Freedom. We all seek it. But, exactly what does this word imply to you? No doubt it is multifaceted, extremely costly, and has always been passionately pursued. Even as we may celebrate our freedoms, deep down we realize that liberty is far more expansive than national victories, government policies, or personal entitlements.
Consciously or unconsciously, I think we all know that there is exponentially more freedom remaining to obtain – an ultimate freedom. To understand this ultimate freedom, I want to tell you about a precious, freedom-seeking young girl.
Ashley (not her real name) is 16 years old and has already endured more pain than any of us would care to imagine. Tragically, Ashley was trapped in a sexually abusive world for years. When I first met and greeted her at church, a hug was totally out of the question. She looked tense and scared. I began to observe that she was closed off from most people. I knew in my spirit that Ashley was being abused, but when I offered my safe and listening ear, she was mute. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, several women and I have become Ashley’s trusted friends. We are her prayer warriors and encouragement through sharing God’s word. The chains of bondage are loosening. God’s love for her is amazingly visible. In fact, Ashley loves God a lot, too. But it wasn’t until she finally exposed her sexual predator that her real freedom-process began. And begun it has! Ashley smiles, sings aloud, hugs, and shares her faith with others. Freedom has dawned.
But here’s what I want you to understand: In Christ, Ashley is already free AND not yet free. Ashley’s ultimate freedom is still in process and ours is, too.
Yes, she’s no longer being abused, but the painful scars have left her massively desiring to leave this world to join her Savior. Here’s a bit of what I shared with Ashley about her longing to leave:
YES, right now (already), the truth sets us free. YES, Jesus, the Living Truth is our ultimate freedom. All sin places all of mankind in bondage, but (hallelujah) Jesus broke the chains of sin’s masterful reign over us! But the longing for Christ’s ultimate freedom will not be fully realized until our final breath or Christ’s return for us (not yet).
Sweetheart, we all often long for this painful, broken world, where we live for now, to be over. We all desire to break free of this messy, constantly corrupt, death-dealing, everyday struggling world.
I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve had to endure. I’m with you, Ash! Of course, you want to leave. You would much more than most.
But God has a purpose for your life. He lives in you and His powerful Spirit is an overcoming, victorious Spirit that longs to reveal to you just how much freedom and life you can have NOW through Him.
Each day, you can push through the pain and love someone else through their mess. You can kick the devil in the tail every day you wake up and choose to be God’s overcomer, His princess, His loved and victorious child. Allow your pain the process of testing your faith. This will develop in you great, Christ-like character and show you just how faithful God is.
Daughter of the KING, take hold of the freedom you (already) have now and wait patiently for (the not yet) God’s timing of your ultimate freedom.
The Apostle Paul explains the hope-filled “not yet” freedom message I conveyed to Ashley and now to your heart. So read on and be encouraged to keep on pressing on, mighty and loved, sister! Ultimate freedom awaits us!
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (or daughtership). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:15-25 NIV)
YES, CHOSEN, ADOPTED, BELOVED DAUGHTER, your GROANING will one day soon END. Wait patiently, wait faithfully, and wait powerfully in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
Here are some more of my favorite freedom verses for your enjoyment. Bon appetite:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:17 NIV
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 NIV
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12 NIV
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25 NIV
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” JESUS in Luke 4:18 NIV