Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Liberty in the Spirit-filled Walk

Last time we looked at what a Spirit-led life isn't. We found that it isn't license, meaning we can do whatever we want, and it isn't legalism, meaning that we HAVE to live by a lot of rules and regulations, and we know that a Spirit-led life is not characterized by a rebellious attitude. Walking in the Holy Spirit is a life led and directed by the Holy Spirit. The result of our connected relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Version: NAS

2 Corinthians 3:16-17
16. but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, [there] is liberty.

We can see that the Spirit-led life is not characterized by license or legalism, but the opposite, which is liberty.

Thinking about the liberty that Jesus and the New Covenant brought to the culture and life of the individual in Jesus' day is really monumental. As Jews, they were bound up in many laws and tedious rules that the rabbis and leaders had put together. A minutia of restrictions and needless duties filled their everyday lives. The temple laws and sacrifices were still in effect for remittance of sin. As a people they were "bound". Jesus came to set them and us free of "religion". Religion and a relationship with Jesus are two very different things. I've known people so bound up in religion they had no common sense or love for their family. What the "Church" dictated ruled their lives, and family relationships were harmed. Jesus came to set us free. Opinions and rules of pious people and legislative church committees are not something Jesus wants for us. Unfortunately, many churches and Christian people today do not walk in the freedom Jesus offers us. They are just as "bound up" as the Jewish people of the first century.

The Oxford Dictionary gives these definitions for the word, "liberty": "Freedom from captivity, or slavery: entitlement and permitted, emancipation, latitude, free will, unfettered and authorized."

Luke 4: 18-19
18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, 19. To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

Galatians 5:1
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only [do] not [turn] your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

We can see from these scriptures that Jesus life and crucifixion bought us back the freedom that the original Adam had given away to Satan. God had meant for us to walk in the freedom of the Spirit-led life from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. But Adam gave away his liberty and freedom (and ours) to the enemy when he disobeyed God. Freedom from the enemy's hold on us. Freedom to do what God asks of us, and freedom to be the person God is calling us to be. Possessing the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

John 10:10
"The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have [it] abundantly." Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only [do] not [turn] your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

1 Corinthians 8:9
But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Galatians 5:16-18
16. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

These last four scriptures caution us about walking in that freedom. We cannot do as we please, because in and of itself, it can end up in bondage as we discussed last post. The Spirit-led life is a life guided and directed by the Holy Spirit. He has parameters for us, that enable us to fulfill our purpose in life and our spiritual destiny. Just like any loving parent, God does not want us to grow up without boundaries. A life with no boundaries can mean we can wander away. And like all children we feel safe when we know our parents love us enough to guide and counsel us. Boundaries with God and in the Spirit realm help keep us in God's territory, not wandering into the camp of the enemy.

I know I need some boundaries. It's easy for me to be "unbalanced" in my life. I'm emotional and spontaneous at times. In my younger years, I could run off in any number of directions. In later years, as I have matured physically and spiritually, I appreciate God keeping His hand on the back of my collar. I don't want to be doing anything without submitting it to Him first. I don't trust my ability to always know best. I need His leading and parameters. God expects us to "use our head", but He also knows we need "the mind of Christ", to do that well.

The author Neil Anderson has this to say:
 "I believe that our freedom in Christ is one of the most precious commodities we have received from our spiritual union with God. Because the Spirit of the Lord is in you, you are a free moral agent. You are no longer compelled to walk according to the flesh as we were before conversion. And now we are not even compelled to walk according to the Spirit. We a completely free to choose (our walk)".

Next time, more on our walk with Jesus in being yoked to Jesus, one of my favorite scriptures.

love, in Jesus,


  1. Praising GOD for the freedom we have in HIM,

  2. Just found your blog. It is so refreshing to run across those of like precious faith. My husband and I are the Youth Ministers at our church and he is currently doing a series on Spirit, Soul and Body, the 3 part being. It is such a delight when the teens grab hold of the fact that their Spirit man is born again but they have to renew their mind to be like Him. We are currently in the process of developing a website and expect it to be up and running in about a week or so. If you are interested, I will be happy to let you know when it is up and available. Thanks so much for sharing your biblical insight into the word of God.

  3. Dear Debra-
    May I say that through conversations with you I have come to see that in an area of my life (trying to eat healthy and keep that in balance) I turned to legalistic methods.

    They work if that is your only focus.

    The harder path , for those of us who have been out of balance, is authentic liberty from God.

    Why harder? Because for the first time all of the controls are gone.

    God's liberty enfolds us like a loose garment , and the only way to gain strength to do the right thing-make the right choices- is to turn to God.

    Using other controls limits one to just that method.

    God can actually lift the desire to live out of balance.

    Does this make sense?

    Today- even if my food isn't always perfect and my weight isn't perfect, I choose liberty.


  4. Hi Teresa, I love teaching young people, they are genuinely interested and willing. Looking forward to your upcoming site, yes, please let me know I'll for sure come visit! Thanks for coming by, so nice to meet you!

    Andrea, yes, praising God, that He is so good to us and loves us so much. The freedom I've found in Him has changed my whole life!

    Laura, this is why I wanted to share this book with everyone. It made such a huge difference in my life. It opened my eyes to see that the way I was approaching life was needing to be rethought. Strongholds had overtaken me. Walking in Liberty is all about choices for me. Everyday, to be following the Holy Spirit.
    Thank you for always sharing your heart and thoughts!


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