Are you in a place that feels “heavy” and restricted? There ARE ways of finding peace, joy, and freedom that are available right now!
- Freedom in Jesus: “Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom! (1 Corinthians 3:17).”
- The USA Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain in unalienable Rights, that among them are life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of Happiness…” (Declaration). The First Amendment says that there can be no prohibiting of “the free exercise of religion,” Freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people to peaceably..
Why I Found Freedom this Way
I have told some of my background in previous Blogs (such as Fathers Fight Fear), but there is more to say. When my home situation turned negative and abusive due to alcoholism in my parents, I needed FREEDOM badly. I tried to leave the house as often as I could and signed up for every possible high-school activity. I did basketball, cross-country running, choir, debate, acting, and student government. And, at night, I teamed up with my friend, Dave Stiers (yes, the David Ogden Stiers from the TV show MASH) doing news and commercials on a local radio station. Obviously, I went crazy doing every activity I could. Why—you might ask? Because it achieved several things for me—getting out of the house, connecting with friends, and preparing a long list of reasons for getting into college. Oddly, there were some students that told me I was a fake that was trying too hard to impress people. Others must have known there was something wrong at home. That was hurtful! However, I knew I had to escape. And I do not take all credit personally for getting a full-ride scholarship to Harvard University? NO! Jesus was working for me! I only learned later that people were praying for me (my mother, bless her heart, one of my coaches, my grandparents, and even some classmates that were Christians)[i]. Prayer is POWERFUL!
If you know of someone in a dysfunctional home, please pray for them! Pray that they get involved in every possible activity. Prayer also helped me find a church family. I was able to learn the Word of God through a Lutheran church the family originally attended. It helped to live in a country that allows young people to be free to pursue their destiny! All of this made me believe in the Two Freedoms described in this Blog!
Good News about Freedom in Jesus
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV)
“When God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between God and us…” (e.g., Hebrew restrictions on entering the Holy of Holies inside the veil of the temple).
“…anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So, if the Son sets you free you are free through and through.” (John 8:34-36 The Message).
These verses explain how freedom in Jesus works. Instead of trying each day to break old sins with brain power and our will, Jesus provides peace that comes from inviting Him into our lives as Lord and master. He then gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide and source of spiritual power and wisdom. Here are some of freedoms Jesus brings shown as declarations that you can speak aloud:
- Jesus gives me freedom from worry and fear during the storm
- He loves to say to me as His friend, “go in peace!”
- The Lord came to free me from guilt and shame
- He frees me from condemnation about my forgiven past
- Repentance frees me to enter the Father’s Throne of Grace and Mercy
- The Lord has plans for me that give me freedom to pursue my Destiny
- The Lord will never leave me or forsake me—His protection is free!
My wife and I can attest to receiving freedom from the past when we were saved in 1976! Immediately, I found that old shame and guilt was reduced and my love for my family increased greatly! When we feel loved by God, we learn to love others! Several other times in our walk with Jesus (44 years total), there have been “new awakenings” that helped us to move up in our spiritual life. One time it was awakening to powerful worship music when we lived in Nashville. Other times were certain churches or home groups that lifted us into higher understandings of our own identity in Christ (e.g., as His ambassador, friend, and member of the royal family) and the goodness of God.[ii] We invite you to pursue some of this stair-step awakening.
With the Virus restrictions, pursuing freedoms or attending church in some parts of the USA is difficult. However, there are creative things we can do. For example, we can bathe ourselves in online worship music (check out “Waymaker” by Michael W. Smith on YouTube), listen to Bible-based sermons online, and pray regularly for health and safety.
The GOOD NEWS is that God has promised a new GREAT AWAKENING to help heal the wounds in the nation.[iii] The more people on this earth that can receive and follow Jesus, the more hope we have. Who in history has spread the Gospel more than any other nation? Are you surprised to learn that the USA is responsible for 90% of all the Gospel outreach and salvations across the decades? Because of this massive contribution to the growth of Christianity, the Lord will give this nation MERCY!
Freedom by the Constitution of the USA: “We the People”
The beginning of the Constitution of the United States reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Notice that it is “the people” that vote for representatives to govern the country for the common good. The origin of the concept of representation comes from the Bible—Exodus 18:21 (“…select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth….to be rulers over thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens”).[iv] This is a representative government, not a pure democracy or “mob-rule” as happened in the French Revolution. A representative government allows each State a strong voice rather than being swamped by the large States. To maintain our Freedom and Liberty, we need to protect our republic, not by choosing a government that rules from a central committee.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Notice that the freedoms are numerous, including religious expression, speech, the press, peaceable assembly (not violent protest!), and appealing to the government over grievances. Sadly, the “Establishment Clause” was understood to direct the Federal Government from establishing a “state religion” like the Church in England that was designed and ruled by Kings. It was only after the 1947 Supreme Court decision in Everson v. Board of Education. Using only part of a letter from Jefferson, the Court ruled that the Clause applied to individuals (e.g., students who pray in school, or write a paper on religion, or sing Christian songs in a school choir, and dozens of other circumstances since 1947). Thus, was created the idea of “Separation of Church and State” which, sadly never appeared in the Constitution itself.[v] Instead, this phrase has been used to remove freedoms from millions of Christians in the United States. I pray that some day the tide can be turned, and this freedom can be re-established in America.
GO IN FREEDOM! YOU CAN ALWAYS PRAY SOMEWHERE IN PRIVATE AND FEEL FREE AGAIN WITH THE HELP OF THE LORD JESUS!
Go in Peace!
Pastor G. Harold
[i] Believe it or not, my high school friends (from the class of 1961) stay in touch through yearly gatherings and reunions. And two friends have teamed up with me to have lunch with our favorite English teacher occasionally! Within the total group of high school friends are several pastors and Christians that I now believe must have prayed for me!
[ii] See the book and media by Pastor Bill Johnson, “God is Good” series. We conducted a six-week home group study on this, and it lifted all of us to new levels of peace, knowing that He was interested in our lives for the good.
[iii] See the recent YouTube talks by very prophetic pastors such as Dutch Sheets, Lance Wallnau, Jeremey Johnson, Tim Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Robert Henderson, and others. And note the previous Blog on the Awakenings
[iv] See the “Founders’ Bible” by Brad Cummings, Lance Wubbels, with the well-known historian, David Barton, p. 149, by Shiloh Road Publishers, www.thefoundersbible.com.
[v] The Founders’ Bible, p. E-7