As I sat down and gazed out of the window finally feeling at peace with myself, I wondered why I didn’t have this feeling in the beginning of my salvation. I began to adjust my twisted foot higher to relieve some of the pain from my sprain, and giggled slightly as I realized the enemy was angry and this was another one of his losing attempts at snatching my Joy.
I mediated on the events of Sunday worship as I spoke to the Spirit slightly embarrassed at the way he used me to exhibit God’s glory. It always surprises and humbles me when the Spirit takes total control. I truly can only compare it to “a Fire caught up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9). If I try to stop it, if I try to control myself, I become weary and the Spirit pushes harder to defy my foolish flesh. I can only describe it at it’s best as full freedom!
As humans we often define freedom as having full control of oneself; our desires, our livelihood, our future, our past, our coming and going, our love, our hate…etc. Dictionary.com defines it as:
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
We gravitate more toward the first definition, and therefore live our life fighting for the freedom to do what we want, when we want, wherever we want with no constraints. If at any time we do not feel we have total control, we consider ourselves in bondage.
“I realized the enemy was angry and this was another one of his losing attempts at snatching my Joy.”
After living a life on my own terms never truly feeling free, especially as an African American Woman, I wondered if freedom was obtainable and if so, who are those few people that are blessed to experience it?
So I did a small experiment. I asked the people around my office, some friends, and some family if they truly felt free. The consensus whether white, black, family, friends, “well off” or “broke” was no.
I sat back puzzled, I didn’t understand how so many people from different backgrounds and financial status could all feel the need to be free but not obtain it. Even those who say they live life on their own terms felt constrained.
John 8:36 states: So if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed.
In the beginning of my faith walk I didn’t understand the freedom that came with Jesus Christ. So even as a christian I still felt bound to the law; tangled in a web of works to free myself and please the God who thought enough of me to send his Son to die and be raised for my salvation. I was still living on my own terms; the only difference? Jesus was now along for the ride.
“There must be something wrong” I said loudly as I cried at another one of my failed attempts at sainthood. I picked up my laptop and Googled freedom again; this time the second definition slapped me with force!
I finally got it! True Freedom was not the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. It was the liberation from the slavery of sin; the power of the enemy. True independence from the ruling of my fleshly desires! And the only way this could be obtained was by giving myself fully in choice, action, necessity, without coercion, in willing constraint of the word of God through Jesus Christ!
Although I was free from the slavery of sin, I was now purchased and sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6: 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
My benefits were different! It was like going from a dead end job with no benefits, no advancement, that I hated, to now having a job with benefits, unlimited vacation time, and a boss who truly cared about me, my future, and my family! Although I was still under the ruling of this new job, it didn’t feel like work at all, because the hard work had already been done! I was only carrying out what I could bear with total guidance and help.
It always surprises and humbles me when the Spirit takes total control. I truly can only compare it to “a Fire caught up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9). If I try to stop it, if I try to control myself, I become weary and my soul pushes harder to defy my foolish flesh. I can only describe it at it’s best as full freedom!