The Very Best Kind of Freedom
Jul 04, 2015 11:41AM
● By Bonnie Lyn Smith
I grew up just outside Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell and, for that matter, the Statue of Liberty, were important visuals to me of all that America stands for. As I’ve been walking through stores and seeing red, white, and blue adorning every aisle, I’ve had a lot of opportunity this week to consider what freedom really is.
I could focus on so many different topics: what our soldiers uphold for us every day, the Constitution, freedom from religious persecution, opportunities to receive an education, safe harbor within our own borders, and even our leisure, which is completely unheard of in so much of the world.
While I love my country and appreciate everything about it that protects my liberties, I celebrate my freedom in Christ every day because Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross (and resurrection) makes all of the following possible (and more!):
I am free to not judge others. That’s God’s job. I’m not even His jury. Isn’t it a relief not to have that burden? Phew! (Matthew 7:1-5; James 4:11-12)
I am free to not be judged by man, except in a court of law when appropriate. (1 Corinthians 2:15)
I am free of condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
I am free to be forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
I am free to forgive. Yeah, even when people don’t ask for it. Peace is a beautiful thing! (Colossians 3:13)
I am free to be who God made me to be and pursue the dreams He placed inside my heart at my creation. (Psalm 20:4)
I am free to shine in the personality He gave me and stretch myself out of my comfort zone to learn more about how others relate. (Romans 12:4-6)
I am free to love whether or not I am loved back. (Galatians 5:14)
I am free to give whether or not I receive. (Acts 20:35)
I am free to ask God to work on my character, for the rest of my life, and to know He will constantly improve me when I ask Him. (Philippians 2:12-13)
I am free to bless and encourage others in the purposes He has for them—even if they don’t know or don’t want to know Him right now. I can do this because of the never-ending supply of love I have received. (Colossians 4:5-6)
I am free to cry out to the Lord, even in my frustration and anger, and, like David in his many Psalms of anguish and distress, I will be heard. (Psalm 18:6 and many others)
I am free to speak to my God directly because of His Son Jesus. I am free to pray, praise, thank, and request. (Ephesians 3:11-12)
I am free to be loved closely forever, even when I fall down and need to get back up again. (Romans 8:38-39)
I am free from my sin—from its ugly tendrils of greedy grabs and condemning stares. It no longer holds me captive. I have a way out. (Romans 6:18)
I am free to reconcile with another. (Matthew 18:15-17)
I am free to start each morning fresh. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
I am free to dance at the end of a season of mourning. (Psalm 30:11-12)
I am free to continually have endless fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-26)
I am free to view problems as refining fires where my character is worked on, my knowledge expanded, and my faith tested and grown. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
I am free to see a huge obstacle, even a health issue, and ask my God to do the miraculous, if He wills it. I am free to ask BIG! (John 14:12-14)
I am free to see people as hearts and not as labels or categories. (1 Samuel 16:7)
I am free to not compare myself to or with others. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
I am free to have differences with others and not have to control everything. (2 Timothy 2:23)
I am free to not be at the helm. I can relax. If my plans fail, He has better ones anyway. (2 Chronicles 20:6; Proverbs 16:9)
I am free to rest in Christ. (Matthew 11:28-30)
I am free to see the One Who Quiets the Storms and not dwell on the storm itself. (Mark 4:35-41)
I am free to let God repair me and not expect others to. (Psalm 147:3)
I am free to see individuals as blessings and to not have expectations on people that only God can fill. (Micah 6:8; Proverbs 11:23)
I am free to expect from God. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I am free to trust Him to provide. (Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 7:7)
I am free to live generously, knowing I can trust Him to provide. (Philippians 4:19)
I am free of my past. My sins are forgiven because I asked Him to. (Psalm 103:12)
I am free of the labels of other people. I am who He says that I am. End of story. (Philippians 3:20; Revelation 4:11)
I’m free to laugh, dance, praise, and cry because God gave me those emotions. (Psalm 149:3; Job 8:21; Ecclesiastes 3:4)
I am free to talk to Him anytime, continually. (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 145:18)
I am free to draw the same healthy boundaries Jesus drew when He wasn’t accepted or welcomed. (Matthew 10:14)
I am free to boldly speak His truth. (Ephesians 6:19; Acts 28:31)
I am free to call on the power of the name of Jesus because I’ve believed Him, and He considers me His child. (Romans 10:13; Jeremiah 10:6; John 14:13)
I am free to know He created me to do good. (Ephesians 2:10)
I am free to make a mistake, humble myself, and try again. (Psalm 37:24; Proverbs 28:13)
I am free to apply God’s Word to my life and speak His words to Him because they don’t come back void. (2 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 55:11)
I am free to believe His promises and that He never fails. (2 Peter 1:4; Psalm 145:13)
I am free to ask Him to supply my strength when I am weak, and He will do it. (Isaiah 41:10)
I am free to live knowing eternity is in my heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
I am free to live my life out loud and testify about my God. (Isaiah 42:11)
I am free to boldly approach the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16)
I am free to not be anxious because He goes before me and takes care of me. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I am free to not fear. (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18)
I am free to take cover, whenever I need it, under His wings. (Psalm 91:4)
I am free to never be abandoned. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
I am free to grab my inheritance from a God Who prepares green pastures and a table for me. (Psalm 23)
I am free to embrace my identity as His child and His heir. (Galatians 4:7)
What freedom do you still want or need? Where would you like to breathe easier, more reassured?
If you know Christ, have you considered your many freedoms here?
If you don’t, doesn’t this sound like an amazing liberty to live walking with a holy God in direct relationship and abundant peace?
I pray that you know how deeply God loves you to send His Son Jesus to purchase these freedoms for all of us on that cross.
Blessings from Bonnie, Captive Set Free by His Amazing Grace (Isaiah 61:1)
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.