The Exchanged Life concept may have originated with Hudson Taylor, a missionary living in China. He wrote a letter to his sister dated October 17, 1869.
“ My own dear Sister…As to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. The last month or more has been, perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul…..
But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living nearer to God. I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently…but all was with out avail….I knew that if I could only abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not…but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, constant interruptions apt to be so wearing, often caused me to forget Him. Them one’s nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, hard thoughts and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control…Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin…I felt I was a child of God; His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, ‘Abba, Father’; but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless…
When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus….’But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.’…’I will never leave you.” I’ll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me-never to leave me, never to fail me?’ And, dearie, He never will!…
No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me. All this springs from the believer’s oneness with Christ….
“He tells us in His own words. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Luke 4:18,19
It is our belief that freedom is the birthright of every believer. We believe that freedom in Christ is God’s answer for every bondage. Many struggling with addictive behaviors and bondage are taught to cope. The emphasis is on the problem and what we must do. That is not why Jesus came.
Shift the focus from man and the problem to God and the answer. We must focus on what Jesus came for:
- Preach the Gospel-The Good News of what God has done-not what we should do.
- Proclaim freedom-our rightful inheritance as children of God.
- Recovery of sight to the blind-To see and believe the Truth that sets you free.
- Release the oppressed-Don’t put burdens of behavior and condemnation on people.
- Proclaim the year of God’s favor (grace)-Proclaim God’s grace.
If we focus on what we do-our program, our group, our freedom will be limited to our ability to carry through. If we focus on God and what He has accomplished on the cross, we will be able to experience freedom in Christ. Freedom is your birthright. Don’t settle for Less!”
Mike & Julia Quarles Freedom in Christ Recovery Ministry 770-998-6487 FreedomFromAddiction.org