Sunday, December 07, 2008

The gift of Freedom.

Psalm 119:45
I will walk about in freedom for I have sought out your precepts.

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, and a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

My big brother is a pilot for the US Navy. I can't imagine what life would have been like without having an older brother, because really he is just plain awesome. After living overseas and going through the wonderful ordeals of the event I will probably forever refer to as "that accident," and after experiencing life in a country where you have to be on guard concerning your safety, we have had several conversations about "freedom." And about the blessing of the "freedom" we have as Americans. We really do have a pretty decent life here.

We also have a different kind of freedom extended to us. Because of the cross, we are extended an invitation to walk in freedom from all those little emotional prisons and such that we encounter in our life.

Freedom from guilt.
Freedom from our past.
Freedom from the lies that the enemy speaks to us.
Freedom to choose life in Christ.
Freedom to forgive and seek forgiveness.
Freedom to love and be loved.
Freedom to find healing for our broken hearts.
Freedom to be who God made us to be.
Freedom from grief.
Freedom from mourning.
Freedom from death.
Freedom to approach the throne of grace.

I don't take advantage of this gift nearly often enough. I often times forget the gift of this freedom that comes through the Spirit. I oftentimes sit in my guilt, or actually a better description would be that I beat myself up. But when Christ hung on that cross, He removed all guilt. He removed condemnation. He paid the price, and because He did, I can take hold of that sacrifice and remember the freedom I have been given.

Another area where I fail to remember the gift is when I battle the lies of the enemy. I know this might sound like some crazy talk, but I do believe in a spiritual realm, and I do believe in satan, and I do believe that he will do whatever he can to break us down. For me, he often shows up in poor view of self, poor belief's of who I am, and how I am influencial in the world around me. I often hear, "you are not good enough, you are not smart enough, you need to work out less and eat less crap (which is true to an extent...but he lays it on pretty thick,) you don't love well, you speak too harshly (again probably a small amount of truth there, but he loads me up with guilt on that one,) you should work harder, you should love better, you need to give more, and do more and man you really stink at being a follower of Christ. Sadly, this is often on repeat in my mind throughout the day.

I forget, that because of the cross, and because we have a God who is present and the freedom I have to approach him, that I can go to him for the truths that fight these statements. I can approach the loving Father who sent Christ on Christmas day to hear the truth about who I am, how I am doing on this journey, the truth about how I need to love better but not get consumed by the fact that I messed up last week. I can be free to make mistakes, accept the grace, and move on trying harder next time, and also relying on His Spirit to help as well.

The day Christ died, we were granted Freedom, as long as we choose to accept Him and the sacrifice that enables us to approach that lovely...i need to go there so much more frequently... throne of grace.

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