He has made us so free


I’m a thinker. I like to weigh every single possible option before making a decision. I’m also a perfectionist, so some decisions just hang there, stagnating, because no possible outcome is good enough.

Which is probably how my drafts folder is bigger than my published folder.

Can you relate? You agonize over a job offer that requires you to move. You feel stuck in your circumstances. You’re reluctant to reach out to people for fear of rejection.

Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you have no problem calling the shots, are an expert networker and an energizing pal. But deep inside, you feel like a fraud, convinced today is the day it’ll all come crashing down.

Thank God, there is grace for all of us.

I’ve been reading through Acts, and as I follow Paul on his missionary journeys, I marvel at his freedom. Paul doesn’t sit around wringing his hands, wondering where to travel next, or pondering his purpose in life. He knows his upward call — our call — is simple: Make disciples of all the nations. So he and his companions just go. Sometimes “the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them” to go to a certain place, and they simply course corrected. There is no panicking on their part, no agonizing over their decisions, no sitting around waiting for the Lord to make a specific route or journey absolutely clear, safe and perfect before proceeding. There’s also no pretense; they’re not relying on their own brilliance or strategy when they plan their travels.

They’re confident that their Jesus will prevail. He will take His Word to the ends of the earth. He will use those He has called to do it. God’s providence has set them free to do His work. They fix their eyes on their Father, and go, trusting Him to keep the pace as they do.

Because of Jesus, we have the same kind of freedom. This I know, for the Bible tells me so:

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15) 

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

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

What does that mean, to not be held hostage to sin, to fear, to the dominion of darkness? It means our most desperate need — to be made right with God — has already been fulfilled. Our biggest failure has already been redeemed, and the very worst thing that could have happened to us — not just death, but eternal punishment in hell — has been canceled. Undone. Deleted. So what’s left to fear? For those of us in Christ Jesus, who are kept by Him, who are being guarded through faith — if we are seeking the Lord diligently, then what decision or move or relationship could we possibly make for the kingdom that would destroy us? He’s our helper, He’s on our side. What can anyone do to us?

And besides, the cross tells us we can’t do it on our own. Perfection is always beyond our reach. We can’t make our own way to God; He had to send His Son to bring us to Him. And Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us, because we can’t sanctify ourselves; we need His help. We will never craft the perfect plan or make a perfect decision or move in a perfect direction or even write a perfect blog post — we’re free from that burden. And for the days we feel like we have it all together, we’re free from the burden of keeping up pretenses, confident that it’s God who works in us to will and to work for His good pleasure.

We, like Paul and his traveling companions, are free to fix our eyes on our Father, grab hold of His outstretched hand, and run wild after, for and with Him. What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? The kind of love will not let us stumble or fall. The kind that tends our every need, hears every cry, joins in every laugh, sets the pace for every mile. All that’s left is for us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all our days, to glorify Him by enjoying Him forever.

Buoyed by this tender mercy of our God, we are free, beloved, because He who gives us life and breath and everything else — He loves us so much! 

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