Thursday, October 1, 2009

You Are Free

Scared to Be Free

The following three words have to be some of the scariest in the English language for people to hear.

You are free.

People claim to want to be free - but when faced with freedom - they often freeze like a deer in headlights.

It is almost like a little child on the first day of school. "Go on....go on." The mother might say as the child moves hesitantly towards the classroom, wondering the whole time whether he should run back to his mother. This is how man can be when approaching the freedom we have in God.

When the African slaves were freed in the United States during the Emancipation, some walked to the edge of the plantation, turned around, and walked back to the plantation owner; becoming a sharecropper for him.

I am not criticizing those individuals. I am using that as an example of the mind of man. He will often gravitate back to bondage - even when presented with freedom - simply because it is familiar.

Similarly, in the movie The Shawshank Redemption, the character Brooks Hatlen commits suicide after being set free, unable to adjust to life outside of the prison. He simply didn't know how to be free.

Many Christians also don't know how to be free. Jesus said that He came to set the captives free, but with that freedom comes accountability and responsibility.

After having been given freedom in Jesus, how many are still clinging to the prison bars, reluctant to let go and step forward in Him? Worse, how many have purposefully determined to stay in the prison, content instead with just pretending that they are really free?

What does it really mean to be free in Christ...and are we ready to receive that freedom?

We are free from sin (John 8:32-36; Romans 6:18-22; Romans 8:2).

We are free to do well (II Peter 2:15-16).

We are free to love (Galatians 5:1-13).

We are free from the Old Covenant (Galatians 4:26-31).

We are free not to be beholden to any man (I Corinthians 9:1-19).

We are free to serve the Lord (I Corinthians 7:21-22).

We are free from the law (Romans 7:3 ; Romans 8:2).

We are free by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:17).

We are free to do all things in faith (I Corinthians 10:29).

Christ sets us free, but so many times people cannot accept and walk in that freedom. They have to cling to some law or ritual to give their faith substance. Instead of "being like the wind" in terms of following the Spirit of God in all things at every moment (John 3:8), they have to trust in their own works to some extent.

What must I do Lord? Follow me. What should I look like Lord? Just let me mold you. What should I say Lord? Let me speak through you. When should I go Lord? Just wait for my command.

The reason why there is liberty in Christ is because it is not about our performance for God. He is not looking for us to "do", but for us to rest so that He can do.

God's Holy Spirit makes us free by making us over from the inside out so that Christ can live within us. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were in error to be concerned with outward appearances and conformity because God is looking at the heart. Once God straightens us out on the inside, then the outside will take care of itself.

Sure, God doesn't want us to sin, but He knows the only way to deal with sin is in the heart. That is God's focus and it is His work which He completes in us. He doesn't need you to "try" to be a Christian. Just place yourself before Him as a sacrifice and let Him make you over. At that point, you will be what He desires you to be.

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:17-18

Yet, you want to hear something funny? Not only do people not want to be free themselves, but they don't want YOU to be free.

The Scriptures say: "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage" Galatians 2:4

"Taste not, Touch not, don't wear this, don't eat that..." That is legalism. I have said it before and I will say it again. If you have someone trying to put you under any law, you had better run as fast as you can away from such persons. They are preaching you into bondage, and such is not of God. They either do not understand what it means to be born again or they are intentionally holding people back from the truth so that you will not be set free (II Peter 2:19).

Now here is the shocker that throws off many people. You are even free to be wrong! I am not condoning error or making light of a right understanding of God. I am saying that if you are going to believe in the rightly divided word, it is going to be because God has confirmed for you in your inner man that such is the truth. Simply believing someone else's testimony without that inner witness has no ability to produce life in you (Matthew 23:15).

One of the best tests for whether you are walking in the freedom of Christ yourself is how you react to people who hold beliefs different than your own. I am not saying that we should not explain the Scriptures or point out doctrinal errors. I am saying that once all is said and done - you have pointed out the truth as seen in God's Word - can you leave such persons with their understanding or do you feel compelled to make them see it your way?

People are often so concerned with making others a reflection of their own beliefs that they lose sight of Christ. That is of the flesh. Trust God to make people over the way He sees fit and in His timing. If they are sincere before the Lord, then He will confirm in them everything they need to know...just as He does with you.

Our job as Christians is not to get people to think the way that we think or to believe what we believe. It is to point them to Christ so that they too can be made over by Him into His image. He is the potter, not us.

If there is any message I would like to share with you today it is that, "You are free." Walking in true liberty with Christ is...well, freeing. Gone is the need to perform. Gone is the need to be "right". Gone is the need to be accepted. Gone is the need to prove yourself or your point. Gone is the need to change anyone else.

We can only offer such freedom to others when we ourselves are walking in it. It is that freedom which is a light and a draw to men, for it shows forth the workings of the Spirit of God. Such freedom can only come when we have our identity in Him.

In these last days, pray and seek for freedom, so that Jesus may be that much more evident in your life.

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1


  1. Excellent post! I received the answer to something, I've been struggling with. Thank you for such an eye opening post.



  2. I really liked this post, because for a long time I tried directing my friends in a way I could not even go myself, all the while thinking I was doing them a favour.

    The true purpose for being a Christian is to allow God to work through us, to change and to mold us into the people he wants us to be. To serve him with all our hearts, minds and strength, not "try" being a Christian.

