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Sitting in my seat at Radius last Sunday, holding the symbol of our savior in my hand, I took some time to just listen to God's voice. Sometimes it's hard to just sit and listen. The silence, even in our own heads, can be too much. So we try to talk and fill the void. In that moment, though, I felt I just needed to shut up and listen. Perhaps it was God's voice saying, "Shut up and listen!" So I listened. Between Blake's message, and God's words, I don't recall exactly what he said, but I remember the idea.above the rut I've lived too many days of my life living in fear, guilt or shame of my sins. God never intended that. God didn't die on the cross, and rise again three days later so that I could walk the same path over and over, burying myself in the rut of sin. We let our sins lead us to death because we are scared to live life a different way. We build prisons of guilt and shame and keep ourselves locked away even though the exit is wide open. If we truly believe that Jesus did for us what we say he did, then wouldn't we wake up every day thankful for that gift? Wouldn't we live our lives confident in our victory over sin? Wouldn't we live life above the rut? So how do we climb out of the rut? Relationship. When we build a relationship with God, we find the faith to believe in the gift he gave us. When our faith is strengthened, our thankfulness is increased. And when we are thankful, we are moved to action.

Psalm 7:17 (NLT) I will thank the Lord because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

How can we be thankful for God's gift without it moving us? How can we live in sin, fear, guilt, or shame of sin, when we are praising God? On Thursday, when you are sitting on the couch after gorging yourself, and you can barely think straight, take a minute to be thankful for the freedom to live above the rut. Take a minute to praise him, and let him continue the work of changing you into the person he meant for you to be. The door of your prison is open. Do you have the courage to walk through it?

Psalm 95:2-3 (NLT) Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.