Now we come to the most exciting part of this series – that of Finding Freedom. Jesus sets us free. God gives us “liberty”. God heals our broken hearts. So, how do we experience those things?
“If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you will be free indeed (truly free).” John 8:36
“Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” Psalm 124:7
“He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
My Journey to Freedom
In my late teenage years I was touched by the Charismatic Revival. It was a season of spiritual refreshing and release of the reality of the Holy Spirit. Many people who had been Christians for years, such as I had been, became activated in a new way.
As I encountered that process I found that God seemed to impress me with various thoughts in various ways. I particularly found God making me feel uncomfortable about the fake life I had built around me. I was hiding my pain behind a mask of confidence. Behind that mask I felt insecure and vulnerable.
My response to those impressions was to reject them. They made me feel uncomfortable, even though I sensed it was God who was speaking to me. My heart response was, “Go and pick on someone else! I’m doing much better than many. Go and pick on those who need more help than I do.”
I experienced this, and other challenging thoughts, over many months. My standard response was to resist the impressions and press on as best I could.
Admit Your Need
I realise now that the very first step toward freedom is to admit you have a need. As long as I resisted God’s challenge about my needs and my false life, I could not be healed and set free.
I have had people ask me to pray for their needy relatives. But when I ask if those people are open to God or would even admit their need I am told “No, they wouldn’t admit it.” I cannot help people unless they are willing to admit they have a need.
God pushed me to the point where I admitted I had a need, but I still would not let God deal with me. I was afraid of the damage He might do if He messed with my inner pain. I had buried all that stuff and didn’t even really know where it came from. So I didn’t want it all stirred up.
I could not move further forward until I came to a place of trust in God. I needed to be confident that God would only do me good and not leave me in a mess or in pain if He messed with my inner life.
That confidence to trust God was built up in me in two ways. First I heard a bunch of messages about the Love of God. As God’s love was explained to me and I saw what the Bible had to say about it, I found faith built up within me.
And that’s biblical. The Bible says that faith works by “love”. When we get a revelation of God’s love our ability to have faith in Him is increased.
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” Galatians 5:6
The second thing that helped me trust God was truth from God’s Word, the Bible. I found several verses which spoke about God’s love and His trustworthiness. Those verses helped to undergird my struggling faith in God.
Some of the verses which blessed me are listed here. Some of these verses had been put to music and I only learned them because they were sung regularly in church.
“He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“The LORD appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
“Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3
The verse which gave me the greatest confidence to let God deal with the inner things of my heart was His promise not to damage the vulnerable.
“A bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench: he will bring forth judgment unto truth.” Isaiah 42:3
Let God be God
I had to come to the place where I trusted God to be God. Up until then I trusted myself more than God. I knew that I would not let myself get hurt, if I could help it. But I was not sure about God.
How ridiculous! I put more trust in a hopeless and failing human than in the God of all eternity!
I also had to trust God to be the God of Love, since “God is love” (1John 4:8). I had to believe that God was telling the truth and that He had all the power to do it right, and all the love to only want what is best for me.
Once my faith had been bolstered by learning about the love of God and by seeing God’s precious promises in the Bible, I finally gave in and let God be God in my life.
Jumping in the Dark
I remembered hearing the story of a father who would stand his infant son on the table, turn out the lights and then tell the son to jump off. The boy had to trust his father’s good intentions, strength and promise, in order to happily jump off in the dark.
I had to take a similar leap of faith. I had to trust God to be God. I had to lose all control and trust God to know what He was doing and to be abundantly able to not only protect me, but to bless me, just as He said He would.
Taking such a leap of faith is hard when insecurity is an inherent problem in your life. Rejection leads to insecurity, so I made no hasty rush at this offer. But, praise God, I did finally get to the point where I would trust God.
Lord, Get Me Ready
Here is a prayer for those who feel much of what I have struggled with. This is for those who want to be free, but who are bound up by fears and insecurities.
“Lord God, teach me to trust You. I know in my head that You are God and that nothing is impossible for You. But in my heart I am fearful and insecure. I want to trust You from the depths of my being. I want to be free. Lord, get me ready to receive Your love and enter into the freedom which you have for me. I ask this in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.”
Tags: freedom, rejection, steps to release
How wonderful are His ways! I was in the middle of the charismatic out pouring as well. Though I had received a wonderful touch of the Lord, I was still thinking that I was only good for being a wife and mother and having an open door for anyone. One day I had a picture (vision?) of standing in front of people talking to them in a hall of something. I could not believe that that was from the Lord and I rebuked the enemy to tempt me. There was, I thought, a great danger in that to become puffed up. That could not have been from the Lord, was my reasoning. Yet…..He had His ways and over the years I have stood in front of many people. I am still afraid of being puffed up but I see now that real freedom is only IN HIM AND FROM HIM. Ours surely is a pilgrim’s journey. In Him, Evie.