How free do you want to be? That was an expression I heard many times while I was in and out of recovery circles. The statement echoed through my mind many times as if taunting me. I would turn it over in my head and wrestle with the feeling of conviction that it left with me after I heard it.
‘What did that even mean?’, I would wonder angrily.
Many years later after hearing it over and over again, after I had finally been gifted with true freedom, did I finally comprehend what that statement meant.
Jesus can’t redeem what you don’t bring into the light. God can’t provide a miracle for something you don’t ask for.
If you aren’t willing to have the faith or commit the works, then how do you expect Him to move in your life?
For many years I would pray to God to save me from myself, to relieve me of my misery. Many times I was offered chance after chance at help. Help, I certainly did not deserve. Help, that only a God like the God of Israel could provide. I would be so incredibly grateful, but the peace never lasted. I would be in a worse off condition had you found me several months later. Why?
Why wouldn’t God deliver me from myself? Why couldn’t I get it together? I was desperate and in so much pain. There were times I would just pray and ask God to take me. If this was going to be my life, a never ending cycle of addiction and pain, then God, just end it. I don’t want it.
God had a different plan for me and I thank him every day for his purpose in my life.
Why? Why didn’t God enable me back then to be where I am today?
The simple answer is I didn’t really want to be free. I didn’t really want true freedom and I certainly didn’t understand what true freedom was. I could sure see it in people. I could see when people were walking daily with the Holy Spirit. I could see the sparkle in their eye. I could see the light that that shined so brightly when they entered a room, a light that wasn’t even possible to shine that brightly on their own without the Spirit’s help. I saw God work miracles in others people’s life. Where was my miracle that I prayed so fervently for?
Writing this now, all I can see is the sheer selfishness and self-pity that this girl that was once me, walked in daily.
Yet, God came through in ways for me that I never expected and certainly didn’t always like.
You see, God doesn’t see me the way I saw me. Nor, does he see you the way you see you.
We were all made for so much more. When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior we become a part of a covenant.
A part of a relationship that should become the most important relationship of our lives. Not only, do we become a bride of Christ, we become a son or daughter of God. We are adopted into a heavenly family. It doesn’t end there. We also become temples… a vessel for the Holy Spirit. We are gifted with the Holy Spirit when we are baptized and adopted into this new family.
The Holy Spirit then begins a great work in us. sanctifiying us, sharpening us. The Spirit begins to move in our lives interceding on our behalf in our prayers.
The spirit begin to move in our heart and minds showing us which way to walk. We are remade. We are reborn. We are made new. God sees us, all of us, but once we accept Jesus as our savior and begin to repent Jesus covers our sin. We are made holy and righteous through this process. That’s how God begins to see us. Forgiven and loved.
This becomes a daily process, the process of sanctification. It is only possible through faith and works. The work isn’t trying to measure up to a Holy God. The work isn’t about a religious duty. The work also isn’t about the law.
See God, knew, we would never be able to achieve the standard that his law commanded. The law is holy and perfect, because God is Holy and perfect. We are not, because sin entered the world when Eve and Adam disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
God loved us so much. So very much, that he sent his own son to die so that you and I could live. So that we could find true freedom and live and walk in it. We are given that ability when we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives.
So when my Father looks at me, he doesn’t see the girl that I wrote about earlier. He doesn’t see the broken and desperate girl I was. He sees me, new and remade. He sees me as beautiful and worthy, because I was made worthy by the blood of Christ. He sees me as a child with a purpose to shepperd His sheep into His Kingdom. While, I may not see myself that way some days, that’s absolutely how he sees me. The amazing thing is, I am called by my Father to glorify him, and me, by myself may not be qualified to do that, but he empowers me to do so. He doesn’t call the qualified he qualifies the called.
Can I let you in a secret? None of us are qualified. How can you and I be qualified to do any good works for our Father? As holy and mighty as He is? That’s impossible, but that’s exactly what kind of God He is. He makes the impossible, possible.
Look at Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah… none of them thought they were worthy to be God’s mouthpiece. God said to them, you are not. I make you so!
God took the broken and lost girl I was and through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit fully healed and redeemed me.
I did the work. I love and have faith in God and his word. I believe in Christ. I asked the Holy Spirit to come in and wreck my world. I love God I obeyed his word. When we begin to obey God’s word amazing things begin to happen. Things start shifting. We begin to die to ourselves deny our flesh and we are literally changed from the inside out. We are made righteous.
So the original question: how free do you want to be?
So what are area are you not willing to invite God into? What thing are you not willing to let light be shined on? What place in your life are you keeping in the dark? Is it your anger? Is it some secret sin? Is it something you can’t even begin to acknowledge? Is it unforgivenness? Whatever it is, I assure you God already sees it and all you have to do it do the work and shed light on it.
When we begin to invite God into the very places we want to keep him out of and thoroughly devote ourselves to him through a daily relationship. Daily prayer and meditation. Daily studying the word. Daily surrounding yourself with other believers walking the same walk I’m describing here. Daily taking your thoughts captive and turning away from sin. Daily communicating with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and God, you too, can find freedom and walk in it.
The secret ingredients?
Faith. Your bible. Biblical disciples. Prayer. Discipline. The main ingredient? Obey His word. That’s what he wants above all else. You see, if Eve and Adam had obeyed him in the very beginning I wouldn’t be writing this now. God says if you love me, obey my word. That’s what it truly looks like to love God. Obey His word. You can’t obey his word, if you aren’t committed to studying it.
I made the decision a year ago today to start obeying God’s word and it’s been literally life-changing for me.
On April 2, 2018 I came to the end of myself. I got down on my knees and invited God back into my life. I begged Him to come in and begin a work in me and show me the way out. I prayed for Him to make it obvious so that I would not miss it.
A day later He answered my prayer. As my husband was yelling at me and as I was making the decision to pack my bags and walk out on my life and my family God whispered to me. He whisperd, y’all!! I’ve never been more certain than anything in my life. I was deep in thought trying to figure out where I could go, I was overcome with shame and self-loathing. I couldn’t even see or hear my husband anymore. God, interrupted my thoughts, “This is what you wanted. Here is your way out. Take it.”
I was stunned. I didn’t mean this way, Lord! We never do, do we? It never quite looks like how we think it should.
I just knew and God did too, that if I walked out that door I was lost. There would never be another chance for me. I wouldn’t be able to bring myself back from that. The enemy would have won and it would have been absolutely my fault. We are all responsible for the wrong we commit. The enemy can’t make us do something we already don’t want to do, but there does come a time when we continue to make decisions based on self and commit so much wrong that we won’t be able to find right again. There absolutely is a point of no return. We have one life to live. Don’t waste it living in the dark. One day our number is going to be up and we won’t get another chance to figure it out.
I was amazed. I couldn’t help, but praise God in all His glory… that was the first taste of what it felt like to be loved by God that I had ever truly experienced. It was earth-shattering. I felt seen and heard in away I never had before. The next day I moved my feet. I began to commit myself to Him daily and He came in and truly set me free. He has set me free from things I didn’t even know I needed to be free from!
A year later, I’ve had ups and downs. When I’m not daily plugged in, I feel it. It gets harder and harder to devote myself to His word. My selfishnesss begins to rise to the point where it’s unbearable. I repent and devote myself once again. Yet, nothing I’ve experienced this year has kept me from turning away from Him. Not one thing I’ve had to go through alone. God has empowered me to work through all of my brokenness and freed me from it, every time I bring it to him. The question I ask myself, the thing that keeps me in the race, is:
How free do you want to be?