I once listened to a very wise woman tell a story about a difficult coworker of hers. She started off by describing to us how this coworker had been mistreating her on a consistent basis. The further along she got into the story, the more sympathetic my heart became towards her and the more angry my heart became towards her coworker. Her coworker was clearly in the wrong, and she was legitimately being treated unfairly.
However, she caught me off guard when she told us about taking the situation to God in prayer.
She said that as she prayed about it, God showed her what needed to change in her heart. To which she responded, “God, for once can it not be about me?” Some might read that story and think, “Man, God is being really tough on her! Can’t he just give her a break? She is being treated unfairly after all.” The truth of the matter is that God was setting my friend free from that situation with her coworker. God was showing her that there was nothing this man at her work could do to take away her freedom. This is because her freedom, along with all of ours, is based on what Jesus did for us. It is not based on what our current experiences are telling us.
This is great news!
In fact, its the greatest news the world has ever known! No matter what you are going through, you are always free through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross! True freedom. At the same time, it’s the reason that a lot of people run away from the truth. Because once you have been set free, you have no one left to blame for your captivity.
God would not allow my friend to have a captive mindset about the difficult situation she was facing. Her desire was to come to God and complain about how this man at work was limiting her, but God’s response to her was that no man has the power to do that, because she had been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ! Jesus said in John 10: 28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Related Post: True Freedom is Freedom from Ourselves
A pastor at my church was preaching an amazing message about the apostle Paul in which he describes how Paul was more free while he was bound in chains and kept in a tiny prison than most people are when they have free reign of the entire world. Paul understood completely what God’s word tells us in Luke 17: 20-21 NIV when it says, “And then he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Paul kept is eyes fixed on the prize despite his circumstances. Freedom!
We all have this access to this level of freedom. When we take a step back and stop focusing on the people and situations we believe are holding us back, God might just give us a glimpse of what He is trying to change on the inside of us. God knows that true and lasting freedom comes when He frees us from the bondage of our own hearts and minds, not when He takes away the pain of our circumstances.
Psalm 56: 11 –in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?
John 8: 32 – Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Galatians 5: 1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.