Read His Words Before Ours!
Freedom. Such a profound word, but it carries a vague meaning when it comes to my mind.
When defined, freedom means, the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Initially, when I read that definition I thought, “I’ve always acted in freedom”, but as I look back on my life I see a different story, I see a girl who was very afraid.
Afraid to talk to people.
Afraid to speak my mind.
Afraid to use my God given gifts.
Afraid of being vulnerable.
Afraid to get hurt.
Afraid to truly live.
Fear has always crippled me.
Even though I gave my fear other names, like being shy.
As Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Meaning that my spirit of fear was a stronghold the enemy had in my life and was using against me. Satan had me where he wanted me, cowering in fear and not living up to my call.
But, though the years, the Lord has been chipping away at the enemy’s territory.
He has been cutting out all the things I was afraid of and replacing it with His perfect love.
I was afraid to sing, yet God has placed me on stages leading worship.
I was afraid to speak, yet God has placed me in front of audiences speaking.
I was afraid to write, yet God has placed me in this ministry writing His word.
I was afraid to be vulnerable, yet God has allowed me to open my heart to others.
I was afraid to make mistakes, yet God has redeemed those mistakes for His glory.
I have been engulfed by a love so captivating, welcoming, and endearing that my fears are swallowed up by it.
This love fills all voids.
This love transforms.
This love empowers.
This love casts out all fear.
Through this vast love, the Lord has shown me the truth of John 8:36,
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”
A few months ago, I was meeting with a brother and sister in Christ as they shared some things they felt God pressing upon them for me. They described the image of a heart completely black, but then God took a paint brush and painted the heart completely red as the once-black-heart began to beat.
This was my own heart.
Black from my sins and brokenness, but God didn’t allow my heart to stay that way He took His time to repaint my heart, giving it color and new life. He pursued me, chasing away my fear, and bringing me freedom through His love.
That is true freedom. Being transformed from the inside out.
God’s sweet love cascading into our lives radically shifts our hearts, overflowing into our everyday lives.
Freedom is allowing God to remove you from bondage and give you a new life!
I had been walking into freedom for years, but in that meeting, I was shown how God wanted me to claim the freedom He had already given me.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Which means I can say in full confidence that God has freed me from my spirit of fear.
This doesn’t mean that I never get scared or think fearful thoughts but it does mean I’m not in bondage to those fears. I can point out when Satan is trying to attack me, and I have strength through the Holy Spirit to walk in the freedom afforded me through Christ.
How does this transformation connect to living with open hands,
ready to live out the hospitality of Jesus?
Because I’ve experienced this love, I am deeply passionate about sharing it, helping others to experience God and His perfect love in the same way I have.
In Matthew 8, Jesus performs another miracle and heals Peter’s mother in law. After she is healed, she gets up and begins serving Jesus. That night, many people were brought to Jesus and also received healing of their bodies and souls.
This woman encountered the perfect love of Christ and gets up, goes out and serves Him. And her serving results in others encountering that same love.
Sisters, this is our call as believers!
We are not simply to help people meet the Christ who profoundly loves us, but also be small streams of Christ’s love flowing outward onto others.
Isaiah said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”
Sisters, what has God healed you of or freed you from?
How have you allowed this good work to transform the way you serve and love and live and operate with openness?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!