You are free to be. Free to be you. Free to be fit. Free to be happy, healthy, and loved. You are free to start living the life you dream of, and free to change the life you are in. But in order to be free, you have to declare freedom in your life. You have to take the plunge, and allow yourself to be free. Freedom is a gift we have already been given. We were given freedom when Jesus was crucified on the cross. He died for our sins so that we didn’t have to live a life enslaved to them. He died to set us free! But in order to live out our God-given right to be free, we have to decide we want it more than the life of enslavement.
When we get comfortable living in bondage (enslaved to the very thing we want to be free from) we become miserable. We are mean, angry, harsh, unloving, unkind, selfish, and blind to freedom. I have been living in that life for far too long. Some days I declare freedom and other days I give in to the comforts of my sin and forget about my declaration. Every day is a battle for freedom, and we can’t forget that.
I don’t know what you’re looking to be free from, but I want you to know that freedom is possible. It is possible right now, for you, in the midst of whatever battle you are fighting. Do you need freedom from a bad habit? Shame? Guilt? A life-enslaving sin? Hopelessness? Hurt? Heartbreak? You can have it. You already do! You just need to grasp your freedom and decide that you’re not letting go. No matter what the cost. The cost of freedom may seem scary, hard, and uncomfortable. And it will be at first. But the more you choose freedom, the easier it gets. And let me tell you, the cost of enslavement is so much worse. And it gets worse every single time we forget that we are free and run back to our old habits and beliefs.
I want to get practical here and share some ways you can start living out this freedom in your life. So I put together a few ways we can live free and hit the refresh button in our lives starting today.
- Believe you are free
In order to be free, you have to believe that freedom is not only obtainable, but that you are worthy of it. It’s so easy to get in your own way with the lies that you tell yourself. “You’re not good enough.” “You don’t deserve to be free.” “You won’t ever change.” But we have to stop listening to those lies. We have to dwell on truth and believe it!
Do this: pick a Bible verse, song, or quote that helps you to understand that you are worthy of freedom and make that your anthem as you begin your journey to freedom. Memorize it, dwell on it, and say it over and over to yourself every single day. You need this truth to be louder than the lies you have been telling yourself. Those lies will always hold you back from freedom.
Here’s a verse I love from Romans 6:14 (NLT)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
- Declare freedom
Once you believe that you are free, you have to decide once and for all that you are going to live it out. You will never stay free if you don’t decide to be free. Freedom is a choice that God gives us. He won’t make you live free, but He makes it pretty clear that living life free is a far better than living life enslaved. He will fight this battle for you if you decide that living free is far better than the life you’ve been living. Nobody else can decide this for you. This needs to be a declaration you make for yourself, one that you commit to.
Do this: Write down all things you can look forward to when you are free. Now, write down all the things you have given up and missed out on because you aren’t living free. Now, commit to yourself, God, your spouse, a friend, a counselor, or any other person you can count on in this journey that you are going to live free from whatever has kept you in bondage. Be honest with them if you are feeling vulnerable and unable to keep your word, and ask them to help you to choose this freedom every day. We all need people to help pick us up when we fall, and trust me we have our work cut out for us on this journey. This declaration doesn’t mean we will never fail, it just means we will stay committed to the process of declaring freedom every single day.
- Don’t turn back
Like I just said, this journey is going to be full of trials and defeats. It’s probably going to be a long, tough road to freedom. But every day that we are successful and leave behind our old life, we become stronger and more equipped for the next day. We have to remember that where we started was a pit of despair and hopelessness, but where we are going is a life full of joy, hope, and freedom.
Do this: Every time you are tempted to turn back to your old ways because they seem easier, more comfortable, or feel like the only way you are going to survive whatever hurt, hardship, or feeling of despair that comes into your mind, stop and pray. Pray for a renewed mind. Pray that God would take your anxiety about this journey, and pray that he would give you peace and strength to fight the urge to turn away from freedom. God is bigger than every battle we face. Battles of the flesh and of the mind. He knows our thoughts before we think them. And He wants us to run to Him with the negative thoughts and anxieties, and take them captive.
- Choose freedom
Again, freedom is a choice. You’re going to have to make this choice a million times before you get to the end of the road. You’re going to have to wake up every single morning and choose to be free, and then every hour you’re going to have to continue to choose freedom. It’s going to be really hard at first. It’s going to be easier to just turn back to your own ways of thinking and acting. But you have to just keep deciding that freedom is worth it. You have to continuously remind yourself of your declaration to be free, and go through your list of reasons why freedom is so much better than bondage.
Do this: When you come to the point where choosing freedom seems too hard or overwhelming, call someone you can trust. Call the person you committed your freedom to. Tell that person that you are being tempted to turn away from freedom. Tell them that you need support, and help them to remind you why you started this journey. I would also let them know your verse, song, or quote that you are memorizing and replaying in your head so that they can remind you of it when you need it. Simply talking to someone and letting yourself hear what it is you are experiencing in the moments when you are struggling to continue forward can be enough to get you through that wave of doubt.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)