3 Freedoms We Find When We Choose Grace – Ali Kozlow

Do you feel pressured to do more, be more, get more? Are you living in the inadequacy of the flesh or in the grace and power of the Spirit?


To experience the abundant life Christ has secured for us, we must choose to unwrap the gift of God’s grace every single day.

Have you ever been given a gift, then hesitated to open it? When my son was a toddler, he didn’t rush and rip open a gift like most kids. He inspected it from every angle, picked it up, shook it, then set it back down. He pulled off the bow, slid his hand across the shiny paper, not sure where to begin. Eventually, he carried the box over to me, “Mommy, help!” I tore the paper for him. Once my son got a glimpse of the gift, he started tearing the paper and we unwrapped the gift together.

I often do the same with the gift of God’s grace. I pick it up, I put it down. I delay asking for His help because of my tendency to want to do things on my own. The shiny things of this world distract me from seeking the Lord’s strength. Things in my heart and life get so messy, so I don’t know where to begin. Then, God steps in. He tears open the wrapping on His gift. I get a glimpse of it in a Scripture verse, worship song, or friend’s embrace. The unfailing love of my Heavenly Father draws me back to Himself and deeper into His Word, and there we unwrap His grace together.

Are you struggling to unwrap God’s gift? Have trials and troubles blinded you to His blessings? Are worldly things and your fleshly desires distracting you from seeking God and His grace?

Take heart! God’s grace is greater than anything in or of this world. His love and favor can tear through the messiest of lives. God’s grace is free and has no limit. It is undeserved and cannot be earned. Paul reminds us in Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (NIV).


To receive this precious gift, we must humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father and acknowledge our need for His grace and forgiveness. Scripture tells us, “God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)” (James 4:6b, AMPC).

We accept God’s grace through Christ when we turn away from sin and declare Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we choose to trust and surrender our lives to Him, we experience God’s grace “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, NIV). The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to extend God’s love and favor to others and testify to the goodness of His grace.

When we choose to accept God’s grace through Christ and partner with the Holy Spirit, we find freedom from independence, insufficiency, and insecurity.

1. Independence

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Do you prefer to do things on your own? Do you believe if you want something done right you need to do it yourself?

Remember group projects in middle school? I was the one who took over and ended up doing all the work. If I didn’t know the answer to a question, I tried to find the solution on my own instead of asking the teacher for help.

As a grown-up, I often make the same mistake. I try to do everything myself and take on responsibilities that are not mine to carry. When I have a problem, I try to fix it myself instead of asking God for help.


Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4, NIV).

God is calling us to live a life of dependence on Him and to work in partnership with the Holy Spirit to accomplish His plans and purposes (Ephesians 2:10). God’s grace empowers us to relinquish our independence and remain in Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us surrender our agenda and ambitions to God and yield to His will for our lives.

Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, the debt of our sin has been paid (Romans 4:25). Jesus broke the barrier between us and the Father. Our friendship with God has been restored (Romans 5:10). We can delight in His presence and enjoy a relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We do not have to navigate our lives alone. Scripture says, “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]” (Hebrews 4:16, AMPC). God wants us to go to Him for help! When we do, He is faithful to guide us and satisfy our every need (Isaiah 58:11, Philippians 4:19). When we choose to remain in Christ, we find freedom from independence!

2. Insufficiency

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Do you feel pressured to do more, be more, get more? Are you living in the inadequacy of the flesh or in the grace and power of the Spirit?

I have spent much of my life exhausted and overwhelmed, trying to meet worldly expectations and handle life’s troubles in my own strength. Feelings of inadequacy and failure permeated my heart and mind. Despite my accomplishments and accolades, they were never enough; I was never enough until I gave my life to Jesus.

Once we acknowledge our insufficiency to God and ask Jesus to be the leader of our lives, we become sufficient in Him and through Him. Because of God’s grace, we are enough in Christ. Paul tells us, “Because you belong to Christ, you have been made complete” (Colossians 2:10, NIRV).

It is written in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace]” (AMP). We are sufficient through Christ’s sufficiency.

His supernatural strength is more than enough. When we allow God’s power and might to flow in and through us, we can triumph over any trial or trouble (Ephesians 6:10).

Because of God’s grace, we can celebrate our insufficiencies. When we are weak, He is strong. God uses our lives to portray His power. Our weaknesses, hardships, and difficulties become a testimony of His grace (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When we choose to rely on God’s power, we find freedom from insufficiency!

3. Insecurity

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Have you been walking through a season of uncertainty? Are you questioning who you are and wondering what the future holds?

After my husband passed away, my health deteriorated, and I left my dream job to focus on parenting my two grieving boys. It was a dark and uncertain season. My identity, security, and future had been rooted in my husband and career. Without them, I didn’t know who I was or where my life was headed. My future looked bleak.

Then, God shined His light on my darkness. He used His Word to reveal who I am and exactly where I am going. Scripture says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV). We are chosen, holy, God’s special possession, and called to declare His praises.

Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become children of God (John 1:12). He rescues us from the dominion of darkness, brings us into the kingdom of the Son He loves (Colossians 1:13), and grants us eternal life (John 3:16).

Our future is secure in heaven and here on earth. God tells us, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16, NIV). When we choose to look to God for security and allow Him to define us, we find freedom from insecurity!

Will you allow our Heavenly Father to unburden your heart? Let Him take your independence, insufficiency, and insecurity. Choose to unwrap God’s gift; live in and through His grace today so you can share His love and favor with others.



Ali Kozlow is a widow, chronic illness warrior, and full-time mom to two teenage boys and a 75 lbs. fur baby. Ali loves reading, taking nature walks, and sipping on a steaming cup of coffee. Her mission is to encourage others to put Jesus first in their lives and to look to Him for hope and healing. Ali lives in Northern Ontario, Canada.

Source: iBelieve.com

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