The purpose of the cross is to completely decimate your loyalty to the most seductive/powerful of all idols—the idol of self. ~David Tripp
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under His feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that He is excepted who put all things in subjection under Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all.
~ Paul, The Least of The Apostles, Describing the game plan, in 1 Corinthians 15
Oh beloved, it is true.
When He saved us, He set us free. And, if we don’t get this early on, we can miss years of the joy of being a friend of G_d. We became a new creation in Him. This changed everything.
However, while the position of being free is real, the experience of it can be another thing altogether. There is, clinging to our spiritual frame, still a part of us that will never be redeemed. Mostly, it is because it is not nearly real enough to survive the cleansing fire of His Presence. It is, like anything fallen, a downgrade from what was meant to be.
And the worst thing about things that are incomplete, is that they beg to be validated and made more than they really are. So, the flesh will scream that it is still in control. And, since it is so close to the control centers of our body, it often can get its way.
However, the problem is that the promised pleasure and release of the flesh is a lie. So, with every allowance, we find ourselves more bound to a system that is broken and inhibiting, rather than freeing. Said more simply: Our rebellion does not set us free, it brings us into bondage.
Can we see it?
Jesus is the model for our true freedom. Jesus lived in such a way as to absolutely negate that aspect of His humanity that would disqualify Him from His mission to save us all. He lived a life of intentional, and even violent obedience to His Father. He followed through with a plan They had made before the foundations of the earth. He was obedient to the point of a torrentially difficult death on the Cross.
However, in submitting to what was right and true and noble and just and pure and lovely, This same Jesus attained a freedom and power over even death itself. He took the very keys to death and hell, and holds them now in His forever-living hands.
We are the fruit the follows the FirstFruit. He is The Way. And so, our obedience in our free surrender to Him needs to have the same vigorous intentionality. There needs to be an understanding with us that we too need to die, to gain the freedom He has for us. And without this ongoing surrender, there will not be freedom, there will only come the bondage of the flesh.
So, do you feel like you are struggling to be free? Perhaps the struggle is simpler than you think. Maybe it is simply time to – again – surrender to the One who models the path you require. This fool of a writer continues to learn this lesson, and maybe tonight is your night to learn it too.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: You see, then, that the grace in the gospel is not mere persuasion and entreaty, but a powerful work of the Spirit entering into the soul and changing it, and altering the inclination of the will heavenward. We must have great notions of the work of grace. The Scripture has great words of it. It is an alternation, a change, a new man, a new creation, a new birth. ~Richard Sibbes, from Glorious Freedom
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. Psalm 140:13