“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32 NLT
The 4th of July can mean many things to people. This year it meant experiencing more freedom from the restrictions we had to endure the last eighteen months. What do you think of when you hear "freedom"? For decades I was totally ignorant of the meaning of freedom as Jesus' promises in the verse above.
Freedom in the Bible implies profound spiritual release that only can come through knowing and believing in Jesus Christ. Let's just consider a few ways we may be bound up, blocked or prevented from enjoying all the benefits of being true followers of Jesus.
Sometimes we can feel burdened by feelings we have to work, perform a certain way, to earn God's love and approval. Jesus makes it clear in John 6:29, ".. This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One he has sent." That one is Jesus. We were chosen before we were born. If we believe in Jesus, we belong to him, and God will not love and accept us any more or any less based on what we do. We work from love and acceptance, not for it. That is freedom!
Has your spiritual life become dry, lifeless? In John 7:38 Jesus promises that if we are thirsty we are to come to him and ask and receive the Holy Spirit, then eternal, abundant "rivers of living water will flow from your heart". Watch the new life and excitement spring up in you! Life filled and directed by the Holy Spirit is freeing!
Are accusing thoughts keeping you bound in shame and doubt? Romans 8:1 promises that, because of Jesus' sacrifice, there is no condemnation for those who believe and trust in Jesus. Those thoughts are from your own mind or straight from the devil! Refuse them, confess your sin and leave it with Jesus who already took it. Receive forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn.1:9) Stand in your new identity in Christ and rejoice in your freedom.
Maybe you are blocked because you can't see the way forward. You have been sitting in the same dark place waiting. Our God is light, there is no darkness in him. (Jn.1:5) He sees the beginning from the end and he knows our purpose and how and when it fits into his eternal plan. We don't need to know the end, just the next step we are to take today. Day by day let's ask Jesus for his word to guide us. Then let's step out in the confidence and the authority we have in Christ to become the women he designed us to be. Plug into his plan and the power to achieve it. Be free from the fear of needing to know and be in control. Then experience the joy of true freedom!
Dear friends, this is a time to be thankful! Be blessed to rejoice every day in your new relationship with God that guarantees your real freedom. Be blessed with overflowing favor and love that is yours in Christ since he has made you friends of God. (Rom.5:11) Look around and see that Jesus likes to hang out with his friends. He is right there beside you and will always be with you. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ July 5, 2021