God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins and to make us free from the power and penalty of sin in our lives. God wants us to have an abundant life free from fear and doubt. God also wants us to be free from:
- worrying about what other people think
- anger, bitterness and envy
- greed, pride, doubt and many other human “ailments” that keep us from enjoying life to the fullest.
God wants us to have great faith and to obey His Word.
Faith + Obedience = Freedom and the first key of the equation to have more freedom is to have faith and believe God. Obedience is the second half of the equation and is really where we get to exercise our faith. Our faith leads to obedience and obedience brings freedom and peace. In Colossians 3:1-20 (AMP) we are given some instructions on how to obey God and I’ve underlined them below
Colossians 3:1-10 Amplified Bible (AMP) Put On the New Self
3 Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].
3 For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body [with its sensual, self-centered instincts] immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God].
6 Because of these [sinful] things the [divine] wrath of God is coming [b]on the sons of disobedience [those who fail to listen and who routinely and obstinately disregard God’s precepts],
7 and in these [sinful things] you also once walked, when you were habitually living in them [without the knowledge of Christ].
8 But now rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene (abusive, filthy, vulgar) language from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its evil practices,
10 and have put on the new [spiritual] self who is being continually renewed in true knowledge in the image of Him who created the new self—
How do you put to death that which is earthly in you (or in other words “get over yourself”) and experience greater freedom in your life? We put on our ‘new self’ in Christ by doing the following:
1. Seek things that are above – the approval of man is not things that are above – psychologist have noted that everyone has a box in our minds that they label the ‘generalized other’ and the people in the box are the people to whom we GIVE the power to determine whether who we are or what we do has value. When we are not set on the things above we are likely trapped in approval seeking or approval addiction. Constantly trying to explain ourselves & manage the ‘others’ views of us or what we THINK their views are and seeking for them to agree with us or think a certain way about us; perhaps that we are very well connected so we become perpetual name droppers, that we are not wasting time watching television we may add a disclaimer such as “I don’t watch a lot of tv but the other day I saw something…” or giving reasons and excuses as to why something was not done as promised so the others will understand, agree & ultimately APPROVE of how you handled things. People pleasing and approval addiction is not FREEDOM.
2. Set your minds on things that are above – your reason for being here is much bigger than the things the ‘world’ complains about and sets their mind on. This also helps us with our pride because when we are focused on the Lord above, we won’t be looking down on others. (*my son wrestles and one of the first things your taught is to go for your opponents head…because the body always follows)
3. Put to death & deprive of power that which is earthy in you – I want to get over my ego, my need to be liked by people I meet – my need to look successful, my need to be right, my need to be in control…how much of your life are those things running? Part of putting off the old self is to give up the ‘right’ to being ‘right’. I once heard that people will work harder to be right than to be successful. What are you trying to be right about? Write it down right now.
Have you decided that your child, spouse, mother-in-law or someone else in your life will “never change”? Where’s the faith in that statement, where is the expectation? Are you working harder to be right or to be in right relationship with God by believing that “all things are possible with God” and obeying His commands? In order to correct this type of thinking we must die to ourselves, our understanding and experiences with people or situations doesn’t make us God and determine that we know a person will never change. “Lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Ps. 3:5
4. Rid yourselves completely of – anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene (abusive, filthy, vulgar) language from your mouth.
5. Do not lie to one another – remember the truth sets you free
6. Put off the old self – Scripture shows us a city that burned all their magic books once they came to know Christ. Is there anything you need to ‘burn’ or completely get rid of so that you may be in right relationship with God?
7. Put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (God’s Word brings a supernatural cleansing that washes your mind and emotions from the contamination of the world, the memories of past experiences, and the lies that the enemy has tried to sow into your brain. When you make it a priority to fill your mind with truth from God’s Word, your mind is renewed and you become inwardly strengthened and very hard to deceive.) You know Francis Frangipane writes in his book ‘In Christ’s Image Training’ “a Christian is not just a person going to Heaven. Shouldn’t a Christian also be a person coming from Heaven, with the goods, power and virtue of Heaven?” When we put on the new self that is exactly what we are doing, we are bringing things from Heaven, including our freedom in Christ into our current situation.
In what areas of your life would you like to experience more freedom?
Written by Jamie Shaver