I used to think that having "freedom" meant being able to do anything I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. Now, I'm starting to think that isn't the correct definition at all.
Maybe freedom just means not being burdened with heavy baggage from my past that I struggle to carry around.
Maybe freedom means having enough wisdom to make good, healthy choices.
Maybe freedom means being innocent enough to love without fear.
Maybe freedom is more about what I don't have to do, than what I can do.
My wonderful pastor, Pete Wilson has a new book coming out titled "Let Hope In". I can't wait to read it! He posted this image last week:
That makes SO much sense!! LOVE that!!
Yesterday I had an interesting visit with a friend at church about the unreasonable rules and regulations that were placed on her at her previous church. It was such a heavy burden for her that she ended up leaving that church and basically walking away from her faith for awhile. She was confused, and too burdened by regulations made up by humans, not God. I was reminded of what Jesus said about the Pharisees in Matthew: "For they bind heavy burdens, too hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders." That doesn't sound like freedom at all! That sounds like slavery!!
This morning, I picked up my daily devotional book, "Jesus Calling" and this is what I read:
"Walk with Me in the freedom of forgiveness. The path we follow together is sometimes steep and slippery. If you carry a burden of guilt on your back, you are more likely to stumble and fall. At your request, I will remove the heavy load from you and bury it at the foot of the cross. When I unburden you, you are undeniably free!!"
Undeniably free! That sounds lovely... but wait. What do I have to do again? Just ask God to take my burdens and lay them at the foot of the cross? Is it really that simple to feel free?
Yesterday, we sang "Nothing But The Blood" during our worship set. It reminded me that there is nothing I can do to earn my freedom. There are no "works" that are gonna get God to love me more. The work has already been done. Jesus did everything that needs to be done when he sacrificed himself on that cross.
"What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."
There is alot of freedom in that lyric. There is nothing we can do. Because Jesus already did it. Well, I take it back. There is something we can do. We just gotta believe. Believe in the power of the cross.
Freedom to me, has become less about being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.... and more about not being oppressed by bitterness, anger, resentments, and hurt from my past. It's about letting God take those burdens from me... and the more intimately I come to know God, the more I trust in him to do just that.
So... here are my questions to you: What does "freedom" mean to you? Do you feel free right now? If not, what would it take for you to get there?