One of the most important and often forgotten facts about the gospel is the freedom that was established when Christ climbed up on that tree and said, "It is finished" (John 19:30b).
So many times, we fall into the enemy's trap of believing we have to do something to put ourselves in a certain position to be able to experience the freedom Jesus paid for. It's often difficult for us to understand, but as true Christians, we are so much more than just the product of our environment. In a world that glamorizes the very things that we sometimes claim to be a slave to (alcohol, sex, pride and so forth), we far too easily fail to remember that, as Galatians 5:1 (NIV) tells us, "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free."
As a military veteran, I fully understand the price that freedom costs. While I believe my time served was a sacrifice, I also consider myself blessed when compared to the many men and women who have lost their lives in battle over our nation's liberty. Because of those victorious battles, we have an opportunity to experience freedom—for something and from something.
The U.S. Constitution establishes my rights as an American to move forward into my freedom and provides protection from those that may wish to take it. These are facts that most of us understand and believe and don't forget.
But what about our spiritual freedom? What about the battle that was fought and won when Jesus became sin and was nailed to the cross? And when He conquered death by stepping out of the grave?
Somehow, we lose sight of the fact that as Christians—little Christ-like ones—we are invited to live in the freedom that Jesus came to establish. I'm just as easily swayed from this truth as anyone, but the more you spend time with Jesus, the more easily you catch the lie from setting root in your mind. Freedom from sin and death, as Paul states in Romans 8:2, is what allows us as children in the kingdom of God, to be everything we were created to be. It's what truly gives us the courage to create. It's what carves out a path for us to experience a full and abundant life.
In a recent episode of the Next Level Podcast with Michael McIntyre, my good friend Peter Louis explained how his lack of understanding of his freedom from sin kept him from seeing God as a loving father.
"If I would ever screw up and give in to the lust and the sexual addiction, I would take at least a day or two before I would spend time with God," Peter said half-jokingly. "In my mind, I was like, Let me let the dust of His anger settle, and then I'll come back and right the ship. It was such a works-based mindset."
So many people share that mindset. They carry around guilt, shame and condemnation like it's a badge of honor. Like it's a way of life. Like the price that Jesus paid wasn't enough and more striving is necessary. It's not true. It's a lie from the pit of hell. And we—You, I—can do better.
We can have that gift of freedom. We can experience the victory and reward that Christ meant for us to have.
And I believe as we step into that river, our creative juices will flow. We will build what He's called us to build. We will lead like He's called us to lead. And we will awaken to the abundant life experience He has designed us to have.
Are you ready to live? Christ has paid the price for your freedom. So be free.
Tune into the Next Level Podcast With Michael McIntyre on the Charisma Podcast Network.
Michael McIntyre is a businessman, a life coach and an entrepreneur. His mission in life is to motivate and inspire. He has been inspired by the lives and ministry of Bill Johnson and Heidi Baker, and in turn, he wants to pass on the wisdom he has acquired from them to other believers.
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