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  • Writer's pictureJulie Balducci

A New Beginning

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Salvation came to me the night I surrendered it all to Him. I came to the end of my wisdom and folly at the age of 21. I knew that life as I knew it could not continue. I knew deep within my soul that I had to surrender to Jesus and be saved from my depravity. I wept. I felt depleted. I was at my end. “Jesus, I cannot do this life alone. I cannot do this life without You any longer. Lord, forgive me of my sins. Take this mess that I have made of my life and save me Father! I cannot go on without you. Please forgive me.” That night on my knees beside my bed, drenched in tears of deep sorrow I gave Jesus my life. I then had a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) come over me. I had joy in the midst of my storm.

As life went on (about 8-9 years), my relationship with God slipped. I did not cherish the time with Him as I once did. I did not seek out His wisdom and desire for my life. I was struggling once again. I thought I was praying but I was asking God to be my genie. I wasn’t wanting to really hear from Him. I didn’t want His correction. I was living in my wisdom and making me the god of my life. I chose poorly and it led to rebellion against God. I did what was right in my own eyes. I found myself in a cycle of bad choices. My cycle was: God calling me back to Him, I would move towards Him but I would then choose a relationship with a man over my relationship with Him. I thought that I was living in the light (striving to live for God) but I was really in rebellion with my Father (Matthew 6:23).

Can you identify with that experience? You know to do right but you choose to do wrong instead. I did not know that I was in a cycle. (Romans 7:15)

Before I was saved the Bible says that I was a slave to sin (Romans 6:20). Now as a believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I have the choice to live in sin or live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 to capture every rebellious thought and to obey Christ. Paul also tells us in Philippians 4:8 to fix our thoughts on what is true and pure. I am set free from sin by Christ's sacrifice on the cross. I have victory over sin. So why do I live as though I am defeated? It all starts and ends with my relationship with Jesus. He requires that we walk, or abide, with Him daily in His Word, in prayer and in godly counsel. He wants me, and you, to live in the freedom that His blood purchased for us. There is no stronghold that can withstand the voice of our Almighty King. He spoke the world into existence and He placed His breath in our lungs. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives inside of His children (Ephesians 1:19-20). I just have the choice to choose Freedom by having an intimate relationship with Jesus, my Savior, or to follow my flesh and the lies of the enemy, Satan.

I choose this day to have freedom (Joshua 24:15). Freedom from the cycles that Satan wants me stuck in cycles that keep me running after failed relationships that only bring great pain, scares and baggage. I choose this day to follow after the only one who loves me unconditionally and that is the one that went through excruciating pain, rejection and torture to set me free from my sins. No man, or person, has EVER had that type of love for me (Romans 8:3). Jesus does though. He died on the cross, while I was an enemy of His, in order to set me free from the chains I was enslaved in. So, I ask myself one more time, why do I want to put those chains back on when Yahweh bankrupt heaven to set me free from them (Romans 5:8)?

Do you find yourself trapped in darkness, lost in sin, and feeling like there is a God-size hole in your soul that nothing will fill-up? I am here to tell you from hard experiences that nothing will ever satisfy the missing part of your soul except for salvation. Romans 10:9 states, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Freedom has a price but Jesus paid it for us. Freedom is not easy because it comes with hard choices; but freedom is worth the reward it brings (Romans 6:5).

I would like to close with Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Let us cast off all that keeps us from living this life for the One who gave His life for you and I. Let us keep our minds focused on heavenly things (Colossians 3:2). And if you stumble into sin, repent and know that our God, the Lord of Heavenly Armies, holds us forever in His right hand.

Prayer: El-Shaddai, I am unworthy of the love and forgiveness that You show me everyday. So I offer up a sacrifice of thanksgiving today. Thank you Heavenly Father for being more than what my mind and heart can understand. Your word teaches me that Your love is greater than my comprehension. Thank you. There is nothing that I have done, or will ever do, to deserve Your love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness; but you give it to me freely. I pray right now for the one reading my words at this moment to have their mind freed from bondage to sin so that they can receive the Truth. Jesus you alone are the Truth that can set them free. Nothing in this earthly world will ever fulfill them. So I pray, Holy Spirit, that you will knock down the door to their heart and that they will invite Your love and forgiveness into their life. You alone, Father, have eternal victory over all authorities. I pray that salvation, that brings change, healing, hope, joy and an eternal relationship with You, will have victory today in this individual's life. Father, thank you that I did not have to get “cleaned up” before You loved me. Thank you for taking me as I am and helping me to be more like Jesus every day. Thank you that You remember I am but dust. Walk with your children today, never let go of our hand, and help us to run this race for You, my Savior. Amen.

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