Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
- 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)
Reflecting on this verse recently I thought, freedom from what?
And the response I heard in my heart included the following…
Freedom from fear
of failing, of uncertainty
Freedom from control
of my future, of my present, of people around me
Freedom from perfectionism
in work, in relationships, in my relationship with God
This is what the Spirit of the Lord brings to me. Yes, sometimes I still react in fear, strive to have control, and give in to perfectionist tendencies…but these things no longer define me. More so, they are no longer part of who I am.
I do not know how He brings this freedom, but I know that He does. Sometimes I forget and begin to lean upon my own understanding, but God brings to me reminders of His unfailing love and faithfulness. I reflect upon times in my life where I began to fuss about things that did not go according to plan, allowing stress and anxiety to cloud my vision, until the Spirit gently brought my mind and heart around to realizing that I have a Father whom I can trust completely.
God has been Faithful…
A couple years ago I had a plan: I got into the program toward which I’d been working for many years, I had a place to live, and felt comfortable with both…then my place to live fell through. I began to feel anxious…
Where am I going to live in this big city?
How will I ever find a place that I can afford?
I did not plan well enough – I should have anticipated this sooner.
And I felt a gentle voice say to me
Haven’t I provided for you thus-far?
I got you into this program – don’t you think that if I want you to go there, I have a place for you to live?
Oh goodness, that’s right…yes, yes of course! This is a lesson I’ve learned numerous times. This is when I decided to give up my stress and anxiety – I chose to stop worrying about it. Sure enough, a few days later a friend from Bible study said ‘I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this before, but my brother lives not far from the university, and he lives overseas most of the year. Now, I’ve asked him before if someone could live there while he is away, but he said no. but I can ask him again.’
And what do you know, he said yes, I could live there while he was out of town, and pay the most reasonable rent I could have imagined. Not only that, but God provided me with a wonderful place close to church (how he brought me there is another story), a place that is safe and near one of the few people I knew in Vancouver at the time, and a place in which I am able to host people (one of my loves).
God is so faithful, and He proves it over and over again.
But I still doubt…
Even now, I realize while writing that I have been allowing myself to start feeling anxious about a current situation, particularly how I am reflecting God in this time and place. How I am sharing His Truth with those in my sphere, or I hope I am. I long to do this with integrity and wisdom. Sometimes I think it would be better if someone with more knowledge and understanding than I was here to be His representative, to speak Truth and counter lies. But, even though I do not feel it all the time (right now for example), I know that God has placed me here, He is faithful and will give me the words I need at the right time. I need not fear misrepresenting Truth, I need not try to control situations, and I need not worry about being perfect…I need to trust that He speaks through me, allow Him to have the control, and give up to His perfection, leaning not on my own understanding. When all the worries about things out of my control, fear that I’ll do it wrong, and guilt for being imperfect cloud around me – I can lean on Him and experience peace.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).
- 2 Corinthians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)
Emancipation from bondage…that’s right, we have been emancipated from bondage to fear, control, perfectionism…
We have been emancipated, now we need to realize it and move forward in our freedom.
What about you?
Where are you needing to trust God?
What are you trying to control?
Where is fear trying to influence you?
From what has Jesus emancipated you?
Laura is a proud Dutch-woman, and is from Saanichton, BC. She has been part of "The family" for as long as she remembers, and has been part of the Redemption Church community since 2012. She loves to make food for people, play games, walk (fast) with a friend, dance and laugh – if you like any of those things, give her a ring!