“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
II Corinthians 3:17 NKJV
Yesterday, I made a batch of chocolate cookies. I had a taste for them and the ingredients, so I gave into temptation and made some. I seldom make cookies, in fact I make it a point not to because I am committed to getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it. In the past I gave myself over to cookies, candy and other very fattening things. In a very real sense I was a slave to the savory pleasures of the tongue. In that slavery to my flesh I became very fat.
I know that a cookie or two, or three isn’t going to topple my effort to control my weight. I repent of the lapse and eat the proper foods and turn from my sinful ways. I have liberty. I rest in the knowledge that, in the long game of life I will lose the weight.
This has direct application into my spiritual life. In my past, I gave myself over to sin, a constant, uninhibited pattern of sinful behavior, that held many consequences that were destructive to me. There was no ability to turn away, I was driven to sin because the propensity to do so was baked into my being. I couldn’t help it. I was a slave to sin.
Salvation in Jesus broke the hold of sin in me, and took away the stranglehold it had on my life. Today’s passage talks about liberty. Usually we think of this passage from the perspective of being able to do what we want and still be loved by God. There are movements dedicated to that idea that are polluting Christianity today. They have mistaken liberty for licentiousness. Real liberty is the ability to turn away from sin.
I have that power now. Liberty is also the grace I have in those moments when I find myself giving into the “cookies”. There is forgiveness through confession and strengthening in repentance. The Holy Spirit works in me to turn from the wicked things that can cause me to stumble, and turn my hunger from the base to the holy, where I crave the things of God.
In those moments of struggle, I know there is no rejection from my Holy God, because Jesus died for my forgiveness.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NKJV
I turn to the Lord and confess my sin, or put another way, agree with God that what I have done is sin. There is no disputing with God over what is not holy. His law is absolute and clearly defined.
Believers, seek the liberty of God, seek to build up the power to resist the draw of sin in this world, and pursue the tasty, healthy morsels found in God’s holy word. They will build up your spiritual body and make you so much stronger. God can be you spiritual weight watcher. Seek Him, speak to Him in prayer and listen as you read His word. Surround yourself with godly counselors to speak the truth of God into your life.
In all of this you can have great liberty, freedom! Imagine living a life where the struggle is to do evil, and it is easy to do good. Imagine a world where that is the case!
Pursue freedom today, my people!
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Romans 8:5-6 NKJV