True Freedom {Traveling Abroad}

July 4, 2013

July – the month of patriotism. The month where red, white, and blue are the colors that are found everywhere you look, firework stands pop up for the 1st time since New Years, and everyone is planning how to spend the holiday.

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Living in Madagascar, it’s a little different. They celebrate their Independence Day the last week in June, so we do get to see a few fireworks, but no red, white, and blue pride can be found. It’s fun to gather with our American friends here to celebrate with a cookout and games on the 4th – all the while being ever so thankful for the men & women who have fought & continue to fight for our freedom.

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This year, while thinking about freedom, the Lord has been reminding me of the True Freedom that I have through Jesus Christ. He’s reminding me of why we serve here among the Mahafaly in Madagascar. That while I might be missing the swimming pool party at my Pop & Nanna’s this year – I am here because spiritual freedom is something that is foreign to the Mahafaly people. You see, they are so focused on pleasing their ancestors and worshipping the spirits around them, that their lives revolve around what they can and can’t do. It’s truly heartbreaking to me, I long to be able to share about what Christ has done in my life and the freedom that comes from His salvation.

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Now, I know most of you reading aren’t here in Madagascar. You might even be found in the “Bible Belt” of MS and still have no idea what spiritual freedom is. There are plenty of people who were raised in church that believe that all Christianity is, is a list of do’s and don’ts. That it’s just a lot of rules to follow. This too, is heartbreaking. Furthermore, it breaks my heart thinking of those who do know Christ who are choosing not to live in the abundance of life that He promises to us ( John 10:10). John 4:22 says, “…you worship what you do not know, we worship what we know…” So many people think they know God and that they are worshipping Him but in reality are still thirsty for the Living Water.

Often, I believe even Christians can get caught up in other things that hinder us from embracing the freedom of Christ. I’m reminded of Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'”

My prayer is that the Lord forgives me when I trap myself into being distracted by Satan’s lies and deceitfulness. That He would remind me of the freedom that comes in knowing Christ intimately. I also pray that this would be evident in my daily walk with Him. For how will they (the lost around us, the Mahafaly, the Christians who are living in chains) know Him, unless someone tells them? Unless someone lives out True Freedom among them?

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I do hope you each have a marvelous 4th of July – with plenty of tasty watermelon and time with family & friends. I also pray that you will seek out what His Freedom means in your life.

“Walking through this life without your freedom in my heart
Is like holding onto shackles that You have torn apart
So remind me of your promises and all that You have done
In this world I will have trouble, but You have overcome
You’re already all I need
You’ve already set me, already making me more like you
You’re already all I need
Jesus, You’re already all I need.”
Already by Christy Nockles

 

nickoleeNickolee is married to her best friend, mom to the cutest toddler and is expecting a new bundle of joy this January. She desires above all else to demonstrate the grace, love, & forgiveness to others that has been shown to her through her Savior, Jesus Christ. Raised in Meridian, MS, her family now calls Tulear, Madagascar home.

Come over and visit our blog – On The Journey – to find out about God works all things for His glory – through marriage, children, ministry, mistakes, and life. She hopes that if you have any questions about Jesus or anything else that you’ll feel free to ask!

Lauren July 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

This post is wonderful! Thank you for all you are doing for our Lord over there! God Bless you!

Alaina July 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

Wonderful post, Nickolee! Thank you for sharing about freedom through Christ. 🙂

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