As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. Ephesians 4:1; Galatians 5:13
The gospel is all about freedom. As followers of Jesus we are called to live into God’s intention of freedom. The freedom that he offers is not a mere spiritual freedom, but a practical one; freedom that effects every area of your life and that leads, Jesus says to “more and better life than you could ever imagine.” (John 10:10 The MESSAGE) God wants you to experience this kind of freedom, and so he bought it, paid for it, done deal – signed, sealed, delivered.
The problem is that very few of us are actually free.
And so that brings us to Lent, the season of preparation for the freedom celebration of Easter. Lent is the journey to Easter. It is a time to take stock, not to earn, but to examine: What in your life has more power over you than you intended to give it? It is these things that impeded our ability to live into the freedom that we have been created for. What if you named one and worked on it over Lent so that on Easter you can enter more fully into Freedom? That is our goal this season, to identify our “addictions,” things in our life that have more power over us than we intended to give them, and then move into a process of becoming free from these entanglements.
Everybody has them, but freedom from addictions is not an easy thing. It is a long road, but one that Jesus walks for us and that requires us to join in on that road with him. Freedom is not going to happen just because you want it to, and it’s not going to happen if you try to get there alone, you can’t “turn yourself around.” It takes a process and a community to be free. This is not a self help plan but a pathway to freedom, and you are invited in — nobody can make you do it, and nobody can force it upon you.
If you want to become free, the first step is to listen, to identify. Are there things in your life that have more power over you than I intended to give them? Likely they will be connected into issues of comfort, power, image, stimuli, busyness and affirmation. What might one of those be for you? What would you like to be free from?
Spend some time thinking about it so that you can name it, so that you can give it up to God and experience more freely the freedom that he has in mind for you.
Peace, hope and love