single day because we can’t walk in freedom without Him.

As you celebrate Christmas with your families and friends this week, remember that the Lord has given you a very precious gift – the Holy Spirit – your Comforter, Counselor, Friend, Guide, and Intercessor. His Presence in your life brings love, joy, peace, and power…and freedom.

Merry Christmas!