Happy Labor Day! If you are suffering under a load of religious responsibilities laid on you by others or condemnation, know that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself, so we could rest from this burden. He said,
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 1
An Uplifting Response...
It’s amazing to read the words of Antonia, who wrote:
“I’m 26 years old, and I felt it important that I write you. I have been saved for two years, and I have never been happier in my life. I wanted to give you a little back story of why I thank you so much for helping me find salvation.
“I remember the first time I was introduced to Charles Manson and the ‘family’. I was around 10 years old when I saw a movie about the ‘family’ and the crimes. I remember being very drawn to the idea of the ‘family’ and to you in particular. I was heavy into Satanism and drugs from the age of 16 until 23. I do not mean this to be disrespectful, but I remember idolizing you and the ‘family’. ‘Tex’ was my favorite, and I remember feeling that you were very attractive and a misunderstood man. I identified with you strongly.
“All my life I struggled with identity, and never felt I belonged anywhere. I thank God every day that I was not alive during that time. I was in a very bad relationship for many years with a very charismatic man who reminded me of Charles Manson just by the way he talked, and his views on the world. I was able to successfully leave the relationship despite my fears. I was in a very low and dark place when I discovered your books. You helped me open my eyes to the love of Jesus. I remember falling to my knees in repentance and this feeling I never felt before washed over me. This warm, gentle feeling, and I completely felt loved and new.
“Just this week I came across your Abounding Love website, and I believe it was fate. I never thought I would be able to write you and thank you until this moment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Charles. Your testimony books truly touched me. I pray for you every night that you be kept safe and well. I pray for your release as well. God bless you! Antonia, WV.”
Free as an Eagle...
I’m thankful for your prayers for release, but that isn’t important to me any longer. I haven’t given up! I’m stronger than ever! When you’re in the Spirit, the things that matter aren’t the same as they are in the world. The prophet Isaiah said:
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 2
It’s the love of God that sets us free. Once you experience it, you’ll never go back to the counterfeits. Antonia said, “...this feeling I never felt before washed over me. This warm, gentle feeling, and I completely felt loved and new.” These are Spirit-born feelings that many of you are seeking today, but just don’t realize it. The Lord is waiting for you to get on board, and it’s not the soul train.
Mounting Up With Wings...
As a child, my neighborhood looked so large. As I got older, I ventured out more and more. But I always knew the further away I got from the house, the more tiresome it would be to get back home. While running and walking, I didn’t have an eagle in mind to mount up on, so I wouldn’t get weary and faint. When I first saw a printed copy of the Google Maps view of the area, I realized my view of the neighborhood was very limited as a child, and that I missed out on so many adventures. One could say that I had tunnel vision.
I left my home in Texas at 21, without a vision, and “Where there is no vision [a redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 3
Upon arriving in California, smoking pat was the only thing I did to break the law, but without a vision, more was to come. Don’t get me wrong, I had a vision, but not from the heights of an eagle. Eagles see the big picture, including all the obstacles that can bring them down. Actually, eagles are very wise, since they can see the Earth from such great heights. This is what happens when we come alive in Christ from the dead, He “...raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” 4 We see things so much better, and our authority in Christ is so much greater, when we do spiritual warfare from that position.
My Burden is Light...
In a sense, to “mount up with wings” is a similar analogy to what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me...” He did all the lifting and bore the burden for our sins at the cross, so we could rest in Him and take it easy. I can’t recall what The Eagles had in mind when they sang “Take it Easy”, but I know it can’t compare to what we have in Christ. He is the One Who promised, “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” 5
God’s big picture of salvation can be seen from Genesis to Revelation, when we “mount up with wings” of an eagle. Things of Earth appear so small and non-threatening at such great heights. When we give God all the glory and honor for our salvation, the currents beneath the wings lift us higher and higher, demonstrating to the world HIs mercy and His power to raise us up as children of God. He said to the children of Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians [the flesh], and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself ...you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” 6 As eagles in Christ,
“...you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 7
Thank you, Antonia for reminding me that my labor is not in vain, and to “...not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” 8
A Prayer for You...
Dear God, thank You that even right now, Your forgiveness and Your perfect love are raining all over me because of Your Son’s finished work in my life. Take away every lingering sense of ugliness, guilt and condemnation in me. I believe with all my heart that You rose from the dead and when You look at me, You see me in Christ. I am clothed in His robes of righteousness, favor and blessings. Thank You for Your abundance in my life. Through Jesus, I will mount up with wings as an eagle and reign in life over sin, addiction and failure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) Matt. 11:28-30
2) Isa. 40:31, KJV
3) Pro. 29:18, KJV
4) Eph. 2:6
5) Isa. 61:3
6) Ex. 19:4,5b,6a
7) 1 Pet. 2:9,10
8) Gal. 6:9