Living in Liberty

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, thus sayeth the Lord. I used to be afraid to use that phrase, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” but as I grow in my walk with Jesus–knowing His will, love, and plans for us believers–the more firm I stand in saying that in Jesus, we are free.

It’s easy to say we are free from the consequences of sin and eternal death, for that comes with the territory of accepting Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior. But what about freedom in other areas? We read the Word of God and sing the songs about freedom and deliverance, but are we reading and singing something not yet obtained? Why do we still feel bound?

We are free, thus sayeth the Lord. We know that we were once slaves, but the Lord sets captives free if they call on Him. Let’s look at Ezekiel 46: 16-17:

“16 This is what the Lord has said: If the ruler gives a property to any of his sons, it is his heritage and will be the property of his sons; it is theirs for their heritage. 17 And if he gives a part of his heritage to one of his servants, it will be his till the year of making free, and then it will go back to the ruler; for it is his sons’ heritage, and is to be theirs.”

We read in Scripture numerous times that our inheritance in Jesus is not second best material, but instead Jesus traded our sins and guilt in exchange for His inheritance of eternal life and glory. What was once the Son of God’s, Jesus, is also our’s, the Children of God.

There is no guilt. There is no shame. Every tear from our eyes, He will dry (Revelation 21:4). We are free in Jesus, thus sayeth the Lord.

We are, according to the Word, free from habits, depression, sorrow, anger, immorality, lonliness, and the list continues. According to Scripture, that is.

We are not only free from bondage, but we are also free to things, such as being free to worship, free to express ourselves, free to forgive, free to be who we were created to be. If you’re 27 and are very youthful, you are free to be youthful. God made you that way, so you shouldn’t question God’s sovereignity by trying to be something else. Express yourself. Let your cup overflow, and being led and filled with the Holy Spirit, be free in Jesus.

Freedom, thus sayeth the Lord. We are no longer slaves, so a slave inheritance is no longer your’s. We must acknowledge that we are now new creations in Jesus. The old has died and the new is come. You are free. I am free. The first believer that comes to your mind right now is free. The believer after that – they are free, as well.

Our faith isn’t regulated by do’s and don’ts, but rather by a passionate persuit for our risen Deliverer, the One who stirs our hearts with a frustrated love. How does He do that? By intimate worship of Him, is He able to commune with you and then breathe His adoration and will into your life.

It is not God’s will that we live as captives. I say this for two reasons: One, He loves you and paid too great a sacrifice, and two, His glory should be displayed as a divine revelation in and through our lives.

Thus sayeth the Lord: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Steve Hudson is a layman for Souled Out Ministries Iowa, based out of the Magpie Coffeehouse. You can read his blog.

9 Replies to “Living in Liberty”

  1. Thanks for this. I’m interested in at least two things:

    1) Christians often look the *opposite* of free to the rest of the world. What can we do about this?

    2) How does our freedom really express itself in some typical day-to-day situations? Or, how can we get this sense of freedom? For instance, here am I today, taking my lunch break, feeling stressed and bound by my work. What’s the answer to this?

  2. Freedom is where Jesus reigns. Often, we see things in an earthly worldview. This isn’t so for the believer. We are eternal beings, and this is not our home, nor is it to be where we gain our honor, respect, nor treasures.

    What we have, esp. here in North America, is a bunch of people that have bought into the American Dream. Our status and self-worth are measured by what we have, what we’ve done, and who surrounds us. God’s Kingdom is upside down to our kingdoms – in His, the weak are strong, the young are wise, the last is first.

    Once we allow the Spirit of the Lord to transform our worldview (not: knowledge) and see things spiritually and eternally, only then can we start seeing a more fuller release of freedom tangibly in our lives.

    Freedom is our’s – the Bible says so. BUT, it’s a gift to receive.
    ————

    As for your first question, can you reword it? Apologies. 🙂 Steve ‘Moongaze’ Hudson

  3. What I meant by that first question is: when people who aren’t Christians look at Christians, they typically don’t say, “Wow, I wish I was free like them”. Instead, they say, “What a miserable set of legalists. They don’t have sex, they don’t drink, they don’t take drugs, they don’t have fun – they’re the opposite of free.” What can we do about this perception?

    As for your comments about change of worldview, I totally agree. I’m wanting to explore what this means on a practical, day-to-day level – when we feel (wrongly) in slavery to our jobs, our schedule, our deadlines, people around us etc etc, what in particular should we do about it, at that time? I’m wondering how we can more effectively integrate theory and ‘real life’. For instance, we all know that Jesus tells us not to worry. But there are times when it seems impossible to stop, even after praying and knowing in theory that the worries aren’t important. Or we know we’re free; but the deadline’s coming up fast and we feel trapped. What does freedom mean in these situations?

    I guess I’m playing with the tension, found in Jesus – how free are you when you’re stapled to a cross? And yet both freedom and crucifixion are meant to be typical of Christians. Strange…

  4. Brief thought in passing – (he says, pausing to take 150 pages of thesis out of the printer) – when we’re in the world we are ‘trapped’ by deadlines, the way the world runs, etc. I think that we’re ‘free’ in those situations in that we can know that they’re not ultimately important and we can look forward to a time when all our efforts and time are used in a worthwhile and fruitful way – in the next world. We suffer in this world, but we don’t serve jobs (or lack of job) etc. but God, if we can only believe it!

