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“Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Freedom



This topic just won't seem to leave me at the moment, so rather than have it drive me nuts, I thought I'd get some thoughts down on paper and see where it goes. I wanted to look at what it means to be free? and more specifically what does it mean to be truly 'Free in Christ'. Generally when we talk about being 'set free', we mean free from our sins; that Christ's blood washes away when we give our lives to Him and we no longer have to fear what will happen to us when we die eg. going to hell.

But back to freedom. As I was meditating on this subject...I started to wonder how free are we really in Christ?  If Christ died to set us free, it's about more that just that moment of our deaths; its also about setting us free from being slaves to sin in this life, right now; those desires of our fleshy/selfish nature, which we will grapple with our whole lives to varying degrees. If we've let Christ take the wheel & He truly is King of our hearts, then the grappling with sin is lessened greatly, as we surrender to Him all our struggles and he relieves us of so much turmoil.

But what could we still hold onto; even after our conversion, that might cripple us and prevent us being free in this life right now ? What could so hinder our walk that we may find the Fruits of the Spirit, such as 'Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness & Self Control to be very hard to grab hold of and not really be evident in our life at all (in a lasting way).

So far we've see that we are:
1. 'Free' from fear of where we will end up when we die (an assurance of a heavenly home).
2. 'Free' from slavery to sin (we have the Holy Spirit to help and strengthen our resolve to live pure & holy lives).

However Sin is not always so obvious. In this instance I am speaking of Fear...as we can hide our fears and it becomes a hidden sin.  If we look closely at the word of God, it reminds us we need to truly examine our lives/hearts and see if any hidden sin remains. Even a small speck can spread through the whole.

1.“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

The only antidote to true and lasting freedom from fear is greater FAITH. Without it, we strive to do a lot in our own strength; we try to control outcomes and only feel a 'sense of peace' if those outcomes are good. But often situations/outcomes in life are not so good (even as Christians). People let us down; disappointment in people, church, friends, spouse etc stalks us at every turn. We often become fearful of life and what might happen next.
So where does our peace go in these situations?.. often right out the door. Are we Free from whatever life throws at us..No, we are not. The bible tells us God causes the sun to shine on the good and the bad. Are we Free to choose how we respond to life's situations? Yes we certainly are. What does this require?  It requires staying anchored in the Freedom we have in Christ. Walking steadfastly in Faith and not allowing Fear to have even a foothold in our lives. We need that precious faith, as of a child, trusting the Lord that he holds us and is in control. Faith and Fear are not Friends (remember that). They are like oil and water and will not mix (ever) !.

 2. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10


So to conclude - To truly attain lasting Freedom in Christ simply means disciplining your mind (first and foremost - and what a battle ground that is !!!), and your heart to choose to trust the Lord and walk in faith, not fear.  Meditate on faith building verses of scripture. Soak yourself in them through difficult times and you will find that those verses will naturally come back into your mind when you need them most. Pin them around your home. Paste them into the front of your bible..etc. The Holy Spirit will prompt you and comfort you by them in your times of doubt to drive away any fear, anxiety and fretting. Prayer and scripture are your spiritual weapons to fight with. Believe me, it truly is a choice and it is a sin to choose fear over faith. One will give peace, comfort and warm assurance. The other will drive you mad, leaving you cold and empty.  I truly hope this post with strengthen and equip even just one person who may read this.

Blessings to all - Linda
Please feel free to leave me a comment, if this writing has helped you in any way. xo

More strengthening versus:

3.“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 4.. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

5. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

6. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

7. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19

8.“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
9.  “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
10. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
11. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
12. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
13. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
14. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4
15. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26
16. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
17. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
18. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” Mark 6:50
19. “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
20. “'For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,' declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14
21. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
22. “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7
23. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
24. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:39-40
25. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7
26. “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” 1 Peter 3:14
27. “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
28. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22
29. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” Revelation 1:17
30. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” Mark 5:36
31. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39
32. “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17
33. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” from Psalm 91:1-16

5 comments:

  1. So many beautiful verses. Thank you. I may use this post as a resource for my Bible study group at our local jail.

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  2. I'm so happy to hear that Lucinda :) 'How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! '(NLT) Isaiah 52:7

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  3. Hello Linda, I did want to tell you how much this post blessed me! I have a dear friend who is fighting brain cancer, and I was with her this morning and we always have said to each other NO FEAR...
    I never want to hide those little sins that will destroy us!
    The freedom in Christ has had so many wrong things attached to it! I try hard to stay biblical and not live in a way that we can abuse His Liberty that He gave His life for! I want thank you for leaving a comment as you blessed my heart, because your words were gracious and kind! I have added you to my sidebar and I look forward to reading more of what you share. And your family looks so precious! To think you are on the other side of the seasonal pattern, we are just arriving to our summer and you are getting my favorite time of all FALL...
    Blessings, Roxy

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  4. Thankyou for your lovely comment Roxy. Your blog is very beautiful and full of so much widsom and inspiration, which is sorely needed in our world today. I have often visited your blog, and finally felt to leave a comment. I will more often now. Lovely to hear from you ~ Linda :)

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  5. and Roxy, I'll pray for your friend, battling brain cancer. It's something that would naturally bring fear, and would require going very deep in faith with the Lord to live above it. One of my dear friends had a brain tumour years ago, succesfully removed, but still constantly has side effects from that. Every day with a dear friend is a blessing.

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