We Must Resolve to Turn to Truth
For those of us familiar with church culture, we hear phrases that sound really awesome. But when it comes to applying them, do you ever feel at a loss? One of those phrases for me is, "I'm free in Christ". Recently, I feel stuck, isolated, frustrated, confused, hurt, and sad. I definitely don't feel free. At least not regularly.
But, feelings aren't facts. Right?
In the Gospel of John, we read the story of Jesus days before His death on the cross. He tells the Jews and Disciples listening to Him, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:26 ESV).
In my mind, I know this is true. Growing up, I've been taught this is true. Even now, I can read and tell myself it's true. But if I truly believe this, both heart and head, how am I actively applying the truth of freedom to my life?
What does it mean to live free? Specifically, free in Christ.
What would it look like to walk in freedom every day?
What would it look like to speak from a place of freedom?
When we (you and me) get frustrated spiritually and throw our hands up in the air in complete frustration it's easy to have the urge of run away; to complain; throw a temper-tantrum; or give up. That's why we must resolve to turn to truth.
NO MATTER HOW YOU MAY FEEL.
We have to know three things before we understand walking in freedom with Christ:
- Freedom is mine because Christ died to set me free. (Romans 8:2)
- Freedom comes from the Truth of God's word (John 17:17)
- Freedom comes from accepting your Heirship (Matthew 5:3-8)
FREEDOM IS MINE BECAUSE
CHRIST DIED TO SET ME FREE
Freedom doesn't come naturally, or easily. It doesn't come without hardship, struggle, pain or heartache. It's not a pretty process either. Christ suffered the greatest death, in order to atone for our sins that we may live freely with Him and His Father in heaven forever. If Christ's death on the cross is a representation of what it looks like to be set free - why in the world would we imagine freedom to come easily and without a cost? As Christ suffered greatly, and surrendered His life for our freedom, then freedom our choice to live freely through Him would ultimately mean we too have to sacrifice something. Freedom comes from surrendering our spirit, our flesh, or desire for control, to the one who created us. Freedom is a choice. It's an action. A daily choice to look to our Creator and decide to follow. To give our lives, and our emotions, over to Christ. Acknowledging only His perfect love can truly set us free.
FREEDOM COMES FROM
THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD
If you're like me and you've been calling yourself a Christian for decades, or if you're brand new to receiving your position as a Daughter of Christ, you understand some form of truth. You may have a Bible, and even read it from time-to-time. But, you probably have trouble comprehending it 90% of the time! Sisters, I've called myself a Christian for over 20 years and I'm only now understanding that true freedom came with Christ's death on the cross but it continues to be tangible and comprehensible to me through the understanding of God's Word.
For 20+ years I've gone through life without understanding how to truly study the Word of God. Sure, I could loosely quote scripture and spew out words of encouragement rooted in the love of Christ. But when it came time to dissect and grow deeper in my understanding of the truth scripture had to offer... I was at a complete loss. Maybe you are too?
I once heard Todd White preach a message about freedom. I'll quote him loosely here; he said something to the affect of, 'If you have a hard time comprehending 'normal' books, the Bible is a trip, man!" And he's so right! We don't live in Bible times, many people live in suburban or urban areas and can't comprehend the agricultural colloquialisms of the time, and then there's the whole parable (metaphors) thing that throws a lot of us for a loop! It's okay to have a hard time comprehending the message in Scripture. BUT, it's not okay for us to use our lack of understanding as an excuse. When we do, the enemy will attack. So, we must resolve to push past our insecurities, past our lack of understanding and past our fears and find a way to make the Truth of God's Word real and tangible in our current lives. But, how?
- Read The Message version to help you view the passage in a more modern tone
- Get a Bible study that teaches you how to properly study (I just started one of Kay Arthur's Inductive Bible Studies and it's awesome!)
- Plug in to a community of people who are also trying to grow in truth of God's Word
FREEDOM COMES FROM
ACCEPTING YOUR HEIRSHIP
I don't feel qualified or equipped to write about this. Daily, I struggle to comprehend who God says I am. So, if I know Christ died to set me free and if I believe freedom is found in the Word of God then therefore proof of our heirship must be found in His Word. Yes? So, what would happen if we chose to daily remind ourselves of our position and proximity to the Maker of the Universe? Would it stand to reason we might find the freedom we've been longing for?
When we accept we are free because we acknowledge who our Father is, incredible things can happen!
- I am CAPABLE of producing fruits of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- I begin to view my weaknesses as opportunities for God to work. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
- I am GROWING. Because I abide in Him parts of me begin to mirror the wholeness of Him. (John 15:5)
- I realize I was never, and never will be, alone. (Hebrews 13:5)
- I am an IMPORTANT part of the body of Christ, and I will use the gifts God has given me to encourage others. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
- I choose to walk by the Spirit and don't go after the desires of my flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
- I am VICTORIOUS! (1 Corinthians 15:57)
- I am made in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
- I am AMBITIOUS for Christ. I no longer have to be ambitious for ambition sake. (2 Corinthians 5:9)
- I'm able to think like Christ and as a result, I act like Him, too! (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- I am a NEW creation! Everything about the old me is gone, and everything about the new me, is because of Him! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I have the Spirit of God with me so I can know the mind and will of God for me. SO COOL! (1 Corinthians 2:12)
- I am COVERED. No matter what I've done in the past, His grace is now upon me. (Ephesians 1:7)
- My steps are ordained by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)
- I am FORGIVEN. (Ephesians 1:7)
- I can't be defeated because no weapon formed again me can prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
- I am BLESSED because I am an obedient daughter of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 30:8-9)
- I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- I am CHOSEN. (1 Peter 2:9)
List adapted from: https://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/who-you-are-in-christ/
This list is one you can use, or create your own! I adapted the list above from a blog by Priscilla Shirer for our purposes here. But let whatever list you choose serve as a reminder to you of who you ARE. The enemy will try to direct your gaze at who you have been in the past, who/where you come from or what you've done in the past. Don't let him win!
For 24 years, I've been a Christian. And for 23.5 of those years, I struggled with my identity. I had this twisted idea there was a different between my identity as a person and my identity in Christ. As if my identity in Christ was only between God and me. I can't confidently say there was one defining moment where I realized my identity in Christ. But, I do believe it was a choice. I could be stubborn and choose to focus on what others said about me, believed about me, or saw in me. OR, I could turn to the Bible and read, receive and walk out the truth about what GOD says about me. This isn't a perfect dance, it's not an easy 1-2-3 recipe, or a quick fix to feeling better. It's relational growth. It's choosing every day to believe He is a good Father and He has chosen you.
- If Christ died on the cross to cover your sins, what would that mean for you? How would it change how you live?
- If freedom comes from the truth of God's Word, what would have to change in order for you experience freedom in Christ?
- Take some time to write out a list of scriptures to help you remember who God says you are. Feel free to use the one I made, or the one Priscilla shared in her blog and book, Armor of God!