Spiritual Freedom Isn’t a Free Gift
As Christians, we are the beneficiaries of so many good things from God, it’s nearly impossible to list them all. We spend a considerable amount of time in prayer and thanksgiving acknowledging that we are undeserving of them, which, of course, is true. He gives us mercy and grace, again and again, despite how big and how often we fall. “Countless second chances,” in the words of a popular Rend Collective song. It’s tempting for us to believe that every good thing we get from God is given as a free gift. But that just isn’t true. Especially when it comes to our spiritual freedom.
Working out our salvation
I’ve always been passionate about emotional and spiritual freedom. You really can’t have one without the other. They just naturally flow out of one another, because both are shaped by your perception of who you are and who God is. Don’t get me wrong—you don’t have to be free from struggles or issues to be emotionally and spiritually free. But it depends on who is in charge: you and the Lord, or your issues. In general, would you say you are living in bondage, or are you living in freedom?
The thing I’ve often noticed is that some people stay stuck, waiting on God to hand them their spiritual freedom. As if it’s all packaged up, wrapped in a bow, ready for Him to give it out when the time is right. It just doesn’t work that way.
Have you ever wondered what Paul meant by “work out your salvation”? (Philippians 2:12) I think he’s talking about what I’m saying right here. Not that we have to work for our salvation, but we should actively work out what being saved should look like. Will people look at us and see the freedom Christ bought for us on the cross? Will we pursue the things God has in mind for us, and live the kinds of lives (inwardly and outwardly) that He intends for us to live?
What does it mean to have spiritual freedom?
Spiritual freedom is living unencumbered by lies about ourselves, the world around us, and God. It’s a mindset of continual growth and healing, and grace for ourselves along the journey. And it’s the willingness and drive to pursue the best possible relationship we can have with our Creator.
How can you have this kind of freedom?
- You have to know (and believe) it’s available. The Bible tells us we can do all sorts of things that seem impossible or out of reach, but it doesn’t suggest we will get there by our own strength or power. Read some of these Bible verses on freedom and encourage yourself in the Word.
- You have to want it. Nobody should want it more than you do, except God Himself.
- Spiritual freedom isn’t something that can be passively received. Though access to it was purchased through Christ’s death on the cross, it is up to us to seek it out.
- It requires the willingness to take action and the dedication to do the work required to attain it. The best things in life don’t come without some serious effort and the dedication to see them through.
- You will have to give up other things in order to have it. Things like control, justification, bad habits, and your time. Again, if we want to have what is truly valuable, it will most certainly cost us something to get it.
- It requires partnership—with God and with others who hold you accountable and encourage you to keep going for it. Though you are fully responsible for your own process, you cannot get there alone.
- Once you become free yourself, you then must help others in their journeys toward spiritual freedom. Don’t be content with only your own freedom. Not only is this how we are meant to serve and encourage one another, but this is also how you maintain what you have worked so hard for.
New, different, and more yourself than you’ve ever been
There is a “you” that God had in mind all along when He created you. It’s like a beautiful pearl hidden inside, placed there by God for you to discover. Yes, that pearl has gotten covered over by layers of hurt, shame, fear, and sin throughout your lifetime. But your journey towards spiritual freedom is just a matter of peeling back and removing each of those layers to reveal the pearl inside. It’s becoming the you that you were always meant to be.
Don’t spend another day stuck where you’ve always been. Don’t wait to be given what you were meant to go after yourself. Reach out to those who can help spur you on and encourage you to keep going. But take that next step toward freedom.
I can’t imagine any pursuit that has a bigger payoff than this does. It is completely and utterly life changing and worth every effort.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Do you have questions, comments, or strategies you’d like to share about pursuing your own spiritual freedom? Let’s encourage one another in the comments below.