I have been set free from many strongholds in my life over the last several years. Many times, the enemy told me I would never be free, but Jesus eventually set me free, regardless. The freedom I gained did not come from the outside. It came from the inside – from Jesus setting me free. If I would have continued to listen to the enemy’s lies, I would still be bound in those areas of my life.
Spiritually speaking, the devil always tries to keep us bound. He wants to corner us, close us in, and steal our joy. He tells us we can never be free from the chains that can often encompass our hearts and lives.
This makes me think about the times we are living in today. I see a parallel between spiritual freedom and what we are physically experiencing in our world today. We now know how quickly everything can be shut down. So much of what we have always counted on can be taken away. Many things are out of our control. Devastation has come to many. It has not been easy, and I am not making light of that in any way.
No one, though, can take away the freedom we have from being in Christ. It is not based on external circumstances. We choose whether or not we will surrender our joy and peace, or whether or not we will hold onto what is ours from Jesus.
This also pertains to life before this virus. How many of us can honestly say we were living in true peace then, before devastation came and before much of life was shut down? If true spiritual freedom was based on external circumstances, then every one of us would be able to go to the perfect location for vacation (or even move there) and be completely joyful – having our minds and hearts at ease, leaving all of our cares behind.
Struggles, worries, strongholds, and addictions would not come with us. As long as we were there, we would never be bothered by our current struggles again. Wouldn’t that be nice?
How many of us know this is not reality, though? What we deal with internally comes with us wherever we go. It will catch up to us sooner or later.
I was thinking about all of this as I was surrounded by so much beauty last week. I was in an environment that felt so right for me. Yet, I found that I brought worries and concerns and fear of life being out of control right with me. I was surrounded by beauty, yet have felt such turmoil at times on the inside.
We take worries, stresses, and joylessness right with us, no matter where we go. We can be sitting in paradise on earth and still feel like we are not truly free.
True joy, peace, rest, and freedom come from the inside, not outside. It’s something we gain through an intimate relationship with Jesus and the freedom we can have in Him, no matter our circumstances – which have been quite trying over the past few months.
Our joy, peace, rest, freedom, and security was bought for us by Jesus. Sure, we can surrender it by our own will, but nothing and no one can take that away. It’s ours to have through Him, no matter our physical circumstances.
This is something that I have known but have realized in a whole new way today. I am going to choose to cling to Jesus and abide in Him in such a way that I no longer surrender the inner peace, joy, and freedom that only He can give me.
No, it will not change my external circumstances. I can also say that I am so thankful it is not based on my external circumstances lining up, though, because I would be in trouble right now if that was the case. Many of us would be. True inner freedom, joy, peace, and rest is mine (and yours) to hold onto. Jesus paid for us to have it. Our external circumstances cannot take that away.