I’ve been thinking about what it means to be free.
Not just free to go to the mall, free to vote, free to drive the car of my choice or buy a specific house in a particular neighborhood.
I’m not just contemplating what soldiers fight and die for everyday – personal, physical freedom in a society and culture that allows me to choose the course of my life, my faith, and so on.
While all of these things are valuable, beneficial and important to me. Those Freedoms born on Independence Day… and paid for by the very lives of others who bravely gave what Christ called the sacrifice of greatest love. Even as I become more aware, and am ever more grateful for all of these things…
As I write this post the Freedom that I find myself contemplating is something more. I am talking about Dependent Freedom.
Jesus came to “set at LIBERTY the captives.” (Isaiah 61 and Dr. Luke in Chapter four of the gospel he penned illuminate Jesus’ high Messianic calling.) Why am I writing about this in what appears to be some wild cryptic code… I DON’T KNOW.
Perhaps these are the musings of a heart that has been shattered and scattered wide for so many years. A heart that is now finding itself whole for the very first time.
Maybe it is just the peace I find myself living in these days: It’s a journey of discovery and absolute awe that takes me to new, deeper places with God every single day.
I honestly don’t know why it is coming to life for me this way… On this page… This particular day, but I can tell you when it started:
Several months ago I met and communicated regularly with a group of strong, interceding women. We were “pillars” erecting a “tent of meeting” for a women’s conference that was being held at our church in the Spring.
Each of us felt that God had impressed upon our hearts to pray for a specific attribute that would be embraced by the women attending the conference. One woman was called to pray for the Love of God while another the Fear of the Lord. And,yet another was called to pray for Mercy and so on. The Lead Intercessor stated she felt called to pray for Liberty while I knew my attribute was Freedom. That morning, as four women sat in Starbucks buzzing with anticipation reciting the beautiful Words God was enscribing on their hearts the question was posed: “What is the difference between Liberty and Freedom?”
Admittedly, I was taken aback. After all – when I look up the word FREEDOM in my Thesaurus I find that “liberty” is indeed an alternate word.
But, as we sat in that particular coffee shop, that particular morning contemplating that particular question I heard the Lord say to my heart, “Liberty is the permission to be free, but it’s not really Freedom until you walk in it.”
Walking in Freedom. Running in it – basking in the beautiful nature of His Spirit and letting it soak you through to your bones. Allowing His very nature to penetrate every fiber of your being, and making you long for nothing more than to live in the calm and peace of His will your whole life long.
It was just as I was embarking on this journey with my prayer partners that I was discovering what it meant to me to be free. And, to the best of my ability, here is a concise expression of what I learned.
1. Freedom is born of God-given desire and found only in His Truth. Not a natural inclination to be “free” or lawless, nor is it something that we can earn or deserve… True Freedom can be found only in the heart of God – His unconditional love for His creation and His desire to touch the deep places within us personally and completely.
2. What I view as limitations may be an open invitation to walk in Freedom. Whether it is something as simple as being obedient to sit in the back of the room rather than in the front row, or as devestating as the death of someone I love, a debilitating injury or illness, or a financial set back… Whatever I see as limiting – God wants me to see as an invitation for Him to set me free.
3. Liberty beckons us just as a lighthouse calls lost sailors home. Liberty woos and calls to us in the darkness of night. It casts its bright light into the far reaching darkness and begs us to come in… And then we enter the safety of the Light of God to find that freedom is not something we do… It’s something we experience. It is the result of what Christ did and my role is to allow it in – to allow it to so consume me in such a way that my life will never – can never – be the same because Christ has changed me from the inside out.
Dependent Freedom… Because it depends not on my desire to be free or what I do to gain it – it matters not my natural origins or my home country… It is dependent only on a sold-out, submitted life to God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is by His sacrifice, His love, His grace, His heart that I become free.
Yes, my friends. This is what it means to be free. To live life in such a way that not only can you never be the same, but others who bear witness to your life no longer want their lives to remain the same. They, too, find themselves wanting to live life with that abandon, with that promised Freedom that Jesus came to purchase for us – each and everyone.
We all yearn for something more in life…
Many of us believe that something more is a destiny in a distant future promised heaven while others believe it is just over the hump to a better house in a better neighborhood, perhaps with a better husband and a better job.
But, Scripture’s promise is that Freedom comes this side of Glory and Jesus’ own words in Luke 4 state “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” A place of love, redemption, truth and sweet, sweet Freedom. It’s right here, surrounding us, beckoning us in the voice of our Master.
Won’t you step in?