If I could use one word to describe how Jesus Christ has changed my life, I would use the word “Freedom”. God has set me free in so many ways and it amazes me how He is continually redeeming me. Growing up in the United States, the word freedom to me was mostly associated with a patriotic ideology – freedom to vote, freedom of speech, freedom to pursue happiness, freedom to do whatever I wanted as long as I wasn’t hurting anyone. But freedom in my soul….I had no idea what that was.
I don’t like to drink alcohol anymore, I don’t like to listen to certain music anymore, and there are many more things that I choose not to do and some I just don’t have a desire for anymore. So people may wonder, how is this a life of freedom? To some I have become a prude, super-religious, or just someone who is missing out on all the fun things in life. So am I free just because I stopped doing certain things? Not at all – When I tried to be a Christian just by restricting myself from doing things I found myself in religious bondage.
God has changed my heart. He has given me His Spirit. He has convicted me of my sin and given me new desires. He has poured out His love and grace within me so that I no longer have to look to other people and things to meet my needs. He showed me how empty my life was without Him. He revealed to me that I was spiritually dead because of my sin. He has given me life.
I love this quote Jackie Hill Perry recently shared on social media: “Freedom is not the ability to do as I please. Freedom is to be given the power to do what is pleasing.” The world says that you can do what you want – do what feels good and right to you. This is the path to destruction. Our sin has distorted what God originally intended for us.
“The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom know what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of men. And so it does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness…In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man…The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth…The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God…
In daily, earnest living with the Cross of Christ the Christian loses the spirit of human censoriousness on the one hand and weak indulgence on the other, and he receives the spirit of divine severity and divine love.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Everyone is searching for purpose, for meaning, for happiness, for security. But we can’t truly find these things without God – the One who has created us in His image – because our purpose in this life is found in Him. If you are someone who is not living in freedom then I want to encourage you to reach out to another Christian and ask for prayer.
“To whom shall we make confessions? According to Jesus’ promise, every Christian can hear the confession of another…Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross will no longer be horrified by even the rankest sins of a brother…It is not experience of life but experience of the Cross that makes one a worthy hearer of confessions.” Bonhoeffer
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron. Psalm 107:13-16
-New Living Translation used-
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