  5. The reason they may look at Christians and say what a “miserable bunch of legalist” may have be because:

    -They have never really seen how God keeps a christian level minded and calm in situations where they may worry.

    -They have never really seen they way a Christian can talk with, and talk to just about everybody with understanding and clarity while they the non-christian may hold bias and preconceptions.

    -Or it may be that they have never witnessed how free to give what they own when situation calls for it a Christian may be as opposed to their material bondage.

    For a non-christian to witness this they would have to do more than just looking at a Christian from “like a bunch” which we are not but as individuals in God. This easily comes out of actually talking with Christians and to some extent witnessing how they live.

    But as for the Christians who worry too-much and are so uptight or appear to be isn’t it a fact that they have not gone where the spirit of God leads or is leading them.
    Because didn’t Christ say we should be as free as the wind. Meaning when he says “go” we should go. And where we go there is where His freedom by our permission into ourl ives will be.

  6. > But as for the Christians who worry too-much and are so uptight or appear to be isn’t it a fact that they have not gone where
    > the spirit of God leads or is leading them. Because didn’t Christ say we should be as free as the wind. Meaning when he says “go”
    > we should go. And where we go there is where His freedom by our permission into ourl ives will be.

    I think it’s a mixture… some of the most spiritual people I know go through times of great distress, as did Jesus. So I don’t think all stressed-out Christians are un-Spirit-led. I think holding on to God in those times can be a very important point in people’s lives.

    On the other hand, I’m totally with you that often we’re bound up and narrowly focused on this world in an unhealthy way. And then we need this tremendous liberation of God’s freedom.

    I guess I’m saying that there’s a difference between unreliant-on-God worry, and being-crucified stress… and that our freedom in Christ is something that should be much more real to us, but may seem less obvious to us in those stressful circumstances.

  7. > -They have never really seen how God keeps a christian
    > level minded and calm in situations where they may worry.

    Doesn’t always happen by any means.

    >-They have never really seen they way a Christian can talk
    >with, and talk to just about everybody with understanding
    >and clarity while they the non-christian may hold bias and
    >preconceptions

    Not sure I agree with this at all. Christians are often as biased as or more biased than others

    >-Or it may be that they have never witnessed how free to
    >give what they own when situation calls for it a Christian
    > may be as opposed to their material bondage.

    This I have seen, but certainly not always.

    >This easily comes out of actually talking with Christians
    >and to some extent witnessing how they live.

    I don’t see how this can come out of /talking/ to Christians. Anyone can say they do things like this, but you won’t believe them unless you see them actually do them.

    > But as for the Christians who worry too-much and are
    > so uptight or appear to be isn’t it a fact that they have
    > not gone where the spirit of God leads or is leading
    >them.

    I completely disagree with this. God often calls us into stressful, tragic and worrying situations. _Sometimes_ he gives us a gift of peace to get through them, but sometimes he chooses to give us other gifts to get through them. For example he might give us the gift of blind panic that makes us stay up all night and get everything done.

    > Because didn’t Christ say we should be as free as the
    > wind.

    Did he? Where?

    http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?SearchType=AND&language=english&searchpage=0&search=free+wind&version=NIV

    Anyway he said he came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners Luke 4.18.

    > Meaning when he says “go” we should go. And
    > where we go there is where His freedom by our
    >permission into ourl ives will be.

    I just don’t think Christ was talking about always _feeling_ the truth of our freedom at every moment when he talked about the fact that we are free.

    In terms of giving up our material possessions and the other things we are attached to, I agree completely that we need to give these things up to God, but not always that he takes them away. Sometimes he gives them back to us as part of our “having life to the full” John 10.10.

  8. > Not sure I agree with this at all. Christians are often as biased as or more biased than others

    I know some Christians who are arrogant etc., but I’m impressed by the number of Christians who are open and nice people. Whether there’s a bigger proportion of Christians like that than non-Christians, I don’t know, but I have heard non-Christians comment favourably on Christians’ character.

  9. Then I guess it really all depends on who or what you call Christians. Most Christians well the examples of Christ whom I have heard of, confess that they were brought to Jesus not through institutions or teams but by individuals lovingly and understandingly like Christ. Other Christs, in short Christians this was what I meant by the character of Christians.
    Who may keep calm in tight situations not out of boastful pride but more because they know what is worth worrying about and what is not. Because this is the mind of Jesus. Eartly matters are seen for what its is earthly. Pretty soon I will refuse to lose sleep over bills and other technicalities.
    You cannot forget Andy that it is God who works on the spirit if we let Him or has he chooses to. It is a fact God may put us in stressful situations to bring out our character but once these situations are no longer good to our spiritual benefit I think it is good to let them go and be as we can free.

    FREE as the wind:

    John 3:6,8.

    “What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit. 8 The wind blows where is wants to, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So (it ) is everyone that has been born from the (holy) spirit.”
    Jesus speaking to Nicodemus

    You may if you please read Christianity an “Unpopular Faith” because when we start to put things together and recall what makes us worry let us give God back his things freely if we can our love and lives as unpopular has this may sound.

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