6. How we became free
Ephesians 1:7 “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son and forgave our sins.” (NLT)
How was I not free before God freed me? First, I was not free to have a close relationship with God; I could not come near Him because He is holy, and I am a sinner. And second, I was not able to please God, to live the way He wanted for me, because I was a slave to my own desires and my own self-centeredness, following the wishes of God’s enemy, the evil one. I was not even free to live the way I wanted. I often chose to do what I knew was not the best thing for myself or others, just because I had an urge to do it.
So what am I now free to do? Because God purchased my freedom with Christ’s sacrifice and forgave my sins, I am free to come close to God, to have a personal relationship with Him. Able to claim all the promises of God to His children. Free to trust and obey. Free to do what pleases God when I allow the Holy Spirit to direct me. I am free from being a slave to myself and the evil one, and instead free to live as an adopted child the King. God’s grace and forgiveness allow me to approach Him and to obey Him, living a life that honors Him and fulfills me. I am free from having to be right all the time and needing to put myself first; I still often do those things, but I have the potential through God’s power to put other people first. This transition is a process that has begun but won’t be completed while I am on earth. Now, with the Holy Spirit in me, I can gradually become more like Christ in my attitudes, thoughts, and actions.
The big question: HOW? My response: when I am convicted of a need for change (something I want to stop thinking/feeling/doing or something I feel the Holy Spirit urging me to do, no matter how small a thing it is or how unsure I am about it), I choose to respond with a “yes” to the Holy Spirit to do His work, and then take the next clear step, which will be different for each situation. It’s primarily a mindset to let God change me, without resisting, rationalizing, or holding back. When I have responded to the Spirit’s leading (those quiet “urgings” to do something out of my comfort zone, like talking with someone I don’t know who appears to need help), God has opened some exciting doors for me to walk through. I want to be available and sensitive to opportunities from the Spirit.
Father, thank you for redeeming me and making me part of Your family. You are a good Father. Please help me trust You and not resist Your leading. Help me to obey what I know You want me to do! Please teach me to dance in the freedom that You have given me. Help me to be so confident in You that I can freely give to others and clearly demonstrate love that is from You. Amen.