I just went for a walk with a friend at our local Jells Park in South-East Melbourne. Don’t worry! Victoria’s COVID restrictions allow us to exercise with a friend for up to 2-hours a day – so it’s all legit!
It was very freeing to be able to stretch our legs and just chat. It was a form of freedom for me. For you, you may be in the process of becoming free, staying free or ultimately, be finding freedom in the Spirit.
We first may not be aware of our current condition, and I’m not just referring to physical states of lockdown which most of Australia is currently being subjected to. However, if we pause to reflect and give ourselves permission to do this, you may realise that there is a constant battle in the mind of our inner selves.
Our natural human state may not necessarily be at peace or in communion with God, His law or His will.
Romans chapter 7 verses 21–24 echo this thinking, “So, I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
We are reminded at the end that the price of our sinful nature is death.
But we can find freedom in Christ. Who will rescue you? Who would rescue me, a sinner? We find the answer of course in Christ.
Romans chapter 3, verses 23–24 tell us “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
The second half of those verses explains it all – our freedom is justified by nothing other than His grace. We find freedom and redemption only by accepting and believing that Christ has paid the price in dying on the cross and then through His resurrection, conquering death.
The path of salvation is not just a one-off: accept, believe and you’re set for life.
We are called daily to carry the burden Christ assigns us, because His burden is light to bear. And Jesus also equipped us with the Helper/Holy Spirit who would empower us beyond our human ability.
And in this way, we could be like Christ, as Luke chapter 4 verses 18–19 say, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
Paul wrote to the church in Galatia that we should continue to stand firm and to resist submitting to the yoke of slavery. With God’s help, we can!
Through the spiritual disciplines of daily devotion, reading the Word, and prayer we can receive a daily top-up of God and discern His will for our lives. Being intentional and purposeful in our lives so that we have those moments of down-time where we can listen to God are important.
Freedom in the Spirit
There is freedom in the Spirit because all the fruits of the Spirit are not bound by the law. Galatians chapter 5 verse 22 reminds us of the whole range for fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. No matter where we go, nothing can get in the way of you and God in the nurturing of these fruits and characteristics.
So let us live with love
May the joy of the Lord sustain you no matter what trials or hardships you may face. Suffering may be experienced, but we don’t have to live or bear it and be miserable. Instead, we can have that peace of mind. Peace from God is truly so much greater than any human effort to have peace. And we are called to be peacemakers.
To be like Christ is to have patience, to show kindness and gentleness even in the face of persecution. When we are aligned to God His goodness will flow freely and in abundance to those around us. What better model of faithfulness do we have other than Christ whose form of faithfulness is everlasting? And finally, self-control and self-discipline are undoubtedly hallmarks of a sincere believer.
The Afghan Church
Let us spend a moment to consider our brothers and sisters in the Afghan Church. As times and seasons change for them, no doubt the persecution will increase.
I hear stories of Christians there who are filled with the boldness of Christ. They know their time is limited, and their worldly freedoms may be curtailed – but how inspirational is it that some of them want to just go out into the streets and proclaim Jesus. The threat of death doesn’t scare them – these men and women are living out modern day examples of living in God’s freedom.
Let us pray for the Afghan Church. During the coming persecution, may any bloodshed bear undeniable witness to Christ, the ultimate example of innocent blood shed for us sinners.
May the global Church of Christ stand as one in unity – praying for salvation of souls for Christ – this is the real battle for the ultimate freedom.
In your freedom I will live! In your freedom I will live!
I offer devotion. I offer devotion.
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.