The testimony about how I found freedom in Christ started long before I really knew…
The title of this article had to be changed from “freedom from yourself” to “freedom from ourselves.” Do you wish to know why?
Well, after I thought about the audience that I am addressing — I realize that I am still a part of the audience and always will be…
At least until the Lord comes to get us.
So, what does it mean to have freedom from ourselves? I’m glad you asked my friend.
Freedom from ourselves means that we die to ourselves daily, moment by moment and event by event.
To put it in a more practical sense…it is when we learn to stop being selfish and start living the selfless lifestyle that we as Christians have been called to do.
The only place to find true deliverance from ourselves is in and through Christ Jesus.
One of my favorite scripture verses reads like this…
If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36
What type of freedom do you suppose the Lord is talking about?
That’s a really good question… and the answer is found in one of my other favorite verses in the Bible as well.
Here it is…
You will find it in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. It is first found in Isaiah 61:1 and second is found in Luke 4:18. Both are awesome!
But let’s look at the one in Luke 4:18 where Jesus spoke these words himself.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…
Now I won’t break all of that down for you in this article… But what I will say is that our Lord has all of the bases covered.
What I mean is that there is not an area in our lives that can hold us in bondage if we are willing to commit it to the Lord.
Our Lord’s grace is more than sufficient and there’s nothing impossible with God and there’s nothing that He can’t do.
Nothing is too hard for God.
But here’s the thing though… Many people or many Christians find themselves going in and out of fellowship with God.
I talk about that in another piece that I wrote here.
You see when we go in and out of fellowship with God, it always results in a lifestyle that’s not so pleasing to God.
I personally found myself going in and out of the perfect community with the Lord in several seasons of my life.
You may find yourself in a place now that you know in your heart that’s not so pleasing to God or to yourself as well.
If you are, don’t fret… because there’s one thing that I can assure you of, and it is that the Lord Jesus knows just where you are.
He’s waiting for you to turn your life over to him and he’s the only one that can make you free from whatever type of bondage that’s keeping you from furthering your purpose in this life.
But once free… the question is…
Before I go into the what to do to stay free part… Let me point out a few more things that we have to take note of.
1. If we are not continuing to grow in our relationship and in the things of God we will go back to doing the same old things that we once knew.
The Bible calls this “backsliding.” Backsliding leads us right back into captivity.
Trust me the backslidden state is not a place to be. So, keep growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord.
2. Growing is one of the most important things that you and I can do as followers of Jesus Christ.
You may have noticed that I said one of the most important things that we can do to stay free. Yep, that’s right just one…
The most important thing there is — is something that most of us have a tendency to gloss over, even when we read about it in our Bibles.
Without this one thing, there’s no real freedom and everything else in life is pointless.
Without the main thing, we will find ourselves turned in on ourselves…meaning all we will think about is ourselves in all areas of our lives.
This is also a very bad place to be.
Oh… before I forget… Let me mention that if you get this thing right you will find that you will not keep going in and out of fellowship with Jesus.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
No, that’s not the main thing that I’ve been talking about.
So, let me tell you what it is… That’s if you haven’t guessed it already?
The power that makes us free and keeps us free is the power of love my friend.
Love’s not easy… Not the kind of love that God requires of us anyway.
The kind of love that God commands us to love is more intense and intentional than the kind of love that we know of.
The love that God wants us to share with one another is the “Agape” way of life and love.
This is not a self-centric type of love that’s turned in on self.
It’s the selfless kind of love that sacrifices and puts the needs and desires of others first. Wow!
Now, I don’t know about you? But for myself, that’s not an easy task.
I thank my God in heaven that I don’t have to do this love thing alone… because if I did I couldn’t do it.
Thank you, Lord, for your precious Holy Spirit to strengthen us and empower us to love one another as you have commanded us to.
The Agape way of love is expressed throughout the word of God from Genesis to The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
In The Gospel of John 13: 34 we read these words…
” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another”. KJV.
Look at again in this version of the Bible as well.
Good News Translation:
And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
No matter how we read it — the command is the same.
Now let me be honest because the part of this verse that I had been missing to take note of is the “As I have loved you” part.
You see this puts a totally new perspective on the love thing…at least for me, it does.
The Lord says as he loves us we must love one another the same way.
I’m really challenged by love. But in a good way, I suppose…
Ever since the time that God gave me the wisdom to ask him why I kept falling in and out of fellowship with him. I have been challenged by this love thing.
Maybe you find yourself challenged by love as well. If so? Let me ease your mind and let you in on a little secret…
You can’t do it… Not alone that is.
Always remember what the Lord told us in John 15:5 when he said that without him we can do nothing.
So if we are going to love like Jesus, we are going to need his help.
To love like Jesus is a “supernatural way of loving” that can only be encouraged and energized by the Holy Spirit of God.
Not by might and not by power but by God’s Spirit.
By the way… the might and the power there… is speaking of our natural strength. Which when it comes to the things of God is useless.
Well, my friend to truly love like Jesus we need to know what it looks like to love the agape way.
The agape way of love as the Bible says is a selfless way of love and life. And what does a selfless love look like?
Okay, here it is…
Take the fruit if the spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance.
But we can’t stop there though.
We have to put it to action by way of what we are shown in 1 Corinthians 13 the love chapter of the Bible.
Then we take the 59 “one another” commands that we find and flesh them out as we have opportunities to do so.
Look at it this way concerning the one another commands…
The “one” is you or me laying our life down for “another.”
That’s the agape way.
Hey, it’s me Felton T, a man of God that cares about your salvation and your ability to be free and serve God as he has called you and me to do. Read about my testimony here.