By Erin Bird
This weekend, America celebrates Independence Day. If you are a follower of Jesus, you can celebrate another type of independence – your spiritual freedom!
Galatians 5:1 says,
“For freedom, Christ has set us free.”
It’s one thing to read these words, and another to actually experience them. How do you know you are truly enjoying this freedom?
Here are three ways you can know you are enjoying your spiritual freedom in Jesus:
1. You find enjoyment when you overcome temptation
I had a friend who went on a diet a couple years ago. He admitted publicly he had been eating a few too many cookies, and brownies, and cupcakes, and… well, anything with copious amounts of sugar in it! And his waistline was beginning to show it.
So he became (in his own words) a “food ninja.” Anytime a temptation came to grab a sugary treat, he would become a “ninja” and defeat the temptation by saying, “No!” He decided that just because the cookie was there, he didn’t have to have it.
Because Jesus died for your sins, you do not HAVE to give in to sinful temptation. Whether it’s sexual temptation, temptation to drink too much, or temptation to grab yet another cookie, you do NOT have to indulge.
But here’s the best part: You KNOW you are enjoying your freedom when you say “no” and actually experience satisfaction. My dieting ninja friend knew that if he gave in to the temptation, he would later experience regret. So he found enjoyment in the fact that he didn’t have to take a cookie.
Likewise, you don’t have to sin. You are free from it. If you give in, you will later feel the consequences. So enjoy saying “no” through the power God gives you through the Holy Spirit.
2. You can pray without guilt
You know you are enjoying your spiritual freedom when you joyfully run to God in prayer. You can share your deepest hurts without worrying about a “secret sin” you are keeping from God (if that were possible).
And when you do screw up, you are quick to confess it to God and preach the Gospel to yourself, thanking God that you are more loved than you could ever imagine.
3. You more naturally give grace
Ephesians 4:32 says,
“[B]e kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
When you are walking in awareness of your spiritual freedom, you understand God’s amazing grace toward you. And because you are in awe of that grace, you are more likely to give grace to others.
How to increase your enjoyment
It’s fun to enjoy the spiritual freedom that God gives us through the Gospel. But what if you aren’t experiencing spiritual freedom?
Keep studying the gospel!
[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John from the New Testament.[/list_item]
[list_item]Read some of Paul’s letters, specifically Romans, Ephesians, or Galatians.[/list_item]
[list_item]Read Gospel by J.D. Greer or What Is The Gospel by Greg Gilbert.[/list_item]
[list_item]Stay part of your Growth Group or get in one.[/list_item]
Basically, keep seeking to understand what was done for you through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. And as you understand this fundamental truth, you will find yourself delighting in the gospel, living freely everyday!