Freedom: the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
Are you living in freedom?
Specifically for this blog, I am asking, is your spirit free? Is your soul alive? Or, do you feel dead inside? Do you sense there is more to life than what reality is handing your right now?
As humans and God’s creation, we were made to be free. We were created to live free from people’s opinions on our lives, people’s expectations, our sin, and pain- to live fully in who God made us to be.
Many people don’t realize the reason why Jesus Christ died for us. We’ve been taught that He died for our sins, but, He died for our sins so we don’t have to live in sin any longer. He died so we could come alive. He took our bondage upon Himself so we could live in freedom.
When you accept Jesus into your heart and life, you have officially signed up towards the journey of freedom. When you look back at the definition of freedom, I have to ask, who wouldn’t want to live in that way? But unfortunately, many of us do not discover complete and total freedom because in order to be free, you have to pay a price.
What is this price we have to pay?
It’s a high one. It’s costly. But without it, we will live a mediocre life and potentially, step into eternity without discovering all God had in store for us.
The cost of freedom- laying down your life and following Jesus. The cost of freedom is surrender- everything you are, everything you have, all for the mission of God.
It sounds scary. A lot of people run when they hear surrender or when they realize God might ask them to lay something down, especially when it’s something you really love, have found your identity in, or are addicted to. But what we don’t realize is that this form of surrender is what we crave. It’s what our soul wants. If you feel restless, disappointed, insecure, or wondering if there is more, then you’re in a great spot. In that place, God is wanting to meet you and fulfill your every need and desire.
One of the greatest tragedies of the church is that even though we live for Christ, we still fall into the traps and believe the things of this world can satisfy us more than Jesus. We wouldn’t admit to this with our words, but our actions speak much differently. Just do some evaluating of your life:
Where do you turn when you’re happy?
When you’re sad?
When you’re angry, scared, or frustrated?
Do you turn to TV, movies, food, drinks, coffee, other substances, good or bad?
In America, there are tons of things that can grab our attention and desires before Jesus. And all those things we turn to will never fulfill us. They never satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy the depths of who we are, no matter what season we are walking thru. You even may be thinking to yourself, “I’m fine, I’m not addicted to anything bad. I’m completely free from any kind of substance abuse.” But let me challenge you- even good things can become bad if you have too much of it. Or “not so bad things” can turn bad if you’re not willing to let go.
- Shopping isn’t bad, but how much are you shopping? How is your credit card debt?
- Food isn’t bad, but how much are you eating?
- Coffee isn’t bad, but are you so dependent on it you can’t not have it for just a day?
- Friendships aren’t bad, but do you turn to them for advice before turning to Jesus in prayer when He has all the answers you need? (And it’s good to get counsel from friends who can point you to Christ, but we have to be careful that we don’t replace our relationship with Christ with our friends who can only do so much. Our friends don’t have all the answers- Jesus and His word have all the answers for every problem in life.)
- TV, movies, video games aren’t necessarily bad (depending on the rating), but how much time do you waste on these things?
Anything can quickly turn into an idol in our hearts if we are not careful. We need to be guarding our hearts, keeping them safe from anything that wants to attach itself to us.
Remember, all of this is not being communicated in condemnation, but out of love. The enemy wants to twist God’s truth into the tone and voice of guilt, shame, and negativity. But that is not God’s heart. God’s heart is love and strictly love. He points out things in our hearts so we can be healed.
God wants to set us free so we can be used as His instruments to set others free. It’s an amazing feeling to live free from sin, shame, guilt and condemnation. Once God renews your mind through you spending time with Him daily and consistently, you begin to recognize more and more what the truth is from the lies. As Jesus liberates you from your past, and you witness how He changes you from the inside out, you can’t help but want to see others experience that same freedom.
As I’m learning to walk in the freedom of Christ, I can’t help but give my life for His mission so that others can be set free as well. Once you experience the grace and love of Jesus, you want to pass it onto everyone you meet because He is just that amazing and life changing.
1 Peter 2:16 says; “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
The whole purpose of being free is to lead others to that same freedom. It’s a difficult journey as people will leave you, reject the truth, and choose their own way. But as God’s church, we cannot stop. He gives us the power of Christ to persevere when things get tough, because ultimately the results of changed lives is up to Him, not us.
If you are following Jesus, keep allowing Him to set you free from the bondage of sin, there are always greater levels of freedom to experience. As you are set free, serve others to pass along the love of Jesus.
If you don’t know Jesus, please take the chance and search Him till you find Him. If you seek Him with your whole heart, and you don’t give up, He promises He will reveal himself to you and begin to change your life. The beautiful thing about Jesus is that you don’t need to change in order to find Him. You can find Him right where you are at in life, in the midst of the mess you are in, and He accepts you just as you are.
For freedom, Christ has set us free. Because of freedom, set others free.
Blogger, Hope’s Rising