Did you know that it was for FREEDOM Christ has set us free?
What does that even mean?
I don't have a whole lot of answers, but I know what the Lord is teaching me, so I'll start there.
The topic of God's will has been a huge thing in my life the past few months (hence several of my recent posts). Am I in it? Do I know it? Can I find it? And then I realized all the questions I'd been asking concerning his will made it lots about ME, and not as much about his power. So, I talked to a friend, and he asked me several questions and really helped me to understand a few of the ways I'd been looking at it wrong. Let's look at scenario A. Imagine a straight line as "God's Perfect Will for My Life." Now, my view has always been: stay on the straight line, if you make a mistake and veer at any point, well, you're out of God's will and now he has to do certain things to bring you back. In this case, God is reactive. In this case, an imperfect person is being asked to follow a perfect plan. How well does that work out?
Now, onto scenario B. God in his foreknowledge and omnipotence saw each of my missteps from the beginning of creation and instead of punishing me for them by asking me to follow a perfect will anyway, he's proactive, not reactive. He orchestrates his perfect will for my life around those "mistakes" (now let's put them in parentheses) because he is sovereign. Sovereign - he rules supreme. How much more does that magnify him and his power? Like in every other situation of interaction between God and man - Jesus coming to earth being the prime example - GOD COMES TO US. He meets us where we are.
And so that leads me back to this idea of freedom. Having my eyes opened to this truth, how much more does that free me to walk unchained? If I really believe this in my life, my decisions, I'll be a lot less paralyzed by the "what-ifs" and a lot more free to live as I've been intended to. This is not a do-whatever-the-heck-I-want-to-because-God-already-knows-about-it card that I get to play whenever I want now. We've been given the Holy Spirit, with his convictions, for a reason. Sin is always contrary to God. More of what I mean is, if I'm not sure of God's leading 100% but I am faithful to pursue him and listen to his voice in me, I have no fear of the steps that I take, if they're "right" or "wrong". It means, to an extent, I trust my emotions (after all, they make great servants, though terrible masters). "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Yes, still be intentional about seeking God's will. "Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure" (Proverbs 4:26). But also know this: "For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths" (Proverbs 5:21). God is all the more intentional. This means even though I don't know much, I walk in what I do know and God will take it from there.
So what do I know? Well, for starters, I do know for certain that God wants us to be in communion with him, always. He wants us to love him first, then love others. He wants us to pursue holiness as Christ was holy. He wants us to be his hands and feet. So, the working out of my salvation, my freedom, is doing these things and trusting God with the rest.
There have been times when I've had to make a decision, not certain one way or the other what was "right". I trust that God knows best. If God wants me going the direction I've chosen, I believe he will affirm me in that. If he doesn't, I still believe ultimately his plan includes my decision, and he's worked it so that I learn things along the way that he wants me to know, as he puts circumstances in my life to take me the direction he wants. But it's not in vain. That maximizes the glory he receives, and makes it all for my good as well. And isn't that what he said he's after anyway? Don't we all know Jeremiah 29:11? Time to start believing it!
But let's not stop there. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Friends, God wants to be found. Sure, sometimes he may choose to be mysterious or aloof for a time to cultivate faithfulness, but in the fullness of his timing, he wants to be found. Jesus speaks to his disciples in Matthew 10:26, saying, "Have no fear, nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." God speaks through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 42 verse 16: "And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know; in paths that they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them." God wants to be known. We are made in his image, and what is one of our greatest desires? To be known! To have another know us completely and understand us. I believe God is that way, too. And that reassures me in times when I feel like I don't know a thing. To know that the darkness will become light for me to see allows my heart to rest in his faithfulness.
I also must trust in his timing. Again in Isaiah, in chapter 48 God speaks this:
You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known. They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, 'Behold, I knew them.' You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel. For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
God reveals things to us at the right time, when he knows we're ready. More freedom can be found here. Instead of trying to manipulate the things around us, we are free to live unbound when we know and believe that God will meet our needs, give us all that we need - physically and spiritually - at just the right time.
Oh, how I crave this freedom! And it is mine! It has been gifted to me through the sacrifice of my brother, my husband, Jesus Christ! Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
How will it change your life to truly walk and live in the freedom that Christ offers? Not bound to anything of the law, but locked onto God and his promises? Don't waste any more time - breathe in deeply this LIBERTY like you were always created to!
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