Years ago, I had a really good friend who was an atheist and an alcoholic. I used to talk to him about the Lord all the time and tell him that Jesus really could help him with his addiction. Since he didn’t seem interested in making changes based on mere conversation, I decided to invite him to take part in bettering the lives of other people. The church I was pastoring at the time used to help at a homeless shelter every Saturday morning by cooking pancakes for the families who lived there. I asked my friend to head up this ministry, and much to my surprise and delight, he accepted the challenge! As hard as it was for him to do, he put together a team of volunteers and got up at 5:30 a.m. every Saturday to serve breakfast to the homeless. As he began to devote his time and energy to something greater than his own pleasure, I watched his life transform. His heart opened up to the things of God, He received Jesus as the Lord of His life, and a year and a half later, I baptized him!
Friend, choosing to live a life of service and sacrifice has the power to release you from the devil’s strongholds. Like my friend who was set free from alcoholism and unbelief, devoting your energy to something greater than yourself can break the chains by which you have long been bound. Nothing can stand against the Lord’s Spirit working in and through a surrendered follower of Jesus, so resolve to let go of what is familiar and embrace the responsibilities and challenges you were made for. In a life completely relinquished to His call, there is fullness of joy!