“In order to be free, we need to believe in the Lord,” says Emily, 12.
Yes, that is where freedom begins. Freedom from spiritual death comes from believing in Christ alone as one’s savior. That is why Jesus called this a new birth. Like a physical birth, it happens in an instant.
But learning how to walk and live in spiritual freedom requires a lifetime of learning and concentration. Jesus’ promised abundant life requires learning about him through his Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
True freedom is not doing our own thing. Rather, it’s communing with a holy God who knows more about us than we know about ourselves.
Learning how to live in spiritual freedom reminds me of something written by David Foster Wallace: “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
In our rebellion against God, we are suckers for all the things that promise life but can’t deliver. Slavery can be a physical status, but it’s more common as a spiritual status. To illustrate this point, my wife made the following statement about the behavior of college students during spring break at South Padre Island, Texas: “I don’t see how extreme self-impairment is fun.”
Many people think of freedom negatively as freedom from something such as alcohol or drug addiction. However, freedom is also positive in that it’s freedom toward something better.
“Knowing the truth, you can pray and worship him,” says Matthew, 9. “Knowing the truth will make you choose important decisions in your life.”
Christians are free to worship and pray to God. Amazingly, the New Testament says every believer is a priest unto God (I Peter 2:9). Guess who sits in heaven as our high priest?
Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you,” (John 15:7).
If you’re a Christian who is drawing your life from Jesus by concentrating on what he said and did during his ministry, why wouldn’t your great high priest grant to you whatever you ask him?
As a functioning priest in God’s kingdom, your focus will be upon advancing his kingdom, not furthering your own agenda. Although Jesus’ kingdom remains hidden to most people, nevertheless, he is reigning and ruling from his throne in heaven right now. Someday, Jesus will descend upon this earth where he will establish his righteous, visible rule.
“No one can stop me,” says Hadie, 11. “If you know the truth, you will be set free.”
There is a sense of invincibility that comes from walking with God by remaining in his Word. After all, who can stop God? This doesn’t mean that everything is going to go smoothly. Walking with God sometimes means losing. The irony is that even losing is winning when following the Lord. If you don’t believe this, take a look at the crucifixion of Jesus.
Think about this: Jesus took abuse that we can’t even imagine. During his trials on the way to crucifixion, he was mocked, spat upon and whipped. As he hung on a Roman cross, it looked like total defeat. Yet, it was his moment of greatest triumph. On the third day, he rose from the dead forever victorious over death, shame and embarrassment.
Memorize this truth: John 15:7 quoted previously.
Ask this question: As a Christian, are you meditating in the Bible so that God’s Spirit can enable you to experience the abundant, overcoming life that is your inheritance in Christ?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CAREY KINSOLVING