IF we can be free

This is my attempt to regurgitate what I learned at the IF: Gathering a couple weeks ago. I quoted directly when I could, but most of these truths came from the mouths of the likes of Ann Voskamp, Jen Hatmaker, Jennie Allen, Shellie Giglio, etc. I see the same movement, the same call being put out there in many circles. Which was, in fact, the goal of the IF:Gathering- to pull in all people from all denominations and get real.

Can we get real with one another? It feels a bit like asking y’all to get naked with me. But please do keep your clothes on. 

Can I ask you something?

Are you free?

What does that even mean?

Do you cost anything? Does your life cost something?

Or

Are you available? Not tied up?

Or

Are you not enslaved?

Close your eyes and imagine, what does your free self look like? What does a free life look like? If God is real, then what? What does that mean in your life, in my life?

Contrast that with your life now. Really, stop and think about it.

Are you free? Or are you weighted down, in bondage, your life isn’t costing anything, tied up, unavailable, enslaved.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galations 5:1

It’s possible to be delivered, and not free. It’s possible to continually go back to what previously enslaved us.

It’s possible to continue sticking our feet back in the mire that God pulled us from. It’s possible to shackle ourselves back up. After all, didn’t the Israelites beg to go back into captivity? We do the same.

I want to be free. Weightless, aware of what my life costs- a payment I did not have to make, available, untied, unbound.

Christine Cain said, “If hurt people hurt people, free people free people.” I couldn’t help but think about the movie, The Matrix. And I see that in the church. Like fish that don’t know we are wet, we are walking around bound because we are still.not.free. We don’t live like we’re free. We get stuck, tied down by the same sins continually, when the victory has been won. We trifle through silly debates, we defend the gospel like its a sweet little kitten and we are bound in fear like we don’t know that we belong to an indestructible kingdom. We don’t live like we believe God is real, that heaven is real.

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” Hebrew 12:12-13

Rebekah Lyons pointed out that we struggle to be free because we struggle with healing, and we struggle with healing because we struggle with confession.

On this path to freedom in Christ, what do you need to confess? What strongholds in your life need to be brought into submission to Christ Jesus? (Is it an addiction? Is it pure unadulterated selfishness? Is it loving this world more than you love Him? Is it anger? Is it fear? Is it refusal to fully surrender? Is it not believing the truth of who you are in Christ? Is it unbelief? What is holding you back from peace with God? From living in total joy and peace through Him, despite your circumstances? )

Ps 84 describes the life of those who are free, who have peace with God:

- they are dwelling in the presence of God, and enjoying the heck out of it. (V 1-2)

- they are being useful and doing their work in His presence. And Mammas, how precious is verse three? “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” Build your nest in His presence. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are all free to be in His presence.

- their strength is in God (v5)

- they go through dry places (there is no promise of an easy life here), and they make it a place of fresh springs (v6) {How do they do that? I want to know!}

- they are doorkeepers to God’s presence (v 10)

What does your life invite people to? Are you a free person freeing people?

Are you broken by sin or are you being broken and poured out for others? Do you want to be free? Are you ready to love God and be loved by God? Like really, for real? In a way that liberates you to freely love and serve others. Is this world your home? Is it all you’ve got? Then what?

I don’t have all the answers. But I have tasted and seen. I know there is freedom to be had. I know that overcoming is a possibility.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I know that this overcoming is possible, because it is not by my hand or through anything I can do.

Come with me on this journey?