Many soldiers die and have died. They leave the comforts of home in hopes to not only keep their families safe and allow them the best opportunity to live life to the fullest, but to keep America true to its name— the land of the free and the brave. They fight a battle that isn’t theirs and sacrificially put their lives on the line. Every year, we celebrate them and our freedom and independence. As Americans, we are so blessed. A lot of us haven’t had to lift a finger for our freedom and independence; we’ve just always had it, but our freedom as Americans is not free and our independence as citizens is dependent on the lives of every soldier on the battle field. This year, it really hit home for me.
The thought “To be independent is to be dependent” puzzled my mind a bit at first. How can independence be dependent on dependence? Is it really independence if it requires dependence? It bewildered me; but as I opened my Bible to Romans 8 (which I had been meaning to read for a few weeks) and dived into the passage, God immediately correlated my thoughts with His Word. It all began to make sense.
God’s way of thinking is far stretched from ours. At times, His ways may seem incredulous and hard for us to comprehend.
If we remain still, silence our minds, and allow ourselves the opportunity to listen as He speaks to our hearts; it’ll slowly start to click. We will realize how close to our hearts God’s thoughts for us are.
Romans 8 begins with the following words,
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
What does it mean to be condemned? According to the dictionary, it means the following, “to be disapproved of; typically in public, to be criticized, to be sentenced to something“. Aren’t those the reasons why so many of us are afraid to be ourselves, to share the gospel, to put ourselves out there, to live our life to the fullest? We are afraid of being condemned, so we hide and live in captivity to fear. Some of us even live in a false sense of condemnation from lies we have accepted as truth; but there’s hope! There is no condemnation (no disapproval) for those who are in Christ Jesus. Did you catch the condition there? For those who are in Christ Jesus, who was disapproved of and criticized by the world and sentenced to death so that we could be approved and encouraged by Him and have eternal life, there is no condemnation.
This requires of us to live after the spirit and not after the flesh. Through the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus we are made free from the law of sin and death. As we abide in Him (live for Him), He strengthens us and equips us to overcome the daily struggles that our thrown our way. Starting with the truth to battle the lies in our mind. Every battle is fought and won and every struggle is overcome in the mind. That’s Satan’s favorite battle field and the one we most often leave unguarded and vulnerable.
Before the world as we know it even existed, God foreshadowed what the future of humanity would look like.
…God divided the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:4
Just like humanity would be divided into children of light and darkness the instant both Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of the forbidden tree. Since the beginning, there have only been two options. There was darkness. Light walked in the midst of it. There were Adam and Eve with God and Satan in the midst of them. There has always been a choice, and we could even say that Adam and Eve weren’t free until they ate from the fruit, because then and only then did they know what freedom was and chose to live in it out of free will.
Freedom is rooted in the belief that we are free from what once held us captive. In order to continually live in freedom, we need to accept that we aren’t in the place we once were and that we aren’t who we once were. We need to constantly remind ourselves of ourselves. Knowing whose we are and in turn, who we are give us the courage to declare truth over what is holding us back.
I am loved because…
the Bible tells me so.
I am worthy because…
He has called me.
I’m not afraid because…
there’s no fear in love.
I can do this because…
with God, all things are possible.
I am His because…
He chose me.
I am free because…
I can be.
There is one ruler of this universe, one Creator, and His name is God. In Him, we are found, known, and set free from ourselves, the lies that are thrown our way, and the hold that Satan sometimes has on our lives, but this freedom requires submission to His love. We have to humble our hearts and allow him to prune us and get to the root of the matter.
Like I mentioned earlier, Adam and Eve weren’t free until their eyes were opened to the condition of their hearts, and the decision to choose between His love and their desires was in front of them. Freedom is a choice and we can’t choose it until we are aware of our captivity and choose to step out of it. The door to our jail cell is wide open but if we never step out of the cell, it doesn’t matter whether the door is open or not. We are still trapped. Maybe shame is holding you in place, lack of worth, or just plain fear; but the power to empower you to step out of your cell lives in you. Call out to Him. “Jesus! Jesus!” Step out in His name.
The first step is humility— denying ourselves, doubt, thoughts, wants, desires, and sometimes even our dreams, and accepting the Love of Christ.
Love is not selfish. It’s the seed of freedom. Plant it in your heart and nurture it.
Sometimes, this requires honesty with more than just ourselves. Take hold of the extended hand of a friend. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and receive love from those around you. The enemy will try to keep you quiet, but speak up.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Nothing scares Satan more than His lies being exposed and truth being declared. Be honest with yourself and invite other Kingdom warriors to live and love boldly with you. We are stronger together, and with Christ we are unstoppable.
Our freedom is not free. It was paid by an all-loving God who as the General of His own army left His freedom to be captivated by our sins so that in turn, we could have a chance at freedom. He fought our battle and won. He humbles himself each and every day at the doors of our hearts, knocking and knocking to tell us the good news of a His love and what He has done for us. He doesn’t care how many doors will open and be thrown at his face or even how many will never open. No matter how many times we reject Him, He will continue to passionately pursue us with compassion. He doesn’t and won’t give up on us. We are His everything, the sole reason for His death; and until He becomes our everything, we will fall in the midst of anything.
Christ is the root of our freedom. Without Him, we would have been forever trapped in the hands of the enemy. Therefore, our independence from this world depends on our dependence on Christ. Independence depends on dependence.
The moment Christ rose from the dead, Satan’s hands were opened and the hold he thought he would have on us forever was loosened. Our hope became reality and we finally had the choice, the freedom, to walk onto the loving hands of our Savior. God never forces us to do anything.
We either live for Him because we love Him or we live for the world because we don’t.
The world offers a live freely lifestyle with the belief that one isn’t dependent on or tied to anything, and it’s right. When we live for the world, we are on our own. We will forever be in debt with a debt that has already been paid, and Satan will do anything in His power to keep us captive. He feeds us lies about ourselves and twists the truth around until we are convinced that’s all there is. At first, it may even seem good. That’s how he traps us. Deceives our hearts until our minds follow suit.
But, like I mentioned earlier, the jail cell is open and light is bursting through the door way. Open your eyes. Your bail has been paid. There is nothing to fear. Open your heart to the Love around you and allow the light to bring to light and fight with the truth the lies that have been fed to you. The freedom that is offered to us by our heavenly Father has no limits. His Kingdom is eternal. Once you are His, you are His forever and nothing and no one can change that. With Him, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. There is no limit. The truth of His love has set us free. Will we take a step of faith and accept the freedom that has been so graciously given to us? He’s waiting for your hand.
Love won’t let you go.
WELCOME TO A PLACE IN HIS HEART.
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Here’s a song that crossed my path and I find fits well with this post: Lay it All Down. By United Pursuit and Will Reagan.
Thank you for allowing me to share what He places on my heart with you. I pray that these words pierce your heart and bring a little light to your soul. I encourage you to read Romans 8 along with it. As it’s what gave my thoughts life. Remember, you are so loved and because of this more than a conqueror. The One who conquered the world lives in you!
Again, thank you for reading. Leave a comment below letting me know your thoughts on this post and share with me what God has been speaking to you. I’d love to hear! Stay tuned, friends!