“Whether it’s to yourself, or everyone around you, when you feel the need to win a heart, you may inadvertently bind yourself to a false opinion, and therefore, to a false identity. Freedom can only be found in the authentic you; the one Jesus came to restore. No one else can truly know you. So, why let your joy be determined by somebody else?
. . .
Until you are content with yourself, under the love of God, you will have a difficult time in your relationships with others. Who you really are will always be covered over by needy behavior. . .”
Read More Here: Day 15 – Truly Free (and subscribe!)
The phoenix is one of my favorite symbols: It’s a mythical fire bird which consumes itself in flames and rises renewed from the ashes. It doesn’t do this just once, but many times, so that it lives on and on. It reminds me of the beautiful passage from Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me. . . to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit… (Isaiah 61:1, 3 ESV)
I can’t help thinking about this creature and these verses on this first day of the new year, as I say goodbye to 2015 (I won’t miss it at all), and look forward to a brand new year. I woke up today and it was as if I had new eyes too see everything; I had hope and joy for the days ahead like I haven’t had in quite some time—maybe ever. Today truly is a new day; all the days before are gone, and they cannot tell me who I am or hold me back from where God is leading me. I am ready to leave those ashes behind, no looking back, for the beauty and the joy of walking with the Lord in His all-consuming fire.
It is a happy new year indeed.