I’m starting a series I’m going to call “Freedom Fridays”. I’m hoping to at least post here every Friday on Freedom Fridays and make that my focus for now.
Why talk about freedom?
Freedom is my anthem – it’s my life’s theme. And the questions that come with the word “freedom” are questions I continually ponder.
What is freedom? What does the Bible have to say about it? Is it attainable? If so, what does that look like?
I do not have all the answers. What I can say is that most of the time, I feel free! Plus we already know it’s not about how we feel; that does not dictate my reality. Do I still have struggles? Yes, but I don’t feel enslaved to anything.
This wasn’t always the case. I struggled for years with several life-controlling issues (an eating disorder, sexual brokenness, self-injury, to name a few). I also wrestled with what I thought “freedom” should look like in my life, and these are some of the things I’ve learned in the process, as well as things learned while ministering to others.
Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Jesus said He came to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4:18). Let’s start by understanding our terms: What is Freedom? In the New Testament, there are several words that are translated as “freedom”, “liberty” or “release”. And they basically mean the “liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation”, “living as we should, not as we please” or also “release from bondage or imprisonment”.
I would go a step further to say true freedom is living in the fullness of all God created you to be. It’s learning to walk in His design, what He wanted you to be when He created you. This is the freedom that Jesus died for.
Why is this topic so important? Because I believe it’s one of the most misunderstood topics in the faith.
Most Christians seem to reside in one of 2 extremes. Some settle for a lot less than God has to offer. If asked, they would say they, of course, believe that God is the able to do the impossible (to deny this would be to say Jesus was lying), but they don’t really believe God wants to do anything extraordinary in their lives or in their struggles. They just hold on till heaven. Then there’s the other extreme where believers can have an unrealistic idea of what freedom looks like, and how long it should take. They expect some sort of “zap” experience wherein temptations & struggles disappear in a moment. They quickly forget that even Jesus, who was without sin, was tempted! The Bible says we are a new creation, so shouldn’t we just snap our fingers and all our troubles should vanish? Well, that’s not Biblical either.
Let me explain a little more what I see as the middle ground of these 2 beliefs. If this freedom for which Christ died was a simple process & easy to grasp, then the direction offered to believers in Romans-Jude would be unnecessary and you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. I believe Scripture teaches that freedom is both a one-time gift and a process. The moment we come to Jesus Christ, He gives us freedom through the Holy Spirit, so that we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:17-18). But that freedom is something we need to learn to walk out.
So how do we learn to walk in true freedom? More on that next week 🙂