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Are You Really Free?

We think we’re free because we live in America. We’re free to vote, to get a job and to buy stuff. We’re free to say what we think about our politicians. But are we really free? We may think we’re free when in fact we live in bondage. All of us could do with a little more freedom. But you m…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We think we’re free because we live in America. We’re free to vote, to get a job and to buy stuff. We’re free to say what we think about our politicians. But are we really free?

We may think we’re free when in fact we live in bondage. All of us could do with a little more freedom. But you must understand what limits you if you will be free.

Our freedom is compromised in a number of ways. Bondage to fear is perhaps the most common tax on our freedom. Fear is a motivator.

The thing many of us fear most is the brokenness we’ve hidden in some secret place deep inside ourselves. We push it so far down that we are only dimly aware that it even exists. It becomes a kind of unseen personal bogeyman and our fear of it morphs into a fear of the unknown.

The great lie we believe is that our private pain is unique and therefore shameful. It is neither.

We don’t want to even acknowledge such fears. We want to stay clean. But we can’t be both free and clean. Every miracle Jesus did involved touching a messy situation. He commissioned us to do likewise.

Four points about getting free:

1. Fighting for our freedom or for the freedom of others is messy. Christians who want to stay clean and comfortable will never be liberators.

2. If we make it our mission to set the captives free, we’ll need to test the quality of our own freedom. You must assume safety before you can test it. Finding a place of safety is rarely safe.

3. Wounding tempts you to not risk. But without faith or risk, you’ll not please God. Risk is the path to love. Always commit to risk. You can ignore pain or numb it, but to put pain in your past, the best path is to go through it.

4. Vulnerability destroys the lie that you are alone and cannot be healed. If you know that you need healing, there is no safe alternative to vulnerability. You must expose your pain and let someone touch it.

A few questions about freedom to consider: Are you really free? What price will you put on your freedom? Is the price of dealing with fear too costly to go in search of freedom? Will the cost of getting free keep you from attempting a jailbreak?

Comments (7)

  • I’ve thought a lot about freedom in the last two years. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and was challenged again by the idea that we are liberators. Being liberated yourself is a great motivator to want to see others liberated. I’m finding it slow in coming fully for me, yet coming!

  • Growing up, I knew I was not free. I’ve spent a lot of my life pursuing freedom. I experience freedom now in a greater measure than I ever did as a child/adolescent/young adult; but know Jesus has more for me. I need the more that Jesus has for me. I have a family member that is diagnosed with a severe mental illness/brain disease. I want to walk in the lifestyle/must walk in the “lifestyle of miracles” as Bill Johnson states. My family member is suffering and he is not the only one on the planet. I must have all the freedom Jesus died to give me, and I must have a gospel of power, that glorifies Papa with signs and wonders!

  • We don’t want to even acknowledge such fears. We want to stay clean. But we can’t be both free and clean. Every miracle Jesus did involved touching a messy situation.

    This paragraph really hit my heart. Really good post and it is a culture I’m trying to reactivate in myself that I let die. Thanks for the reminder

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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