I grew up with various discomforts working inside me. I was very self-conscious and readily embarrassed, even though I wanted to be in the spotlight. I was insecure and carried a sense of wrestling my way through life. I carried a lot of pride, and that made me readily ashamed if I made a gaff.
During my teenage years my family enjoyed a time of spiritual awakening, through the Charismatic Revival of the 1960’s. During that time I sensed God speaking to me and moving me toward freedom on the inside.
I struggled with that journey into freedom, mostly because of feeling insecure about trusting God to set me free without hurting me in the process. I had a whole bunch of things to unravel and clear up in my inner life, unseen by others.
Wonderfully God led me to enjoy a great deal of freedom. Along the way I began to recognise the difference between being bound up on the inside compared to having what I dubbed a ‘Free Spirit’.
I created a humorous scenario in my mind to contrast my feelings of inferiority and insecurity with what it would be like to be wonderfully free on the inside. I imagined what it would be like to have one of the school bullies approach me and say, with a sneer, “You’re an idiot!” A person who was damaged on the inside could be totally intimidated by such a confrontation. But a person with a Free Spirit, free from inner issues of fear or shame, could step up to the bully and say, “You’re not supposed to say that. We’re keeping it a secret.”
A person who is free on the inside isn’t embarrassed, or ashamed. They aren’t worried about their appearance or reputation, but are focused on getting on with life, and serving God. They won’t care if there are people who don’t like them, because that’s probably true for everyone. You can’t please everyone all the time.
They won’t live in fear about their future, confident that God has wonderful plans for them, even if the path is uncertain at times. They won’t be afraid of other people, since they are complete in themselves and not finding their identity by the approval of others.
I journeyed toward that kind of freedom. It was a slow process for me, because I was locked up in many ways and because I didn’t have anyone assisting me through the process. I had to let God speak to me, and then respond appropriately, which I was often reluctant to do.
I was encouraged by several Bible verses that assured me God was in the business of making people free and whole on the inside.
“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3
“A bruised reed He will not break and a smouldering piece of cloth he will not stamp out.” Isaiah 42:3
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul prospers.” 3John 1:2
“He sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness to the prisoners” Isaiah 61:1
I did not want my soul, the inner part of me, to be broken, crumpled and incapacitated. I wanted to be whole and strong and free. I knew that God is in the business of bringing such freedom, so, over time, with all my insecurities, I allowed God to work on the inside of me.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2Corinthians 3:17
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“With unveiled faces we see the glory of the Lord, and are transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2Corinthians 3:18
My journey into freedom was delightful and it led me to put together a summary of the path God led me on, which I call the Steps to Release. You can find various elements of that in my various writings.
Let me assure you here that God is in the business of setting people free from things that haunt and bind them on the inside, including things no-one else even realises you suffer from. God loves you, just the way you are, even with your weakness and failure, and with all the unpleasant things inside your life.
God is keen to breathe His Spirit into your life and start unlocking things that have kept you bound. You don’t have to be a prisoner to fear, insecurity, shame, misgivings, or anything else inside you.
Open yourself to God right now and ask Him to move into your life by His Holy Spirit and start you on the wonderful journey to become Free on the Inside.