I have been learning about freedom for the last couple of years. The Father has been opening my blind eyes to see things from a very different perspective. I'm not even sure when this started. Maybe it was when I was pregnant with Maya and had to be on my back so much of that time. I read through the Bible that year for the first time ever (and yes, I have been a *Christian* for a really long time. Sad. I know.). It was extraordinary! My friend, Mary, from the FIAR boards had mentioned a website that had made a difference in her Bible reading and in her life. I read through it one day, and too, was challenged and changed in a dramatic way.
Here is a quote from the site...
We have never had so many books out on marriage, raising children, decision making, etc…and yet we have never had more divorces, relationship problems, problems with our children, etc.! Why? We might be looking for answers in the wrong book! Often people run to self-help books instead of the Bible. Why rely on a man’s opinion? The Bible says that He is the “Almighty Counselor.” (Isaiah 9:6) Only a moment of reflection would reveal that we have gotten very wrapped up in so many other materials and we have been using the Bible as a resource book, not The Book. By reading through the entire Bible, we are seeking the whole counsel of God. Psalm 119:160 tells us, “The sum of His Word is Truth.” We desire no other answers but His. We desire no other answers but His!
I didn't have a small group that was interested in doing this kind of study at the time, so I just had my own small group with God. I started in Genesis and in Matthew at the same time but decided to just start at the beginning and go all the way through. I would read, not according to any plan or checklist, but just as the Holy Spirit would lead me. I read one chapter some days, three chapters some days, one verse or several verses. I read through conversationally with the Father...listening to Him...waiting for something to stick out and speak to me. I cannot tell you how powerful it was for me. At about Deuteronomy, I really felt that He wanted me to take one colour of highlighter and underline all His names (God, Lord, Almighty, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Redeemer, etc.). I now can open my Bible and on almost every page I can go immediately to the green highlight and see one of His many incredible names. So powerful, especially when I want to study or pray through them!
I still read through the Bible this way today...whatever book He leads me to...how ever many verses or chapters I feel lead to read...always conversing with Him. It's so beautiful and, again, so powerful!
Back to the topic of freedom. I think during all of that reading and listening time, I noticed so many things that I had not been taught or had not learned on my own or things that contradicted beliefs that I had learned along the way and made my own. I have since read through the gospels over and over to learn who Jesus really is and what He did while He walked on this earth. He is all about the Father, the Kingdom, freedom, love, rescue, redemption, truth. He was on a mission and did not get deterred. His way is truth and He offers freedom to us who are in the pit, captured and bogged down in sin and unbelief and self.
Consider these verses...
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea,
and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD; that is My name!
I will not give My glory to another
or My praise to idols.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
He went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written:
"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,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him, and He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
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.
In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
When I read these Scriptures and others, I see that freedom is one thing that I should be experiencing in my life if I call myself a follower of Christ. He is the Answer. He is not only my Saviour, He is also my Life. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and there is evidence of him everywhere. But the victory is ours because of the innocent blood that was shed on the cross. We are covered. Jesus never needs to die again.
It is finished.
And we are free.
Praise His Name!!!
I would love to know your thoughts and what God has taught you about freedom. Please share your comments.