Freedom dangles in front of every decision we make. Sure, consequences push us away or pull us toward certain choices but we still have the power over our decision.
There are certain lifestyles or habits that claim freedom but breed imprisonment. Sin is one of those things we cannot escape from on this earthly world but we can surely turn from it. Recognizing our decision to sin and turning away from it is the first step of freedom.
You’re off the treadmill and can actually reach the dangling carrot now. That lovely dangling carrot is Christ Jesus, the Savior who died with the burden of our sins so we could live without that weight. No carrot could ever be so worthwhile. He is the prize of the marathon we run, the journey we call life. Because when we take that carrot, when we accept Jesus, we consume the carrot, we invite Him into our being.
The chains of slavery fall and the light of the Lord illuminates us towards righteousness.
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
You’ve realized your wrongs, you’ve accepted the gift of salvation, and you’re ready to change but now what… What does it mean to be free? How does God purify us from all unrighteousness?
God looks at us for our heart. Our past transgressions no longer bear weight over us. Unfortunately, sin won’t immediately leave your life. For many of us who’ve struggled with environments or habits that produced low lifestyles, this newfound freedom can be quite overwhelming.
As always with God, there is good news, the adjustment period is full of grace and support.
The Holy Spirit comes to live with us when we are saved, the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of God who helps us navigate life on earth.
1 Corinthians 2:12
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
The Spirit is our advocate, He knows all things of God, and it is His job to lead us. This means that God gifts us salvation and then gifts us with instructions (Scripture) and gifts us with a guide. When you feel nudges in certain directions: away from your old crowd or toward a new hobby, you could be hearing the Spirit.
This year, when I came back to Christ…I felt lots of nudges. And they may seem small, but they are actually evidence of the Spirit’s presence in my life. I started hearing my language through the ears of God, so I cleaned up my potty mouth. I began seeing myself as a child of God, I got rid of immodest clothing. Bye-bye tiny crop tops. (That might sound silly because now I have a preggo belly but we can talk about it later.)
Yes, I also had to distance myself from some people. If the environment was going to fill my soul with gossip or talk about alcohol, drugs, sex–I stayed away. I cleaned up my social media feeds, if a post was derogatory then I unfriended the person. I deleted my horoscope apps. MUSIC!!! I stopped listening to music with dirty or violent language. And I realized there are so many more options out there that actually produce a better internal state.
I was obsessed with Queen of the South and had every episode recorded. I’d watch them the very next day…well, one day I noticed that I had let several weeks pile up. I no longer wanted to sit for an hour of drugs and violence. Like seriously, at least 12 people die per episode.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
I began enjoying fruitful hobbies: bible study and writing! I cleaned up my eating habits, I started spending quality time with my family, I was going to church 3 times a week, reading and doing homework consistently. Reading the Bible daily and speaking to God through morning walks.
“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
When you kick out the ugly roommates from your soul, you have space to try new things. You have the energy and the desire to seek what is good and to only focus on those things.
“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
One of my friends noticed that I started writing. They asked me if I would like write their college papers for them in exchange for some money. I’ve done this before, and I could make an easy $100 per paper. My initial thought was “Ooo, quick cash!” But the Spirit knocked on my heart, “You are no longer being dishonest.” I had to decline.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Becoming free means literally becoming new! I did not have to fall into my old ways just because that is what I was used to. I not only had permission to change, become a new person, but I was encouraged to do so. Everyday God would stick His hand in my heart and rearrange my dispositions. The Spirit would speak to me by drawing me towards or pulling me away from something.
I think a lot of people struggle with incorporating God into their life because it means changing almost every aspect of their personality. Well, doesn’t that make one a hypocrite?
That stupid, old trick is from the enemy–and he will use the people in your life to put you down about changing. THE CHAINS ARE GONE. You are no longer a slave. You are free in Christ and you are called to act like it. You are not bound by any past definition, by the memories of other people, nor even by your own wrongdoings.
God uplifts His children! You have every right to say “No!” to the world and all the more power to say “Yes!” to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Colossians 3:9-10 (MSG)
“Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete…”
You are now fashioned by our Creator Himself. How exciting is that!