Is it really this simple: The way to become free is through becoming a slave of Christ?
The only way to become free from the pressure of this world to “conform” is through exchanging this world for another world. The only way to become financially free, psychologically free, emotionally free, and physically free, is to die to this life. In other words, you must trade in this life (literally, not metaphorically) for Christ’s life. You must…die, then be resurrected to new life, seated in eternity. Seated in heaven with Jesus. You must learn to “walk by the Spirit” in the same way you learned to walk by the flesh. Being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
But understand this reality: this is only accomplished through faith. The problem is most Christian’s in first world countries have no idea what faith is. In order to understand New Testament faith, we must look at Jesus. How did He demonstrate faith for us? First, Jesus said His Kingdom is not from/of this world. So let us recognize that He did not “fit” here. That He was an alien and stranger on earth. Jesus lived for only one purpose: to fulfill His Father’s will. Though He lived in the flesh, He relied on the Spirit. Though He resided in a body, He depended on the Spirit for strength and power. What was He doing? He was demonstrating how those who were to come after Him should live daily. He received instruction from His Father every day. He moved where the Spirit moved, and He did what He had seen His Father do. He set His mind on one thing alone: the glory of His Father. Where did He get His wisdom? He got it from above. Where did He get His purpose? He got it from above. Where did He get His joy? He got it from above. Jesus lived supernaturally in His body. A body which would later bleed and go into the ground. A body which was corruptible like ours. I know our bodies are not like His perfect body was (being unaffected by sin). But my point here is that the same Spirit which resides in us, being the Spirit of Christ, was the same Spirit which He “walked” by. Jesus relied upon the Holy Spirit. He did not begin His ministry until the Spirit descended like a dove on Him at His baptism. So too, you and I have the power of Christ’s Spirit in/on us. This is also why we see the Spirit moving and working after Pentecost just like if Jesus was still here. Though the gifts of the Spirit have been distributed throughout the Body-of-Christ, we all still have the full power of the Spirit available for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).
I know it can appear that I am speaking in some “heavenly, unrealistic” language. I know the many who say, “that just is not real life. I have bills to pay and a family to raise. I have mental/physical problems, etc.” I completely understand what you are saying! And I am aware of the damage done to those who have been “spiritually abused.” The good thing is, God knows. He knows our past, our struggles, and our broken hearts. Therefore, His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in our weakness. And He will “work with us” according to the measure of our faith. So, now back to what faith looked like for Jesus. And what it can look like for us. Because, in all honesty, when a child of God comes to terms with their identity (a term I use often) and their access to the Father, by the Spirit within them, “in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:11b-12) then they not only realize that there is incredible blessing in being called “beloved of God” but that they have a Father who desires to honor their faith to boldly come to His throne in thanksgiving and trust, with requests!
I want to post two things which I shared on Facebook today just as examples of faith:
When I look in the mirror:
I see a jar of clay to be poured out for the glory of God…
He (God) told me yrs. ago: “Mark, your body is nothing more and nothing less than a Holy DWELLING PLACE, for the LIVING GOD, to display the GLORY OF GOD, in your hands, feet, and mouth.” Guess what? This is also His will for your vessel? Follow His will and walk with joy and freedom.
Your small, insignificant faith. The size of a mustard seed. Which is tiny, but when buried in good soil, grows into a great plant. Or consider the seed which creates giant trees, which is planted in good, healthy soil. You see, you are stuck in one place, and “in time.” But when the faith which resides in your heart is “placed in” the all knowing, ever-present, almighty, “outside of time” God. It WILL move mountains! So, “have faith IN God” plant your tiny seed in His mighty power and then mountains will move. Therefore, “trust God” and step out of the boat today. Walk on that water. In Jesus name.
Lastly, reflect on this devotion from the late A.W. Tozer and take ahold of what belongs to you: