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,

He That is Soon Angry

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He that is soon angry deals foolishly… (Prov. 14: 17)

God Himself, with all His power and glory, is slow to anger.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8)

Temperance is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Can the Spirit dwell in the heart together with anger? “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” That is, does a heart indwelt by the Spirit get easily angered and harm?

Nay, “for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Can one say that he has the Holy Spirit, yet he cannot rein his temper, and injure, inflicting wounds that leave an imprint not only on the body, but more in the heart and spirit? One hasn’t really learned Christ. One hasn’t really learned love.

Love is patient, love is kind… ( 1 Cor. 13: 4)

Love is never cruel. It breaks my heart just to think that the practice of its opposite – wrath – could hurt someone deeply.

What could be the problem? My only probable answer is that, the Holy Spirit was grieved, and the enemy, who is in constant prowl, has gained a foothold. Love, temperance, longsuffering – these are fruits of the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is grieved, how can one grow and bear its fruit?

How can a Christian grieve the Holy Spirit? Here are some ways:

  • When he stimulates himself more of the world than of the Word.

That is, when one is absorbed with the things of this world and neglects to feed on the Word on a daily basis. Wasn’t the Word the Lord Jesus’ weapon when tempted by Satan in the wilderness? When the things of the world are more alive in us than the Word of God, we become an easy prey of the enemy.

  • When one has grown lukewarm in the spirit and has neglected to be fervent in praising and worshiping the Lord, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same.

  • When one gets slack in prayer.

  • When one chooses to complain rather than to give thanks. Constant complaining offends God.

  • When one has not totally surrendered one’s life to the Lord, in all humility and without any trace of pride and self-righteousness.

In our daily walk, we must arm ourselves for spiritual battle. We are to put on the whole armor of God. This is how a Christian triumphs over all the works of the enemy and lives victoriously.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6: 11)

All that a Christian will ever need in his journey are found in the Holy Spirit. We live in the Spirit – it is the Spirit that gives us life.  And if we live in the Spirit, we must also walk in the Spirit.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5: 16)

Footnotes: 2 Cor. 6: 14; James 3: 11; James 1: 20

Related article: The 7 Habits of a Spirit-filled Christian

This post is linked to Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, We are That FamilyWomen in the Word Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays