This. Right. Here. 🔥
Jonathan said he had been searching for answers all his life. Yet God had an answer Tuesday night- to meet him on the corner of Hannum and Sawtelle as he surrendered his life to Christ. The weightiness of the moment and the joy that overcame Jonathan shook him; it brought our new brother to his knees in the middle of the street. During this powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit, a young adult asked Jonathan, “So, how do you feel?” With tears still streaming down his face, a newfound hope arose as he confidently exclaimed, “I am free!”
“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” – John 8:36
Freedom is best appreciated when it has been mostly absent in a person’s life. Why is it that those who have been the most distant from God can have such a dramatic conversion? Unfortunately, they had been in terrible darkness – where they are stuck within the enemy’s clenches. Oh, the anguish and turmoil it takes upon the soul by living in the dark! Yet once one enters the light and tastes and sees that the Lord is good, they are in awe and undone by the freedom they now have.
I cannot help but think of the movie, “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Edmond Dantes had just escaped Chateau d’if – an island prison where he spent 14 years barely surviving and plotting his freedom. After a series of extraordinary events, he wakes up on the sandy beaches of France; he is the first person ever to escape and survive. Edmond realizes at that moment – he is a free man! Gleefully jumping around and laughing carelessly, he cannot contain the exuberance it is to be free. (See the clip here, it’s such a good movie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfivCafMRgk)
Do not take advantage of the freedom that Christ has given you today! There is a price to pay for freedom, and that was Christ on the cross. He took your sins, no matter how grievance they may seem, and allowed you to be whole. Jesus released you from your past to be known as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) – the old is gone! The freedom God has given to you empowers you to live out the spirit-filled life in everyday life.
I realize that you might be reading this and thinking about the areas where you are still not free: The battle with pornography. The struggle with gossip. The never-ending thoughts of self-condemnation. There is so much to deal with, and it can seem that freedom is merely an illusion. “Being free is a reality for other Christians, but it is not for me.”
Rid yourself of the lies and remember this verse:
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
While you are free in Christ – no longer chained to the past – you need to operate in that newfound freedom. In other words, live out the identity Christ gave you. Walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Just because you are free does not mean staying free will be easy. In fact, Galatians 5:1 says that you have to stand firm – that is, resist, fight, wage war – to not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.
Therefore, hate the sin and walk in your freedom Christ gave you!
- You are forgiven, blameless, and pure, so there is no need to tolerate lust. Rather, fix your gaze upon the Word – “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9).
- You are well-loved and uniquely crafted by your Heavenly Father. There are no reasons to entertain condemning thoughts of how you look in the mirror. Instead, remember that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
It’s such a privilege to take part in leading a person to Christ so they can experience that freedom. It’s a tremendous joy to hear when a Christ-follower had retained their freedom from a particular sin for 25 years when they were once stuck in bondage. Hallelujah! Christ made you free to bring freedom to a world captivated by selfishness and caged by sin. Will you help set the captives free? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Have a blessed week!