Last week we looked at the freedom we have here in America because of the brave men and women who laid down their lives to defend it.
As I think about the freedom we enjoy in our country, I also think about the freedom we have in Christ. And how many times we don’t live our lives like we are truly free.
We are free from our sins because of the cross. That fact literally changes everything….
BUT ONLY IF WE LET IT!
And honestly, most of us don’t make the choice to let that incredible gift of grace change us. We allow ourselves to be controlled and haunted by our past. We let doubt and worry speak louder in our heads than peace and joy. We allow lies from the enemy to take our thoughts hostage rather than fighting back and replacing those lies with truth found in God’s Word about who we really are.
Freedom is ours for the taking, so why don’t we take absolutely all of it?
I know I haven’t been living in complete freedom lately. I’ve felt hindered and stuck at times. I’ve felt chained to my past.
And today in my quiet time, God showed me very simply what He was asking me to do:
Lean in. Let go. Trust.
So simple. Things we’ve all probably heard a million times. But hearing or reading these words one more time is not what God is asking of you and me. Or more accurately, it’s not what He’s offering.
In order to live in complete freedom, we have to actually apply these words to our lives.
But how? How do we do that, practically speaking?
I don't pretend to have all the answers, but for me, leaning in looks like spending more time in His presence, diving deep into His Word rather than just checking the “read my Bible” exercise off my daily to-do list. Reading something and applying it to my life are two entirely different exercises.
For me, leaning in means allowing myself to feel my feelings without telling myself to “just get over it” or telling myself that I “shouldn’t” feel that way as a Christian. Feelings are not right or wrong; and when I allow myself to feel them, it becomes an opportunity for God to meet me there and breathe new life into me.
Letting go, that’s the hard part, isn’t it? At least it is for me. Letting go is scary and hard but so wonderful when we finally do. Talk about freedom!
It means surrendering control and not trying to take it back (which I love to do). It means letting go of outcomes. It means laying the people I love down at the feet of Jesus.
Letting go means I put whatever I’m worried about or stressing over in God’s hands completely and entirely, knowing He will give me what I need to get through whatever is before me, good or bad.
And leaning in and letting go naturally lead us to trust. The stronger our trust muscle is, the easier it is to do the first two steps.
And I realize while I’m writing this that these steps are very clearly laid out in a verse I dearly love:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
This is how we live in freedom, my friend! Freedom from anxiety. Freedom from worry. Freedom from shame and regret. Freedom from despair.
Jesus sacrificed so much to give us the gift of freedom. And our Father’s greatest desire is that we step fully into that freedom once and for all. He wants us to grab hold of it and incorporate it into our daily life, not just read about it and think it’s a gift meant for everyone else except us. Every breath we breathe can be lived in freedom when we allow God’s love to inhabit our hearts and change us from the inside out.
I challenge you to think about your freedom this week. I know I will be. God doesn’t force us His freedom on us.It’s up to us to take hold of it and step into it completely.
And oh my, what a beautiful gift that freedom is!
I hope these simple words will help you gain some fresh insights today and help you step deeper and deeper into the freedom you have in Christ as you lean in, let go and trust!
Hugs and love,