Lots of exciting things going on over here at Living Unveiled 🙂
I’m not sure if I shared that I’m turning my “Learning to Walk in Freedom” series into a booklet that we will hand out at the ministry I direct. I hope after that to convert it to an eBook for sale.
I did the “final” edits about a month ago and was quite excited to be done. Then I got into some discussions with two of my unofficial mentors/really cool guys who have eye-opening things to say about recovery, addiction, and how to become free. Those 2 guys are Bob Hamp and Russell Willingham. Yes, I talk about them a lot. Yes, you should really, really go check them out if you haven’t already. Like, right now. I even provided links for you.
I decided after those discussions I should do one more read-through.
Something (or some “things”) was missing. Something big.
After hearing Bob Hamp speak at the Exodus Freedom Conference, I felt I needed some clarification of my freedom step #4: Think like a free person. Bob’s take on 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 intrigues me (he uses the NASB translation, whereas I’ve always used the NIV), so I asked him to further discuss this with me.
Herein lies the moment where I crack myself up.
So….my short 21-page document has now become 24 pages. I still have 3 more sections to re-read. And I haven’t even rewritten the original section that spurred many of these questions!
The reason I’m telling you all this is because I want you to read the information I added to the intro of my booklet.
How Did We Get Here?
It’s important if we want to walk in freedom that we understand why we don’t walk in freedom now. In order to understand how to get free, we need to know how we got bound.
I don’t mean we need to dig deep into our past and find out the root causes of our struggles. That can help, of course.
What I mean is we need to have a foundational understanding of how we all got to be the way we are, and how to get back to how God created us to be.
As believers, we can get hyper-focused on the “eternal life” aspect of our faith. Before you dismiss me as a heretic, hear me out.
Jesus did in fact come so that we may have eternal life. Most of us know the oft-quoted verse, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I believe this is only half of the equation. Too often we see in the church people who have eternal life but are not walking in freedom. I was one of these people.
There is another very important reason Jesus came. He states it clearly in John 10:10 (NASB): “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The Amplified Bible states it this way: “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
Is that the current state of your life?
Jesus was not talking about eternity there; He was talking about our life here on earth.
Let me explain this more fully by going back to the Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 1:26-27, the Bible talks about the creation of mankind: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
God created Adam & Eve in His image and likeness. His characteristics, His attributes, His image were within Adam & Eve. As if this wasn’t amazing enough, we read this in Genesis 2:7: “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
God not only gave them life through shaping and creating them and giving them His image and likeness; He went a step further and breathed His very breath into them.
He was, quite literally, their source of life.
In the Garden, God walked with man. He spent time with man. But that all changed when Adam & Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they ate from this tree, not only did they pass down the bondage of sin to generations to come, even more significantly is the fact that they became disconnected with their source of life.
Remember John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” This is exactly what the serpent did in the Garden. He stole their freedom from sin, he killed them in the sense that they would now age & die, and he destroyed the deep connection they had with their source of life.
Jesus certainly came to give us eternal life. This is important. But I believe we don’t fully understand the ramifications of what Jesus accomplished on that cross.
He came rectify the problem of slavery to sin in our lives, by becoming the perfect sacrifice on the cross, and by being resurrected – brought back to life. He does this, rectifies the killing, stealing and destroying of Satan, by reconciling us to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19) – in other words, reconnecting us with the ultimate source of life.
“I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV1984)
Eternal life is one piece of the puzzle. It’s the first piece, and it’s an important piece. But so is learning to live an abundant life here on earth.
God is thus our source of life and ultimately the source and the giver of our freedom through Jesus Christ.
If you want to hear more about the more practical side of learning to walk in the fullness of the freedom that is available to all of us as adopted children of God, start here.