What are you waiting for, what is the thing that you need to truly be set free? We’re all held back in different areas of our lives. Waiting, hoping, praying and manipulating to get the thing that sets us free. You can see it, picture it – finally getting ____ will bring a new level of freedom to your life. Maybe it’s a new job, or a raise, to set you free from debt? Maybe it’s a better house, better body, better spouse? If he/she would just be more _____ you would be free to love them fully. If that friend would just apologize, you could finally move on.
The problem with this need to be set free, is that it’s a lie. It’s a tricky one because it feels so true. The truth is Beloved, you don’t need any of those things to be free. You were free the moment you accepted the work of Christ on the cross. You were free the moment you said yes to life and no to death. You don’t need that apology, you don’t need your spouse to do x/y/z, you don’t need more stuff or more money. Freedom is an inside job, and it’s already been fulfilled. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Let’s start applying this to our lives, our circumstances, and our relationships. In your marriage, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. In your friendships, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. In your job and your habits and your finances, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
You can shift from living at the edge of this freedom ocean, claiming little pieces and trying desperately to keep them clutched in your tired hands. I see you, Beloved – one foot firmly on the sand, with your eyes always darting around the shore, the dark places that seem to threaten your freedom at every glance. Shift, Beloved. Shift to swimming out into the vast ocean of freedom that’s rightfully yours. Out here there’s more than you can hold, more than you’ll ever need. There’s enough freedom for every relationship you have, for every sin and sickness and flaming arrow of the enemy. There’s enough freedom for every circumstance.
I think we’ve all had moments where we pre-plan an argument. Am I right? Have you ever found yourself in the midst of conflict, knowing that confrontation is inevitable? It can be so satisfying to imagine that one who hurt you, begging on their knees to be forgiven. Admitting every mistake and taking full responsibility… you can just see them, finally coming to you for mercy, spouting your greatness. Ha. Sounds good, but would it really be so satisfying? The problem with that daydream, is that it still puts all the power in the other person. It says that your freedom depends on their apology. People rarely apologize the way we want them to. And even if they do, it doesn’t bring freedom. It’s no where near as satisfying as it is to walk into that confrontation already free, free to offer them the same grace you already know so well.
When you’re swimming in that ocean of Spirit freedom, you get to be consistently free no matter what the other person says and does. Freedom says that you get to love them fully even when they hurt you, or when there’s a lack of begging on knees and spouting your praises. You get to walk in freedom even if things don’t go your way, even if it looks like you’re still on the shore.
The apostle Paul was great at swimming in this ocean of freedom. He found the secret of letting go of the shore and living in the deep seas of freedom. Here’s a guy who was beaten, imprisoned, rejected, abandoned and mocked. He had no riches, no beautiful wife, no easy life. But he was free. Totally and abundantly free.
“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.”
This wasn’t a special apostle only anointing. This is for every son and daughter of the living King. This is for you and me. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.