Amy Clemens

Read: Galatians 5:1, 13-15

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (v. 1)

Like many holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has become a mockery of its origins. The man who became the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t even Irish; he was born in Roman Britain. Patrick’s first brush with Ireland was as a slave, captured and forced into servitude around the tender age of 16. After his escape six years later, he returned home to the island of Britain, miraculously desiring to become a priest. His subsequent journey to Ireland was nothing less than a mission. He returned to the land of his oppression, standing firm in his freedom, tirelessly teaching others how to be free from spiritual oppression, and resisting the yoke that bitterness and vengeance could well have placed around his shoulders.

Although your story may not be as dramatic as Patrick’s, you probably have a story or two about being released from spiritual captivity; I know I do. As an adult, I received healing from the damage of childhood trauma. That damage controlled my life, and was shutting down the good work to which God had called me. How broken I was, and how sweet the freedom tastes still. Other yokes tempt me, however, like bitterness, vengeance, legalism, or perfectionism, and I’ve had to become a freedom fighter, guarding diligently what has been purchased at such a cost. It is for freedom that Christ has set me free.—Amy Clemens

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for proclaiming liberty to captives and those who are oppressed. Your freedom is both costly and sweet.