FREE INDEED

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"If you hear My voice and abide in My word, you are truly My disciples; you will know the truth, and that truth will give you freedom."

John 8:31-32 (The Voice)

I have had to revise my faith framework many times. One revision I made early on was concerning a religious aphorism that I mistook as truth: "It is easier to get free than it is to stay free." I would typically nod at this precept until the Holy Spirit convicted me of the truth.

The truth is that Jesus gave His life in exchange for our freedom, and because there is no higher authority than Jesus, our freedom cannot be taken from us (Philippians 2:9). To accept Jesus as Savior in our lives is to accept an enduring freedom from spiritual death, the antagonist of freedom (Romans 8:2). In other words, freedom is not an issue we grapple with once we become children of God. John 8:36 reinforces this truth: "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." However, we don't always live in harmony with the truth.

When we are in contention with truth, we set ourselves in agreement with false images of freedom. We might hold a mental picture of ourselves being just a step ahead of our faults and failures--drug addiction, addiction to pornography, wasteful living, abusive relationships, purposelessness, et cetera. We see ourselves essentially trying to outrun the fears that made us powerless. That mental picture of desperation is a lie. The fear of our past "catching up to us" is a lie.

The truth is, we are not in the same lane as our past. Actually, we are in a completely separate location, a separate Kingdom, bound to "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2). This law freed us from a fight to stay free and transported us to a position of power (Galatians 1:4). The Apostle Paul wrote it this way: "God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). Seated with Christ, we no longer fight not to lose, we fight to win. We realize that the fight to stay free is rather a process of revising every mental picture that we have accepted and have chosen to live.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Reading the Word of God corresponds with growing in our faith. So, moments will come where the Word of God will nudge us to revise our thinking and our tightly-held precepts. Yield. It is how we live our potential. We cannot live our inheritance of freedom if we hold fast to adages and truisms that don't belong in God's Kingdom. Pastor Kuna encourages us to involve the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day activity, so let's ask Him to help us recognize those ideas and thought patterns that need revision. Also, we can ask our Life Group leaders to help us identify truths to replace our wrong thinking. Let's all grow together as we learn more about our freedom to live and reign with Jesus. (Lacey Vasquez)

TODAY'S DECLARATION
"Jesus made me free, so I am free. Today, I grow in the knowledge of God's truth, and I recognize and let go of thoughts that have kept me from living my freedom in Christ Jesus."

TODAY'S BIBLE READING

    • Old Testament: Ezra 1-2; Proverbs 1
    • New Testament: Luke 13:1-9; 1 Timothy 1:1-11