It is written,
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthian 3:17
“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
If God says that the presence of His Spirit is characterized by liberty does that mean that where the Spirit of the is absent there is lack of liberty?
Is there liberty in your church?
Church organizations are usually characterized by restraint and control. In fact, that larger the church is the more bondage there seems to be. We are taught how not to act, how to not to speak, how to not dress, etc. Sometimes, it seems that Christians are tied up in so many knots that hardly anything gets done. People are so constantly worried about making mistakes that they cannot make a move. I ask you, “where is the liberty in that?”
In truth, many leaders associate spiritual liberty with wantonness. Even if the clergy do not say it many associate freedom with sin. In order to guard people from violating the their preconception of God’s law, religious authorities seek to lock down everything and everyone. Therefore the focus becomes “not sinning” rather than allowing God to live through us. Our walk becomes a work of man instead of a free flow of God’s Spirit through us.
Sin is of the heart
Many Christians fear liberty because they fear that, without rules, they will surely sin. The trouble is, even if you keep from sinning on the outside, if your heart is drawn to sin, you still sin. For instance, if you do not sleep that beautiful woman you see, if you lust after her in your heart, you have committed adultery. In fact, like the pharisees of old, the more rules and boundaries we make the more we sin in our hearts. However, Jesus said,
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
If we are lawless in our hearts we cannot be made lawful through regulations. Conversely, those who are pure in their hearts have no need of laws in the first place. Here is a truth,
“True liberty is being led by the Holy Spirit.”
Living by revelation is true liberty. When we are free to do anything that we are led to do we don’t want to do anything else. There is no desire to sin because the Holy Spirit has no desire to sin. Doing only what God leads us to do, we are at peace and content.
Our Father is not a legalist
Oddly enough, where the Spirit of the Lord is their is more liberty than we realize. God is not all bound up in legalism like we are. God actually believes that He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants to do it. In submitting to His Spirit our freedom is as limitless as He is. In truth, the Holy Spirit does whatever He pleases whenever He pleases. God’s not bound by our rules and happily ignores them whenever it suits Him.
The freedom of Spirit led Christians is amazing. Led by the Holy Spirit we have complete freedom to do whatever God wants. The sons of God don’t worry about the appearance of evil because evil has no hold on them.
Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall
Personally, I don’t drink. However, the people that frequent my hotel do. They leave unopened bottles of bear and I keep them for cooking. There are bottles that have been in my cabinet for years and never once have I been tempted to drink them. I don’t like beer an so I am never in danger getting drunk. So it is with sin. It is only when there is something in your heart that wants to sin that temptation becomes a problem. The Holy Spirit does not want to sin, therefore, if you yield fully to Him, you don’t want to sin either.
Where do you come from?
Now days many saints are beginning to experience the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Through the Holy Spirit, we have a foretaste of the world to come. It is like we are from a far country that is culturally different than the here and now. Over in that place, people do not know sin and simply live by every word that proceeds our of the mouth of God. Where we come from, we speak a different language, which sounds like gibberish to the people here. Our customs concerning relationships, even marriage, are not like those of this world. In short, we are strangers in this strange land and, as soon as we are able, we are going home.
This is what it means to be “born from above” and this is where Jesus was always talking about going. In fact, Jesus is preparing a place for us at this very moment. Someday soon he is coming back to take us home forever.
Get ready to go home
That is also why the fashion of this world is passing away. There is no true liberty down here in this corrupt world. People are bound by sin and that is why they are always oppressing each other. We, on the other hand, have been forgiven by God and translated into His kingdom (which is the New Heavens and New Earth). When we walk in the Spirit, i.e. yield to His Holy Spirit, the sin of this world has no hold on us.
The rules and regulations that we are told keep us safe end up imprisoning us. They prevent the free flow of God’s Spirit because we worry about man’s rules rather than God’s will. We end up drawing lines where God does not want them and crossing over lines God actually makes. Here is a truth,
“The only line we ever need worry about is the line that the Holy Spirit draws at the time the Holy Spirit draws it.”
Rules are for rule breakers
In other words, there are no set lines. Man made, universal lines, are the antithesis of the Holy Spirit. Natural minded rules limit God and constrain His Spirit. The knowledge of good, which is what mans rules are, is an abomination to His Spirit. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed because God never thought it pertinent to tell them otherwise. If God does not lead you to have a line then what are you doing putting on fig leaves? Like Adam and Eve, adding to what God said always ends badly. Here is a truth,
“The law of God is to be interpreted on a case by case basis according to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.”
For those who are truly led of the Spirit the line that God draws in your heart is all that is really necessary. If you are truly submitted to God you cannot go and do things He is not interested in doing.
Liberty is your friend
Leaders, good Christian men and women, become worried when you talk about true liberty. They imagine all sorts of trouble if they do not follow the rules. They say, “well, if there are no lines how will people know how to behave?” The fact is, the Holy Spirit is the only rule that matters. If you walk in the spirit you do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh because you are not interested in those things. Besides, Christianity is not supposed to be all that neat and clean, just look at what God did on the day of Pentecost!
Don’t settle for less than true freedom
In conclusion, true liberty is God’s will expressed through you to others. God’s liberty surpasses anything that the Devil offers; period. Pick any type of sin you think expresses liberty and it pales in comparison to what God has for us. You think that drugs give you a high? It’s nothing compared to the natural high you get when connecting with God through a brother or sister. Think you have security because your bank account is fat? Shabby compared to the peace and happiness of becoming one with God. There isn’t anything, in fact, worthy to be compared to what God has in store for those that love Him.
Let go of the forbidden fruit and embrace life!
Do not fear liberty, embrace it. Cut loose allowing God to do whatever He wants through you. Don’t worry about man’s rules when you have God’s leading. Make up your mind to follow Him by letting go of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, never looking back. When it comes to God, saution is just a nicer way of saying fear and unbelief. Trust God more than yourself and see what marvelous things He has in store for you. Enjoy the glorious liberty of the sons of God and be truly free in Him! Amen.