    For many years now I have been struggling with a particular sin and have tried seeking God about it, but I must have been doing something wrong, because as you wrote change comes from the heart. If in my heart I was not able to confront that sin, then it would still remain.

    God bless you for an excellent post

  3. This has blessed me so much and so relevant to mine or any Christian's life right now. God is really using you through this blog LDM. Cheers God Bless!

  4. You are right...I am afraid to be free. I have a terrible issue with pride...and I can't see to embrace the promises that God has for me because for so long I have been bound by law...being free from that old mindset isn't as easy as i though. Even now I have a doubts. I have friend who well I think he is saved and he claims Christ but he seems to believe in OSAS. the point is that I disagree with Him because I see the truth of the scriptures. I see that you can lose your salvation....but his joy! His joy seems so real and I loong for it and run from it...because sometimes his joy seems a little i don't know. But anyways yea...thank you for your articles they are really helping me and be blessed

    Oh! and please pray for me.
    A. W. :)

  5. Hi A.W.,

    You are so right in that it is not easy to be freed from a mindset that clings to law. Yet, such is the case from all. Whether we ever embraced legalism formally or not, the mind of fallen man is used to performing. This is why religion can be such a draw, because you are "in" as long as you follow the dictates of a particular organization.

    In terms of joy, that is certainly something we have in Christ. If understanding that OSAS is false is stealing your joy, then that may point to an erroneous understanding of what it means to walk away from the Lord.

    Yes, the Scriptures repeatedly indicate that we have obligations towards staying in covenant with God (just as Israel did), but it is not about being without sin.

    God desires for us to reject sinful ways and He gives us His Spirit to enable us to do so. However, the answer for sin is to repent and be cleansed by Jesus Christ as He promises in His Word (I John 1:9).

    As I have studied this issue, I think breaking covenant with God (losing salvation) seems to boil down to only one thing: loss of love for God. When we love God, we stay with and before Him. We may not be perfect, but we stay in a place of being molded and cleansed by Him. It is when our love begins to "grow cold" that we start resenting God...and this is where the issue of salvation comes in. Read Hebrews Chapter 12. It is that "root of bitterness" that springs up and causes us not to "endure chastening" which brings trouble.

    Years ago, I was on a business trip. As I waited for my plane, God was having me read Hebrews. He kept pointing out to me the many Scriptures that refute OSAS - even just in that book alone. I asked God in my heart, "God, I know that OSAS is not true. Why do you keep pointing these out to me?" I didn't get an answer. I just had to keep reading.

    Once I boarded the plan, a woman came up who was to sit next to me. She got excited when she saw that I was reading the Bible and we proceeded to speak of the things of God the whole flight.

    We got on the subject of OSAS and she was a staunch believer in that doctrine. She asked me, "If God loves all, then why would OSAS not be true." And I replied, "Because - while God may love all - not all people love God." I then began to show her the Scriptures God had just been pointing out to me.

    I am not happy at all when God points to sin in my life which I need to address. I don't like to disappoint Him. But, it doesn't make me question my salvation. I know I want to serve the Lord and I am committed to staying submitted to Him. Whatever in me is not right, I am looking to and praying for Him to remove it so that I may be more like Him.

    Remember, there is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus. Don't let issues in your life cause a separation between you and God. Yes, we are striving towards perfection, but God knows we are not perfect and that is why He makes provision in His Son for us to be cleansed and set right with Him. Just be real with God, after all, He already knows the true intents of your heart - whether you are being sincere or running game on Him. If you really want to be free before Him, He will do so...He has promised in His word (John 8:36).

    One of the most freeing understandings I came to have is that I need a Savior. Yes, I mess up sometimes, but that is why I need Jesus...and furthermore God knows this as well.

    You can certainly have joy in the Lord, but let it be based in the truths of God and not the fanciful ideas of man. Joy that is based in untruths is still a deception. We will keep you in prayer as well.

  6. i was just freed from lust, and i've been so focused on not falling, am i about to fall, how to avoid falling, but im still focused on the wrong freedom seems overwhelming, but your post was great exhortation! i will follow Christ instead!

  7. I loved this post. Thanks.

  8. It is interesting that the Lord led me back to this post so that I may read it in its entirety. My constant battle with lust is one that the Lord has set me free from way before today. But I am so conditioned to being in bondage that being free seems impossible. When praying to be set free God always reminds me that I am already free. With the fact that without the Holy Spirit we are naturally wicked, renewal of our mind is vital. As long as we continue to identify with being in bondage and subconsciously desiring to be, we will remain. This post reminds me that the shackles have been taken off so I must operate in the freedom given to us at the cross. :)

  9. Hi TheePottersHand,

    That reminds me of the following:

    "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." Romans 6:11-12

    Because of Jesus' sacrifice and the victory He has already given us over sin, we can walk in that freedom IF we reckon ourselves dead to sin.

    The issues we often have in this area is not what God hasn't done (for "it is finished"), but it is in our "reckoning", as you say. We simply have not made up our minds to believe it. Not to mention that the flesh will often give us inputs that are directly opposed to this truth; and those inputs can feel like anything BUT dead. :-)

    It is a part of learning not to lean on the flesh or our own carnal reasonings to define our reality. In spite of what we feel, think, or fear, we must believe God's word. As we do, we will find strength to walk in it and be changed by it.

    May God continue to break every ounce of bondage in our lives so that we can truly walk in the liberty of the Spirit. Not only is He able, I know that He will!

    God Bless


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