2 Corinthians 3:17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Do you feel stuck and cannot move forward, and even though the Word of God declares Jesus set you free, you don’t feel free? What’s going on? In some cases, it’s a matter of belief. Not in the sense of some mind game that says if you think or believe hard enough, you will somehow overcome your obstacle. Rather, it is an issue of what you believe to be true; but, before you can believe the what, you have to believe the Who. There’s an old song that says, “Whose report will you believe? We will believe the report of the Lord.” It goes on to say what His report says. If you don’t believe Him, it won’t really matter much what His report says, because you’re not in faith at that point. Not only do need to believe in the Lord, you need to believe Him.
Now, if you are having trouble believing Him, please don’t condemn yourself, and get sucked into the shame vortex. There’s something hindering your decision to believe.
Ironically, it ties in with what you believe about God. Sometimes, life experiences interfere with the way you see life, and yes, God Himself. Those who lived a hard life and experienced betrayal from those closest to them, tend to be cynical. That cynicism comes with them into the Kingdom. Granted, upon conversion, many immediately lose a great deal of it, or even all of that cynicism. Nonetheless, it can be difficult for some to even trust the One with Whom it is impossible to lie (see Hebrews 6:18). The shorter one’s history is with God, the more applicable this may be. However, it is up to the individual to make the decision about trust and how to see things. If you start with the principle God is good all the time and all the time God is good, you will be able to move to the next step: believe He absolutely loves you! There’s more proof of this fact than you will ever be able to see; but, you must decide to look for it. Read your Bible and see if there’s a passage of Scripture that says He loves everyone, but you. Time to squash that one! Remember, you cannot equate a negative past with a very good God. There’s another lesson to examine in relation to that one, but we’ll continue with this one.
Let’s address one more area of belief before going onto some of the things the Word actually says about freedom. We briefly touched on it: do you believe God loves you? If you don’t, then you won’t fully embrace His freedom and the gift of grace He has given you. There is much that could be said about this, but we’ll only address a couple things at this point.
One is stop viewing yourself from the past. As long as you see yourself as who you once were, you’ll fail to see yourself the way our loving Father sees you today. It is difficult to accept love if you believe you’re unlovable.
2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. New means new as in prototype –the first of its kind. Something that never previously existed. It’s far better than a remake or do-over. If God says you’re a new creation, then you’re a new creation. And you’re a new creation because He loves you. The Cross is a symbol of His love; not your sin, shame and failure. If you love Him, it is because He loved you first (see 1 John 4:16-19)! The death of Jesus Christ totally underscores this fact (see Romans 5:8).
Okay, what about freedom. Whose report will you believe, the Creator’s or His creation’s? Whose report is greater?
If you put more faith in what man says than God, your faith is misplaced. Man says, once an addict, always an addict. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic and so on. You’ll just have to learn to live with your addiction (whatever that addiction may be). That is so not Bible! Even our opening verse of Scripture clearly says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord there is freedom!” Guess what, if Holy Spirit lives in you, you’re free if you believe it. As a man thinks, so is he. Even Jesus said, “So be it according to your faith.” If you decide to believe you’re in bondage, then you’re in bondage. You will continue to be in bondage because you will live like you are in it; even though, spiritually you are free. Obviously, some think their belief is greater than God. Yes, you can put yourself back into bondage; but that too is another lesson.
Ephesians 2:8-9For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Question: what is grace? It is God’s unmerited favor that empowers you to do and be what you could not do or be on your own. The word, “saved” means to be delivered, protected and healed. It means to make whole. The grace of God gave you power to live in freedom and righteousness. Ephesians 4:24And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Holy Spirit is our Comforter in Whom we have comfort. If you allow Him to comfort you, your old habit of finding it in other things will disappear. Even though we’re no longer sinners, we still have the freedom of choice. God’s grace actually gave you the choice in that without it, you could not make the decision to walk in righteousness, much less with total freedom. Apart from God’s grace, people are in bondage to sin. It is self-deception to think otherwise. That being said, make the decision to be comforted by Holy Spirit. You now have a right to decide.
Decide to believe that you are righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. In Jesus Christ you are righteous and holy. By receiving this truth as your own, regardless of how you feel, your behavior will follow. Moreover, your emotions will follow suit.
“I don’t care what I feel right now, God’s Word is true! His Word says I am free!” Say this out loud right now, “I am free because God said so!” “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so . . .” (Psalm 107:2)!