It was for freedom that Christ set us free – Galatians 5:1
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. - John 8:36
By John Andrew Kiser,
I am a sinner of sinners, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and born again - a former addict and alcoholic, and all things heathen. Guilty as charged according to the scriptures - "but God"! Now Being born anew, freed by faith , I no longer have need, nor do I have a desire to hold on to the old ways, and vain attempts of saving or preserving my self in the midst of trouble, by keeping track of and holding dear to me things like fruitless resolutions and Sobriety dates. I no longer go to meetings that I would formally go to, gathering tokens or key chains,or vain bravos of hand claps, and not so reassuring slaps on the back commending me for lengths of time of relative good behavior that is otherwise expected from man in this world without reward or trophy.
These insignificant milestones that were once attainable by short bursts of grit and will, and a little half measure of accountability to others, running the same treadmill of hopeless un-recovery and of a hell damming vain self will! For I was blind and now I see, and all of those things are at best, idolatry for me or any other blood bought son of God. I don't have to stand now and declare defeat in this life with no hope of victory over my besetting sins and iniquities. I am free - completely and totally. In fact, it is quite to the contrary, because I'm now commanded to go and sin no more. Likewise, as redeemed and reconciled by God, to God, and for God I know now the truth - that I am never required to identify myself as anything other than who my father in heaven says that I am. Certainly not as my old self or an addict or alcoholic, for it would be sinful for me to do so after being freed from the pit of destruction by my savior Jesus Christ for his good purpose.
Four years ago God broke me. Tearing me down, causing me to be born again according to his purpose, building me back up anew from nothing and continues to do so to this day. He brought me to a place in my life, a place finally void and without pride, strength, or confidence in my natural self, so that he could be about the business of laying a new firmer foundation. A foundation to be built upon the rock - his son Jesus Christ. A foundation withstanding for me to be the man he created me to be - a servant of his, a herald of good news and of things to come according to the word. Like all saints born again, ministers of reconciliation. To be a husband and father, head of a household, a priest, prophet and king to his house, who provides and stands watch at his door. To have a new spirit, and a new heart and mind, powerful and confident, full of compassion, humble and wearing humility as a virtue and still vulnerable to temptations of anger, unbelief and impatience.
God these days, being a loving father as he is to me and an innumerable many, has me minding evermore of my increasingly renewed mind, for the most part by a grace given by him to me of an unfeigned love for the poor, addicted, and struggling, of the lost and the hurting standing on the outside of the house of God as well as those saints struggling on the inside. I stand today a man that has stumbled, a man that has fallen, but time and time again my God has picked me up through means of grace, a Godly wife whom he gave to me, and his church and its servants.
I have had great victories and terrible setbacks, but all the while he has never left me nor forsaken me and he has made good on his promise that sin shall no longer have dominion over me. This change in me that is nothing short of miraculous, as it is in every conversion a miracle being on par with the creation of the world, wrought by the grace of God, did not come from following a pragmatic program, or 12 steps of man in church or outside of church, nor in fellowship halls or smoked filled spaces serving bad coffee that I willingly and desperately though in vain subjected myself to and was encouraged unto by a world of well-meaning people, family and magistrates for 20 years, but came only by one source - the grace of God, and it involved this in its fullness of time; prayers for me from faithful saints, a miracle of regeneration of a cold dead heart, and ultimately involved only two steps commanded by God in the holy Scriptures - repent and believe!
You see God ordains all things that come to pass, he is sovereign, but he also ordains the ways and means through which his saving purposes are accomplished though man is responsible. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”