Who do you follow? {Walking in Freedom}

Recently I have had the opportunity to be involved in some exciting things, good Kingdom building things. But like he tries to do with anything good, Satan is trying to use these things to start a storm in me and keep me bound up in things that either don't matter, or matter less than what really matters. I have felt tangled up in the comparison game, which if we are being honest is often more of a competition than a game. I look around and it seems like other people have been given such an audience, such a platform to shout truth about the glory of God. I vacillate back and forth between shameful envy and shameful guilt thinking that I must not be putting the right message out there, or God would be blessing me more in this area.

{Isn't it ugly when we treat God as if He is a puppet on our strings?}

Worrying about who is following you is a bound up place to be. While I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given lately, the greater opportunity that comes from this seems to be the chance to look inside myself, see what I am bound up by, and begin to let God untangle me. Once again, His grace is more.

{God isn't the one tangled in the puppet strings, I am.}

When you are a writer, artist, speaker-any kind of creative or leader, naturally you desire (at times even require) an audience. It is a tricky road to navigate as you try to build your influence while not compromising who you are or seeking your own glory. It can feel an awful lot like work, and being the good Christian girl that I am, I usually flee anything that resembles outward work, for fear of looking legalistic (or rules and "works" driven). Yet the irony is that I am continually battling against the enslavement that comes from inner working, in mis-guided attempts to supposedly earn God's favor or blessing.

I get tangled up in the idea that I am created to do big things for God. If I am being completely honest with myself I would admit, lately that has felt more like a weight than a freedom. 

When I read Ephesians 2:10,

"You are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do."

I can find myself seeing it more as something God is lording over me-a "have to", rather than a "get to". But the truth is that there is freedom in walking in the good works God has prepared for me. There is freedom in knowing He has a plan for me and freedom in knowing I do not walk in those works without Him.

John Piper says it this way:

" The gratitude ethic tends to think of God's work in us as only in the past. It says, God has done so much for me, now I must do for Him. But this overlooks the fact that God's work for us is past, present and future, and it not only for us but in us. The gratitude ethic tends to forget that apart from Christ's present indwelling power, we can do nothing valuable (John 15:5). The gratitude ethic forgets that any patience, kindness, goodness, worship etc. that we may offer God is the fruit of His spirit (Galatians 5:22, Philippians 3:3). It is God now working in us that which is pleasing in His sight ( Hebrews 13:21). Therefore even our gifts to God are gifts from God."

 I have been feeling a strong pull in the area of my giftings and calling. Now more than ever I feel clarity about who I am and what God created me to do. Yet, now upon that realization I struggle to walk the path in freedom. I feel as if now that I know what God made me to do, I had better get to it. Because of the clarity I have been given, I feel I am out of excuses and restless to do my part to bring Him glory. I want so desperately to be a part of sharing what God is doing that at times I get bound up and forget that

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves become burdened again by the yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

When I let myself become burdened by false measures of my own success, I wonder if my labor is in vain.

But instead of asking how many followers I have, I think the better question is "Who am I following?"

If I am following Christ, then my labor is not in vain, no matter how many or how few people are following me. When we follow Christ, we have freedom to be small. We have freedom to be small because God is big. 

{It matters much less who is following us than who we are following.}

We might feel obligated to do big things for God- either because we feel indebted to Him for our salvation or, as in my case, we feel like we were created to walk in purposes that have yet to be fully realized in our life. But if God is the one we are following, we walk in freedom. And with that freedom comes the freedom to be small, because He is big.

  He doesn't need us to accomplish His purposes. Even the most gifted of us, could never bring anything to the table God does not already possess Himself in vastly greater measure. And even the most influential of us could never have lasting impact apart from God's blessing and will. That might seem to be crushing, but actually it brings us great freedom.

We are free from the comparison competition. If we are all sisters in Christ then we all follow the same leader. We are all after the same goal: HIS glory, not our own. We have the same commissioner, the same coach, and my sister's victory is my victory, because it is all for God's glory. 

We are free to be us, to bring God glory in our own ways. If God made us free, let's not put on the yoke of slavery by trying to live the life He created for someone else. Let's not carry that burden. Let's celebrate our sister's success as much as we would celebrate our own, because if we follow the same God, her success is our own, as much as any of our successes really belong to us anyway. Our success, our sister's success, is really God's success. Let's measure our success that way. And let's rejoice.

Freedom is free, but it often requires action to really walk in that freedom. Maybe you are like me and you feel burdened or entangled. You know it is for freedom that you have been set free, but you struggle to know what it looks like to walk in it every day.

What action steps do you need to take to walk in the freedom you already possess?

I am not talking about what you feel you need to do to earn freedom. If you are a Christ-follower, then you already possess freedom. What do you need to do to stop putting back on the yoke of slavery? What do you need to take off? What truth do you need to remind yourself of? What scripture do you need to mediate on? What do you need to confess? What do you need to stop doing or start doing to realize freedom in your life?

In the book Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, Hayley talks about the Israelites when they were freed from slavery by the Egyptians. The freedom was building, looming on the horizon, but it also came suddenly. They did not have time to put yeast in the bread, no time to pack. They grabbed a few things for the journey and then fled in freedom. She mentions the thought of what they had to leave behind.

If we, as sisters in Christ, are going to follow God and walk in our freedom, we have to leave some things behind. Some of the things might even be good things, but they are not best things. What do you need to grab to run forward in freedom, and what do you need to leave behind? 

Let's walk together in freedom with our Liberator. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on my blog! I love to read them! Thanks for making my day!

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top