My new routine in the morning has me up, pets fed and out, by about 5:15 in the morning. Still dark, and pretty cold in the lower level of the house, I then like to curl up in a really fuzzy blanket, hop on the couch, and pray for a bit to start my day. Now granted, not every morning starts like this (especially NOT the ones where I forget I have a 6am meeting and have decided to “sleep in” til 5:30. Those are a bit more rushed!)
Anyway.. this morning I grabbed my daughter’s old bible and flipped to Corinthians. The verse they had circled and highlighted to focus on was one that brought to mind an old worship song:
2 Cor 3:17 “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
I thought… yes… how true I have found that to be.
But my next though was how I could say that only because I had experienced it in my own life. How would someone who had never experienced the freedom of God read this? Yet I know we do this sometimes, don’t we? Its easy to read a verse you have read before and maybe mentally acknowledge it, yet never really GET it.
Kind of like the treasure in the field that Jesus talked about. You have to dig. You have to want it and set out to find it, and when you do, its fully your choice to find yourself back at that place.
So what was Paul talking about when he said there is freedom where the Spirit of the Lord is? Freedom from what? I’m not sure he was talking about strictly salvation.
In this same passage Paul is talking about how people can often have veils over their eyes or their hearts to understand the message that God wants to share with them. He is specifically speaking about the Jews hearing the message of Jesus, but think about this in your own life: haven’t there been times when you have just felt blind to spiritual truths or things about God that you didn’t get, and then something happened or you went through an experience and all of a sudden you feel like your eyes were opened to understand something new?
So think about the idea of freedom in this context. Whether its a veil over our understanding of God, or a wall we put up holding him at arms length – it’s to this place I think what Paul said made the most sense:
When you are in a place where God’s Spirit is, there is freedom:
– freedom to admit you don’t have it all together, and let Him hold you and bring His peace
– freedom to let go of an image you feel you have to uphold for other people
– freedom to ask questions you are too afraid to put into words
– freedom to set down burdens and guilt you have been carrying, and receive His mercy
– freedom to not have to be the one in charge any more, and breathe in His strength
– freedom to be who you were called to be, without any competing voices
– freedom to laugh and find joy in the face of circumstances that shout “you can’t have that now!”
– freedom to climb up into the arms of One who loves you no matter how big your daddy/mommy/abandonment/identity issues are, and no matter who thinks you are nuts for still believing in a God that is able to love this deeply
The most beautiful truth about this? God’s spirit is ever present. Yes, there are times when it might be more evident, like in a time of worship or silent reverence, but its also found in those deep conversations between friends. Or in places of natural beauty that iPhones and cameras strain to capture.
This time of year, as all sorts of voices shout at you for all sorts of reasons, I hope that you take time to remember it was a pretty dark and ugly world that Jesus stepped into… kind of like ours today. I also hope you can believe that part of His purpose was to bring your heart and your soul out of the darkness that it might find itself in from time to time.
So let his light shine for you today, and welcome His Spirit, as much as you can grasp, that you might be able to find some places of freedom this season!