This topic just won't seem to leave me at the moment, so rather than have it drive me nuts, I thought I'd get some thoughts down on paper and see where it goes. I wanted to look at what it means to be free? and more specifically what does it mean to be truly 'Free in Christ'. Generally when we talk about being 'set free', we mean free from our sins; that Christ's blood washes away when we give our lives to Him and we no longer have to fear what will happen to us when we die eg. going to hell.
But back to freedom. As I was meditating on this subject...I started to wonder how free are we really in Christ? If Christ died to set us free, it's about more that just that moment of our deaths; its also about setting us free from being slaves to sin in this life, right now; those desires of our fleshy/selfish nature, which we will grapple with our whole lives to varying degrees. If we've let Christ take the wheel & He truly is King of our hearts, then the grappling with sin is lessened greatly, as we surrender to Him all our struggles and he relieves us of so much turmoil.
But what could we still hold onto; even after our conversion, that might cripple us and prevent us being free in this life right now ? What could so hinder our walk that we may find the Fruits of the Spirit, such as 'Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness & Self Control to be very hard to grab hold of and not really be evident in our life at all (in a lasting way).
So far we've see that we are:
1. 'Free' from fear of where we will end up when we die (an assurance of a heavenly home).
2. 'Free' from slavery to sin (we have the Holy Spirit to help and strengthen our resolve to live pure & holy lives).
1.“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
The only antidote to true and lasting freedom from fear is greater FAITH. Without it, we strive to do a lot in our own strength; we try to control outcomes and only feel a 'sense of peace' if those outcomes are good. But often situations/outcomes in life are not so good (even as Christians). People let us down; disappointment in people, church, friends, spouse etc stalks us at every turn. We often become fearful of life and what might happen next.
So where does our peace go in these situations?.. often right out the door. Are we Free from whatever life throws at us..No, we are not. The bible tells us God causes the sun to shine on the good and the bad. Are we Free to choose how we respond to life's situations? Yes we certainly are. What does this require? It requires staying anchored in the Freedom we have in Christ. Walking steadfastly in Faith and not allowing Fear to have even a foothold in our lives. We need that precious faith, as of a child, trusting the Lord that he holds us and is in control. Faith and Fear are not Friends (remember that). They are like oil and water and will not mix (ever) !.
2. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
So to conclude - To truly attain lasting Freedom in Christ simply means disciplining your mind (first and foremost - and what a battle ground that is !!!), and your heart to choose to trust the Lord and walk in faith, not fear. Meditate on faith building verses of scripture. Soak yourself in them through difficult times and you will find that those verses will naturally come back into your mind when you need them most. Pin them around your home. Paste them into the front of your bible..etc. The Holy Spirit will prompt you and comfort you by them in your times of doubt to drive away any fear, anxiety and fretting. Prayer and scripture are your spiritual weapons to fight with. Believe me, it truly is a choice and it is a sin to choose fear over faith. One will give peace, comfort and warm assurance. The other will drive you mad, leaving you cold and empty. I truly hope this post with strengthen and equip even just one person who may read this.
Blessings to all - Linda
Please feel free to leave me a comment, if this writing has helped you in any way. xo
More strengthening versus:
3.“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
4.. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
5. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
6. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
7. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19