Once for a college dance performance, I had the chance to perform a jazz routine based on this Scripture. It was a cool experience because dancing is one of my favorite ways to worship God and an amazing form of expression. I don’t think anything quite captures the concept of complete joy and freedom like dance.
I read this verse in church many times, but I never took into consideration everything that it means for us. It’s actually a big deal when you sit down (or stand up and dance) to think about it.
Often, I don’t fully comprehend how vast this freedom is that I have in Christ.
It’s not only freedom from the things that hold me back from Him, such as selfishness, anger, confusion and shame, just to name a few. It’s even more than freedom to think, live and make my own choices and freedom from what others say or do to me.
It’s also freedom from myself, which I think can be a tough concept to grasp.
I read a book where the author compared God to an inventor and us to His inventions. In the book, the author was saying that without some guidance, the inventions don’t know how to work themselves and other people don’t know how to do it either. The only way to know how something works is to ask the inventor, who knows every single thing about the inventions, since he/she designed and created them.
The truth is, I just don’t know what’s good for me. All that I know about myself, I know because of God. After all, He’s the One who created me – I didn’t create me. With that in mind, it makes sense that I know nothing about myself apart from Him. Its only natural that I would look to Him to tell me all about myself, what I’m capable of, how I work and what’s ultimately best for me. Since he designed me, He knows all of those intricate details. In fact, there isn’t a single thing about me that He doesn’t know, because He invented it all.
This gives me the freedom to let go of my own ideas about myself, my constant need to control who I am, the situations I’m in and the choices I make, which may seem like the best thing at the time because it’s what I want, but aren’t necessarily good for me because it’s not what I need. God knows all of that. And He gives us this incredible freedom to just live and accept the fact that we can’t do it on our own, and we don’t have to nor are we expected to. He knows who we’re meant to become and the situations and choices that will get us there, if we just let go, trust God and allow Him to show us.
I think this verse and the freedom Christ gives us are often attributed to the freedom we have to live our lives joyfully and openly. And that’s definitely part of it. But I think that’s honestly making this idea way too small. Sometimes, I catch myself trying to see this concept of freedom through a human-sized lens, rather than a God-sized one.
I think the idea of God’s love setting us free is a lot more vast than we could imagine. Because of Him and all He sacrificed, we live in freedom from expectations. Freedom from doubt. Worry. Anticipation. Disappointment. Resentment. Fear. Freedom from our plans and the way we try to live our lives. Freedom from imperfection.
This isn’t saying that none of these things will come into our lives, it’s simply saying that they don’t need to control or define us.
This is huge. Because it means not only do we have the freedom to live joyfully and openly and make our own choices, but to live free from the stress that sometimes results because of those choices. We can rest knowing God is our inventor, and He knows how to use us in each situation for our own good and the good of those around us, if we just let Him.
I don’t think this means that we should make choices without even considering how God wants us to live. Just because we can trust Him to have our back, doesn’t mean it should lead us to take advantage of Him. But instead, the unfailing trust we can place in Him should motivate us to focus all of our energy on God in trying to make the right choices. If our hearts are in the right place, even if we mess up, we should never have to worry about a thing.
My devotional today was centered on the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, describing the story of Jesus’ birth. Reading about His life here on earth, and His death and resurrection, brought to life this incredible freedom in a whole new way.
The fact that our Savior would sacrifice so much to give us a lifetime of freedom that I take for granted is astounding to me. I do it all the time and because of that, I miss so much of who God really is.
The truth is that the Grace He gives to us isn’t anything like we have ever known or will know.
It’s ultimate freedom from everything, and love abounding in everything.
Unendingly wide and high and deep and long.
Instead of trying to understand it, just rest in it.
It’s there for us to have – unceasing, unchanging, forever.