What does freedom mean to you?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to me, and I’ve come up with this definition:
Freedom is a state of being, of living, where one let’s go of the idea that we are in control, placing one’s whole self in the hands of the Almighty. In this state, one is no longer held in bondage by the chains of past sin, of fear, of slavery to Satan, but rather one allows their gaze to be held captive by the love and grace and goodness of God. Freedom is the opposite of oppression. Where once one was heavily burdened, in freedom there is a peace that surpasses understanding. In freedom, we throw off our masks and simply be who we were created to be, with no shame or fear holding us back from glorifying the Father.
Freedom is a gracious gift from the Father, found only in and through Jesus Christ.
This past weekend I picked up Rebekah Lyons’ book You Are Free, and one line in particular resonated deep within my soul. Rebekah writes: “If I really believed this freedom thing, it would mean Jesus was enough to free me from anything, any kind of brokenness I carried in this world.”
If I, Danielle, really believed this freedom thing, that freedom is so readily available to me through Christ, it would mean Jesus is enough to set me free from ALL of the brokenness that I carry.
Do I really believe this. Do I really believe in His freedom and grace? And if so, if I truly believe in the depths of my heart, why am I not living in His freedom. Completely. Wholly. Why do I feel like I’m still lingering in the land of captivity and bondage.
The answer is simple: fear.
I haven’t been stepping into full freedom because I fear what it would mean. I fear not having the illusion that I’m in control. I fear what others would think. I fear the journey of getting to freedom, because I know that it will require a deep inner healing, and healing means dealing with the pain and hurt and brokenness that linger within the darkest parts of my heart.
I’m afraid. And yet I long to live in His freedom.
Consider the following from Rebekah’s book:
When Jesus says “follow me,” he calls us into his work, and we race to join him in the work of the kingdom, running as fast as our chain-laden legs will carry us. You see the problem, don’t you? Whoever heard of someone running a race in chains? Yet this is exactly what many in the church are doing.
These chains become ankle weights. We grow accustomed to them, excuse them, work within their limitations. We begin to grow comfortable with them, perhaps decorate or even celebrate them. We eventually claim them as our identity, denying the possibility that these chains could fall away. How tragic, for despair is when we believe we will never truly change.
I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; to believe he came and died and rose again; and yet still not experience freedom. It is possible to believe and still wallow in the pit. Who wants that?
Have you been believing and yet still wallowing in the pit? I know there are times when I have. And the sad thing is, there are things that are still claiming hold on me, still holding me in bondage and captivity, things that maybe I have resigned to and given the label as simply a part of who I am, whether I like it or not.
Thankfully, however, I can feel Him nudging me, ever so gently, down the path of inner healing. It hurts, I’m not going to lie, and yet it is so beautiful how He can pluck those things that are not of Him out of the depths of my being and replace them with His truth about who He is and who I am.
Are you interested in Rebekah’s book? Click here to purchase your copy.