The Freshness of Freedom
Do you remember the feeling of freedom at the moment you accepted Jesus as your savior? At that moment, you were ushered in from spiritual death to life. From being an enemy of God (one who is opposed to God and places themselves at the center of their universe) to a friend of God. Or, as John would tell us, one who was in the darkness to one who is in the light and has the true light shining through them (1 Jn. 2:8). Even as I write those transitions that occur at the moment of salvation, my heart begins to feel lighter! How does your heart feel as you read them? Lighter, contented, secure, and hopeful? Or, do you feel a deep yearning and longing for those things?
The reality is that too often, we live in the captivity of fear instead of the freshness of freedom. We fear what today will bring, let alone tomorrow or the next day. We fear our pasts and live under a weight of regret. We fear losing the ones we love or being rejected by them. All of these fears are understandable, and we have all experienced them at one point or another in our lives. Can I whisper the truth to you? To your heart? None of these fears have to be decisive in or over your life. Why? Because there is freedom and new life in Jesus! Brennan Manning expresses it like this,
“Yet none of this is decisive. The decisive thing is the freedom of the gospel in Jesus Christ. The ground and source of our freedom lies not in ourselves, who are by nature slaves to sin, but in the freedom of His grace setting us free in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
We are free from the slavery of sin – for what? For the saving grace of the living God!”
In Jesus, we are free from having to be the center of our own universes or realities. We are free from determining our own standard of ethics or morality. We are free from the oppressive and exhausting work of trying to form and fashion ourselves and our broken world into something pleasing or presentable. We are set free so that the true light can start shining through us. We are free so that the love of the Father can be made perfect in our hearts. Yes, life on this side of heaven is not easy. And, it never will be. But, we as Christians have experienced the freshness of freedom in Christ, and that experience should prompt an eternal perspective that buffets and buffers our fears.
Today, you are likely facing challenges, hurts, and hurdles that seem impossible to overcome. John tells us that in Jesus, we have overcome the world, and we should look back at the moment of salvation and the fresh feeling of freedom to ground our hearts (1 Jn. 2:12-14). That freshness of freedom was not a one-time experience; it is available every day because we know Him who is from the beginning.