The Principle of True Freedom

In the latter part of Luke 9, the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples entered a village of the Samaritans, but they did not receive Him because He was set to journey to Jerusalem. Because of this, His disciples, James an John said, “’Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?’ But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.'” (Luke 9:54-55)

When I read this recently, I knew it wasn’t only for James and John. I felt myself being sharply rebuked, too. Indeed, we do not know what manner of spirit we are of sometimes. Just because Jesus and His disciples weren’t received in a certain village, it was enough reason for the two disciples to want to command fire from heaven and consume them. That is rather extreme, don’t you think so? I got to thinking – sometimes in life, we get so offended that our initial (could be unconscious) reaction is an ill will (wish or desire) against the offender. When we are hurt, we want to hurt back. Sometimes, deep inside our hearts, we want to take revenge against those who have deeply hurt us. We know the Lord’s teachings but we can’t seem to find peace because of the anger that seems to overpower us.

While meditating on the Lord’s rebuke to James and John, it dawned on me that, in truth, all of Jesus’ teachings point toward our true liberation. This was an awesome epiphany. The most common, yet I believe the most powerful, things that can take us captive are anger and fear. When we’re consumed with anger we can’t get ourselves to forgive. The same dark imprisonment is offered by crippling fear.

When we finally realize Jesus’ teachings for what they truly are, it’s amazing how they work for our true freedom. Sometimes we feel burdened by His commandments, thinking that they are outrageously hard to follow and carry out. But, oh — when we see what the Holy Spirit has wanted us to see all along, they are what we really need to experience a kind of life-giving, peace-keeping, joy-multiplying FREEDOM!

When the Bible says, do not take revenge, God is freeing us from the misery anger brings! Look at what Apostle Paul says:

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Rom. 12:19)

God is commanding us not to avenge ourselves for He will do it for us!

When the Lord commands us to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”, He isn’t doing it to favor our enemies (or those who have hurt us or treated us badly). He is commanding us to do it for our own good! Always for our own good. You see, if we satisfy our desires upon our enemies to the full – we hate, we curse, we wish ill will – the negative emotions become our own poison! It’s like cancer that poisons our cells or a wound that festers. So, when the Lord commands us to love our enemies (forgive them, pray for them, bless them , do good to them), He is actually giving us a way to be free! To live in peace and joy!

Sometimes, we insist our own way. We want to stay in anger, self-pity, ill will, hurts, wanting to believe that we are giving our emotions release, and that, the Lord’s commandments are just too much to swallow, let alone do. But true release of all that imprisons us is His Word, His commandments! In the Lord Jesus Christ we find true freedom. He is the One who lays before us the primordial principle of becoming truly free.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Amen and Amen!

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. This is such a good & timely reminder of God’s mercies toward us & how we should have a spirit of love & mercy toward our enemies! It’s so easy to slip into a condemning spirit. I think it’s interesting how Jesus sternly warns those in chapter 10, who hear the gospel & reject it. I believe we should warn of God’s impending judgement as well, however we should be hoping & praying that people repent. But Jesus clearly teaches about a time to “shake the dust off one’s feet” & move on. I really appreciate the timing of this post & will be praying to recognize when I have a bad attitude & to heed all the words of Jesus! Love & prayers, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      Cynthia, thank you so much for contributing to this post via your comment. I receive it all with gladness and gratitude. Blessings to you!

  2. Anita Ojeda says:

    Oh, it feels so good to wallow in our self-righteous anger, doesn’t it? Until we wake up and realize what we’ve been wallowing in. Thank you for the reminder that our self-righteous indignation with hints to God as to how he should handle it is just as much of a sin as whatever made us indignant.

    • RinaPeru says:

      “Our self-righteous indignation with hints to God as to how he should handle it is just as much of a sin as whatever made us indignant.” – perfectly said, Anita! We thank God that He frees us from all that when we let go.

  3. oh, to be like Jesus. It’s really not all about us. It isn’t until we put ourselves aside and look to Him, the One Who Heals, can we really grow and mature. Lovely music. Visiting from The Beauty in His Grip.

    • RinaPeru says:

      It’s all in the surrender, Mary, the letting go. And I’m amazed how Jesus does that: He gently but firmly pries our hands open to give to Him whatever is holding us captive.

  4. Mary Geisen says:

    Why do we love to wallow so much? You have a great point through John 8-if the Son makes you free, you are free indeed! Blessed you linked up with The Weekend Brew.

  5. Lisa notes says:

    Yes. To be free, we have to release the knots that tie us up. It’s hard to let go of our anger at times, especially when it feels so justified, but to hand it over to the Lord is to experience true liberation. It’s often a process, but every little step matters.

    • RinaPeru says:

      It IS a process, Lisa, a passage that the Lord walks us through. Just let’s not lose sight of Him or let go of His hand.

  6. Judith says:

    Yes, it so freeing to follow the commands of Jesus. There really isn’t any other way.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Indeed, Judith, the sooner we realize that and be subject and obedient to them, the more peaceful and joyful our lives will be.

  7. Hazel Moon says:

    We will probably be surprised when we reach heaven to find some already there in heaven who were not like us – not in the same kind of church, or group as we were, and even their doctrine was a bit “off”, but they loved Jesus and did the best they could. I understand how difficult this could be for some people and even ME at times, but it is the truth. Thanks for sharing at tell me a story.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yes, dear Hazel, it’s only the Savior Himself who really knows our hearts and who He counts worthy to be with Him in eternity.

  8. Katie says:

    Thank you for speaking His freeing truth! Stopping by from #TellHisStory.:)

  9. Rachel says:

    Beautiful post, thank you for your wisdom! Much needed :)

  10. Laura says:

    I completely understand what you are saying here! :) Anger and bitterness eat away at me and rob me of so much joy. When I hand my pain over to God and trust Him to avenge, I experience this freedom you speak of. When we understand that forgiveness is really for ourselves, and not for the one who caused heartache, it becomes so much easier to forgive. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Indeed, Laura, there is so much wisdom in our being completely obedient to the Lord’s commands. It’s for our freedom, peace, and joy!

  11. I love how easy it is for us to think “those silly disciples!” We are all guilty of the things they said or did. I am so grateful for a Savior who looks out for my best interest, even when it involves a little rebuking!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yes, Sarah, I have learned, quite painfully, that our Savior will not spoil us to become brats, but He does teaches us. And sometimes, it involves pain.

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