I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely prone to living within the limits of my fear, my failure, my past and my insecurity. I’m tempted to compete and get caught up in comparing myself to those I don’t feel I measure up to. In this world, I’m chained.
But a long time ago, Jesus came. He flipped the world on its head and told us there are no limits, no disqualifiers and no needs for comparison. He told us excuses are dumb and selfishness will leave us caged by the very things in which we seek comfort.
Jesus came and said His purpose was to set us free. He paid the price so that we have access to the freedom His death and resurrection provided. He walked with us to give a step-by-step, real-life guide of what it looks like to be His. He came to give us freedom and show us how to live in it.
As a result of Jesus’ life on earth and what He said, we know this: freedom doesn’t happen in one fell swoop…there’s always a price for it.
- Jesus paid the price once for all, right? Yes, but we wake up every day with a decision to make: will we step into the freedom He’s given? When my dad suddenly passed away, my hope left me in an instant, and at nineteen I was so blinded by grief that I felt like I was walking in total darkness. Eventually I had a choice to make. Would I stay in the sadness or would I stand back up? My first act of freedom: connecting with people again. I headed back into church, making eye contact with people and settling into the initially uncomfortable small-talk. I eventually found myself serving in kids ministry, holding hands with fatherless children (my kind of people). My first act of freedom propelled me into the second, third and more acts. Like leading worship and going to counseling and diving into global missions and serving in ministry full-time and even dating. Each step changed me bit by bit, leading me to know my Heavenly Father more and more. But that’s just it—it was one step at a time. It was one decision at a time. Often, what’s more important than where we’re headed is simply the commitment to keep going in the direction we’re being led.
- Jesus paid a price to grant us access to freedom, and now we get to pay a price (which is nothing close to what He paid) to bring others into the freedom He offers. Sometimes the price is praying with loved ones in the middle of the night over the burdens that keep them restless. The price may be taking a step of faith to raise money and head overseas to love on the seemingly unloved. The price may be stepping into someone else’s pain in order to pull them into the light. There’s always a price. The price is always worth it.
So, why does it matter to talk about freedom? Because those who have been freed know God wants us to settle for nothing less. Those people know freedom starts with what God is doing inside of us and isn’t complete until other people are invited into it as well.
There’s a quote from Nelson Mandela hanging in my bedroom that says, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Have you accepted what Jesus has done for you by choosing to walk in His path of freedom? When’s the last time you paid the price to help someone else walk down the same path? Be God’s, be free and stand strong to spread your arms wide and invite everyone into our little sliver of Heaven on earth. Take the limits off and let God flip your world upside down. Stay committed to the formula for freedom that God is working out in your life—He’s promised that He’s making all things new. Friend, let’s live free, let’s live lionhearted.