At a trying time in my life, when I was breaking free from the bondage of “brotherly” oppression and a religious spirit, the Lord gave me this verse: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). I grew to understand that the freedom to be who God created me to be was an integral part of my identity in Him. In that understanding, I reveled in His freedom. Freedom is autonomy, independence, and the power and authority to make wise choices, which will lead us into an abundant life in Jesus Christ. True freedom comes from knowing who God is and knowing who we are in Christ.
The Transforming Power of Freedom
God’s freedom and grace are not license for me to continue in the habits that led me to bondage in the first place. Jesus suffered the agony of Calvary to set us free from those practices–all of which are rooted in our worldly mindsets. In Him, I am continually being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). That transformation involves stepping into His freedom.
In His freedom I came to understand my identity. I am radically loved by God, gifted by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and destined to be like Jesus. When those truths became rhema word (Holy Spirit-breathed revelation) to me, I realized I had value in the Kingdom. In that light, I stepped into the freedom to exercise my spiritual gifts. Even when I wasn’t one of the chosen leaders in my church, I came to understand I had the freedom to hear from the Holy Spirit and to apply revelation to my life. I had the freedom to raise my hands and dance in the Spirit as I worshiped my King. Then God led me into ministries where I could move even more effectively in His freedom.
God’s Desire for Us
As I accepted my identity, many changes came into my spiritual life and into my relationships. I was moving into unfamiliar--yet welcome--territory, moving away from what had become my “uncomfortable zone.” To allay any confusion on my part, God intervened and confirmed His plan and purpose for my life. One December, I was driving across the Wyoming prairies on a sunlit day with the wind seemingly blowing 108 mph from all four directions. In the midst of that wind, I looked to my left to see a coyote running, running, running. Nothing was after him. Nothing was before him. He appeared to be running simply out of the sheer joy of being a coyote.
Then the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, “My daughter, you are running free, free as that coyote.” Praise God, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can run free even with the winds of adversity coming at us from all directions.
When we sense the loss of freedom, we must remember the admonition of Galatians 5:7-8: “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.” God does not desire shackles for His children. He will never hinder us from obeying the truth. In fact, He has set us free to walk in obedience to the truth. Our God is an awesome God!
The truth of our identity in Him will set us free to live and move and have our being. That truth will empower us to fulfill our destiny in the Lord. That truth will motivate us to become Christ’s ambassadors of the Kingdom. That truth will move us off the pews and into the harvest field.
Let’s not be coyotes who sit and howl at the moon in discontent. Let’s be coyotes on the run enjoying the freedom of who we are in Jesus Christ.
By Rev. Lonnie C. Crowe
Run, coyote, run
Over the wind-swept prairies
Through grasses browned by time.
Run in the freedom of you,
Snapping, snarling, laughing.
Propelled by the gust,
The color of dust,
Run, coyote, run.
Questions for Contemplation
- In what areas of your life do you see yourself embracing your identity and running with the freedom God has given you?
- Are there areas where you feel a loss of freedom? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what has caused that or what might be holding you back.
- If you are facing a season of transition, pray and consider if God could actually be moving you from an uncomfortable place--one where you have not been fully free to “be”--into a season of new freedom.
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