It is for freedom sake that Christ set us free. So stand firm then and do not let yourselves become burdened again. – Galatians 5:1
Jesus, through His passion, death and resurrection sets the gift of freedom before us. That arms flung wide, relieved of every burden, breathing in peace-of-mind kind of freedom!
Like any gift, to make use of it, we must receive it; take it in our hands and unwrap the gift. We must claim it as our own. How do we do that? How do I claim freedom-in-Christ as my very own?
“The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes.” – 1733 Catechism of the Catholic Church
According to the Catechism, the process of claiming and living into this freedom involves “doing good.” I do not want to write today about doing good exteriorly, as in my works or deeds. What is on my heart today is to look honestly at how I do what is good interiorly. Specifically, how I do the greatest interior good, which is allowing myself to be filled up with and by Jesus. I move step-by-step into freedom by drawing closer to Jesus, further into His Love.
I experience the truth of His freedom in relationship with Him. As a freedom flag unfurls and comes to life in the wind, so my freedom in Christ comes to life by the wind that is the mighty breath of His Holy Spirit within me. He breathes within me and my liberated self becomes more and more alive.
For many years, this was not my reality. I unintentionally denied myself the gift Christ offered me. You see, I didn’t believe that I was worthy of such a gift. I was snared by a lie about my identity: Unworthy. Unlovable. Rejected. In fact, I believed that I was NOT free. I sure didn’t know that unburdened, arms-flung-wide sense of interior peace. My interior existence was practically the exact opposite: burdened, heavy, closed. Maybe you’ve been there.
The scene began to change when I learned something very important. I learned that Jesus is not an intruder and does not force himself into places where He is not invited. I realized that I had been waiting for Him to break off all my chains overnight so I would wake in the morning, jump about of bed, throw the windows open and tell all the world, “I’m Free!”
I had to give Him my yes first, my consent! In His perfect commitment to my freedom, even freedom itself will not be forced upon me. Interior freedom expands as I “do good” interiorly, daily receiving, unwrapping, and claiming Jesus’ gift. Some days that means telling the enemy to leave me, that I will not listen to his lies anymore. Most days it means saying no to sinful temptations. Every day it means keeping the name of Jesus on my lips, offering Him much praise and thanksgiving, beginning the moment I wake. Because of Jesus, I am free to do these good things; rebuke the enemy, overcome temptation, and sing His praises all day long!
And therein, within the good of each day, Jesus continues to set me free.
A closing prayer: Lord Jesus, I accept Your gift of freedom. I accept Your invitation to be in a relationship with You. I believe that as I keep my eyes on You each day, You will draw me further into Your love and peace, which is exactly where my freedom is found. I am open and ready. Thank You for giving Your life so I could be united with You forever, in perfect freedom. Amen.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36