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"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Monday, July 6, 2009

Freedom of Country/Freedom in Christ

On the 4th of July our country celebrates its freedom, and honors men and women who have served, are serving, and will serve to protect and defend that freedom! Many celebrate the holiday annually with a fireworks display to entertain us and to celebrate our freedom! However, freedom is not totally “free” ~ it comes at a price of lives lost. For many families, July 4th is a reason to mourn, not celebrate!

As I glanced at photos we took at the celebration we attended, many spiritual implications were exposed: life in the natural vs. life in Christ; the constant spiritual warfare in the heavenlies; and the eternal freedom we have as believers in Jesus Christ. Though I am an amateur photographer, hopefully the photos below will reflect those carnal/spiritual implications I found.

The heavenly battle rages between good and evil, darkness and light, Satan and Christ…competing for the #1 in our lives. God has granted Satan free reign in this battle for a time; the end result is his eternal demise in the lake of fire! Praise the Lord! Until that time, each of us must learn how to live "in the world” but not be 'of the world"!

Before finding Christ in my life, my world was dark! Evil surrounded me, and temptations flooded my thoughts constantly
Having been raised in the church, I knew right from wrong; I had a strong moral standard; I wanted to do what was right; yet, like Paul, the good I wanted to do I often did not do! The wrong thing was often easier and gave a temporary, yet instant, fulfillment and satisfaction!
The light (Jesus Christ) was there in every situation, trying to dispel the darkness that was taking over my life.
The battle continued to rage, and Christ remained steadfast, right in the midst of the battle for my mind! The consequences of the spiritual battle for my life going on in heavenly places were being manifested in my thought process, which often led to wrong actions.

At age twelve Jesus finally got my attention, and I truly had a “Damascus Road experience” with Him!
I surrendered my life to Him at the altar of the small Missionary Baptist Church my Mother took us to at the time, and I literally felt as though fireworks were exploding inwardly! The evil was still there; “but God" (my 2 favorite words of the Bible) overpowered the evil forces of the world in my life!
For many months I felt just like this:

In the years following my salvation experience, the “mountain top experience” seemed to gradually fade in intensity. I began to drift again, knowing all the while that God would never move, that he would forgive me no matter what I did (or in some cases did NOT do), and that I could always go back “home” to Him.
The evil of the world remains.....

But God continues to dispel the darkness of the evil IF He is allowed to. Individually we must choose to invite Him in to fight for and with us; or we choose to go it alone! He allows either; He prefers to fight it for us! It may seem like He comes slowly at times. Yet, we know He is faithful to show up, along with His warring angels, to fight on our behalf!

I want my life to be a full reflection of Jesus in me! I want others to see me living a life of God’s light; and I want to have the explosive joy of the Lord in my life in all times, even those that seem dark and dreary!

I am not naive enough to think there will ever be a time where evil won’t exist, and temptations won’t come my way. All I have to do is read the Word of God to know that is part of His plan, once man allowed sin to enter this world! The battle continues to rage;

but I also know the end of that same story, and it goes like this:


We spend eternal life in Heaven with Christ! Satan is destroyed for all eternity! Thank-you, Lord Jesus!

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Michelle Riggs said...

I love the picture! You have a wonderful blog.

We would appreciate your prayers for our daughter, Abby.

"Lolli" said...

Thank-you, michelle, for visiting my site and for your sweet comments. I hope you will check back often. I will most assuredly pray for Abby, and for you! Is there anything specific you would like me to pray for? If so, you can email me personally at

Be blessed today!