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John 8:32 says “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
So what is this truth that Jesus is talking about? What is freedom, really?
If I were to ask you if you thought you were free, you would probably say yes.
But it is possible, that many people who think they are free, really are not.
We tend to equate being “free” as a physical thing, but the freedom I am referring to, is spiritually free.
You see, we may think we are free, until our eyes are opened to see the captivity that we have actually been in. As Beth Moore put it in her book Breaking Free, she was a “prisoner unaware. The kind of prisoner most vulnerable to her captors. The easiest prey there is.”
For many years, I was imprisoned by the lies of Satan, but just like Beth, I did not even realize it – until – the day that I was set free.
And I remember every detail about that life changing day, including the weather, the sounds, the smells and all the surroundings. I vividly remember releasing my shame, guilt and the damaging lies, and embracing a sense of peace like never before.
Looking back, I can relate my experience to how a prisoner must feel when he is granted freedom after spending years behind cold, metal bars; that unforgettable moment when he feels the overwhelming, almost numbing feeling of freedom, as he puts his toes in the cold, wet grass, and is allowed to leave the prison gates for the very first time, and experience the feeling of an absolute lack of restriction.
Even when we are physically free, we are often spiritually imprisoned, by big and small things that prevent us from seeing ourselves through God’s eyes.
Imprisoned – by mistakes of the past, circumstances of the present, and lies.
As I stated on Wednesday, we are embarking on a journey to freedom, starting today….. a journey to expose the lies in our hearts, and replace them with truth which leads to real freedom.
Unrestricted, unbridled, and unimaginable freedom.
The first lie that I want to expose today, taken word-for-word, straight from a handwritten notecard, which written by a woman who had been unknowingly imprisoned by a lie, is this:
“I am unworthy of the spirit’s indwelling, so therefore, I seem ‘less than’; I am not worthy of being Spirit filled; I am not a true Christian capable of a relationship with God.”
Of all the categories of lies that I have formulated based on the responses received so far, it seems the largest category is a feeling of unworthiness.
God is up there. We are down here. So how could we possibly be worthy of a relationship with Him? Why in the world would He want to be a part of us?
Those types of thoughts signify that unworthiness has a stronghold on a desperate and fragile heart.
John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” NIV
If God truly thought we were unworthy to receive His gift of abundant life, and eternal life, why would He have sent His Son to die on the cross for us?
Isaiah 44:2a says “I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.” CEV
John 3:16 portrays the immensity of God’s love for us, but Isaiah 44:2 states that He has loved us for all time – before we were even born.
And I can relate to that. When my husband and I first married, my heart longed for children. I was not really ready to be a mother, and we waited four years after marrying before having our first child. But before I even became pregnant, I dreamed what my children would one day look like, and I loved them deeply.
That might sound a little silly, but a mother’s love it not always explainable. Before I saw my daughter Morgan’s face for the first time, I loved her. I did not look for flaws, and would not have cared if I had found any. I did not wonder if she would ever let me down, or disappoint me, or make mistakes – yet I knew she probably would one day.
However, nothing could affect my love for her. She deserved my love, simply because I was her mother, and I feel the same way about my other two precious children.
As any mother would do, I would give my life to protect them. Not because they have done something to deserve it, but because they are worthy of my love, simply because they are mine.
God loves us, simply because we are His….because we belong to Him….because He created us… and because He made us worthy of His Spirit’s indwelling.
We are worthy of His love, because of who He is, not because of who we are.
If we have repented of our sin, and asked the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, we are not only loved and accepted, but made worthy. The only thing that can hold us back from a true relationship with God, is listening to the lies of the enemy.
Sweet friends, never underestimate your own worthiness. Take joy, and be proud, in knowing that Jesus died on the cross for you. He takes great delight in you. He does not keep a record of our wrongs, but has made us white as snow. In fact, He created us, to take joy in His indwelling within us.
“Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
You ARE worthy – because He said so.
Lord, please strip my heart of the feeling that I do not deserve you. Please help me surrender this lie, and embrace Your truth. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me, even though I am a sinner. I praise You, for being You. And I ask that you help me gradually embrace that I am Your child, and that I am worthy of Your love. Help me to drown out the lies of the enemy over the next few weeks, and learn to see myself through the eyes of the One who sees me as beautiful. Set me free from believing the lie that I do not deserve to have You living within me. I want to be free.