Have you ever wondered what the apostle Paul means when he writes in the Bible that Christ has set us free? “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
If you are a believer, you know and understand that Jesus Christ died for your sin in order to satisfy the wrath of God that we rightly deserve. In other words, Jesus took your place and He took my place on that cross 2,000 years ago transferring His perfect righteousness to us so that we can be accepted by the Almighty God. Shouldn’t that truth be enough for us walk in freedom every single day?
But, as a believer, do you ever still feel imprisoned? Maybe you feel like anxiety has a stronghold on you. Or maybe you feel drawn to the things and stuff of this world resulting in a constant feeling of never feeling satisfied and complete. It could be that you struggle with trust issues and have a hard time truly believing that the God who created the heavens and the earth deeply cares for you. You might be wondering where in the world this God, who I believe in, is in your time of need.
Oh, friend and believer, have I been in your shoes! And I am here to tell you that there are many moments that I return to my jail cell imprisoning myself because I briefly forget who my God is and that yes, He is sovereign over all things.
Recently, God graciously and so tenderly showed me what freedom in Jesus Christ truly is. He allowed me to step out of my anxiety and white knuckling tendencies to control everything and step into His grace that constantly whispers, “I got this. I AM.”
You see, as believers we really are truly free. Sin does not own us any longer. Sin does not control us. Satan has lost the battle over of our souls because we now belong to Jesus and there is nothing that can snatch us out of our Savior’s hand. But that doesn’t mean that we are not targets any longer. No, in fact, we most likely put the target right on our backs once we believe in the name of Jesus Christ. And I am sure you feel it often.
But, here’s where the beauty of that freedom enters the picture. We can run to the feet of Jesus in those unexpected moments of attack or trials and place it all at His feet knowing and trusting that He is going to deal with it. It may not be in the way we have hoped or prayed for, but we know that because we are His children, our mess is His mess. Thankfully, our good and awesome God is the CEO of dealing with our messiness.
I believe that freedom from our emotional prisons comes from two truths. One is in truly trusting and believing in the sovereignty of God. If we believe that God is sovereign over all things, what room does that leave us to worry or fret? Yes, it is daily work to hand it back over to Him, but once we make it a practice and a habit, we are able to hand it over much quicker than before resulting in a speedier peace in our hearts. Because God has shown me the peace that comes from trusting in His sovereignty, I recognize when I am worrying or trying to control something that is not meant for me to handle much quicker than I would have previously. We have to keep making deposits in our remembrance of His sovereignty, so that it becomes second nature to trust Him instinctually when trials arise instead of heading straight into worry.
The second avenue to a true feeling of freedom is daily walking with the Lord which results in obedience. Being obedient to the Lord is not things such as carefully following all the rules or being sure we read through our Bible every year. Being obedient is a result of knowing the character of God which in turn leaves us in such awe of Him that we want to do nothing else but follow Him and do His will. Obedience is a result of having an awe of God, instead of an awe of the things of this world. When I am in daily awe of my God, it is much easier for me to trust Him with my unexpected circumstances. When I am in awe of myself, my children, my friends, my stuff, or even my “busyness”, any unexpected circumstance is going to overwhelm me because I have forgotten Who is in control. Obedience is a result of love and dependence upon the One who calms the storms within us and the One who is worthy of all of our awe.
Ditch these emotional prisons that have kept you in bondage. Jesus died not just so you can say you are free, but also so you can walk in daily peace knowing that whatever arises, He is sovereign over it and that He is walking with you, probably even carrying you! Be in awe of Him every single day! See Him in His creation that you are living in! Go to His Word and soak in His truths and promises! Paste them around your house and in your car. Tell your kids, your family, and your friends of His truths and let them see your awe of the One who pursued you, who saved you, who released you from your prison, and who loves you with the fiercest kind of love.
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23