It really doesn’t matter if I feel free or not, if I am in Christ He has already set me free. How can I be free, if I don’t feel free? It’s the same reason I can be both weak and strong at the same time. Paul put it this way, “When I am weak in human strength, then I am strong, truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength.”1
We are always going to be limited by our humanity. We can do amazing things, like move faster than we ever imagined. Before 1954, it was assumed a human could not run a mile in four minutes or less.
Roger Bannister proved everyone wrong on May 6, 1954 when he broke the four-minute mile barrier. Since then, many have broken the so-called four-minute barrier with the world record now standing at just over 3:43 minutes.
The fastest race car is said to be able to operate at 270 miles per hour and the fastest manned aircraft can reach speeds of 7,200 kilometers an hour or 4,473 miles an hour. That’s a far cry from man’s fastest speed of 15 miles an hour.
Hold on a minute, though, the plane and the car both were designed by humans, built by machines made by humans and operated by humans. So in a sense as humans, we can reach stupendous speeds.
We Are Not God
Still, though, we are no match for the Supreme Intelligence of the universe who knows all, sees all and can be all places at once. In short, we are not God.
Even the person flying the fastest airplane is limited in what he or she can accomplish, so they are weak in their human strength. But if they draw from God’s strength anything can and will happen.
Consider Phillip in Acts 8 being directed by God to travel a little used desert road, discovering an Ethiopian eunuch in need of understanding the gospel, baptizing him and then God immediately “snatched Philip away”2 and Philip “found himself at the town of Azotus,”3 which is about 30 miles from where he was.
Fulfilling Jesus’ Command
Phillip was directed where he was to go, and then placed by God’s strength in the next town he was to minister in. He was sharing the message of Jesus to people different from him. It was one of Jesus’ last commands.
“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”4
Jesus knew we could not share the gospel with the entire world in our own strength so He commanded the disciples to wait for Him in Jerusalem. He told them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”5 Acts 2 tells the results of their obedient waiting.
It was during the Feast of Pentecost when suddenly the Holy Spirit’s presence filled the room they were in with a force the likes of which they had never experienced. It was the sound of a freight train, combined with gale force wind, though no one could pinpoint the source. The all-encompassing feeling and sound filled and shook the entire building.
When they looked at each other they were astonished to see flames like tongues of fire burning sitting on their heads. Then, the strangest thing happened, they began speaking in languages they didn’t understand as the Spirit prompted them.
They didn’t know what they were saying but many foreigners who were in Jerusalem for the Feast came running to see what was happening. Amazingly, they could understand what they were saying in their native languages.
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works.”6 Then Peter preached and 3,000 people followed Christ. This was not a result of what one man said. This is a result of the display of God’s strength moving one man to share the truth.
Back to the original question. How can I be free when I don’t feel free? Because if you have accepted Christ as your Savior He has already set you free and given you the power, like Paul, Philip and Peter, to do more than you can ever imagine in your own strength.
“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set you free, not partially, but wonderfully and completely free. Let us always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back to the bondage of our past.”7
There is an unmistakable strength that enters our lives when we accept Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit, who immediately breaks our chains and gives us the ability and authority to stand up to our culture and proclaim liberty in His name.
Still, some of us get pulled back into the bondage we came from because in our humanity we are weak. We cannot be strong, truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing on God’s strength unless we admit our weakness, stop trying to figure everything out on our own, listen to Him and accept His help in our lives.
Feelings will always lead us astray. We must “experience the truth and then the truth will free us.”8 How do we do that? We do it by faith. We do it by accepting God at His Word and acting on the truth instead of wallowing in indecision. Once we truly get a taste of His freedom, we will never want anything else.
Experiencing truth and freedom is more than a feeling. It is the deep, knowing inside our body, soul and spirit, that we are free in Christ. His grace covers us and sets us free to live unrestrained by the world’s ways and tethered completely to Him.
For me, this has a lot to do with rejecting foods that kept me in bondage for years. I was seeking some kind of satisfaction in eating rich, decadent desserts and other comfort foods.
It was bondage, pure and simple. I willingly put myself there. When I finally came to my senses, just like the prodigal son, and ran home to the Father I found the tangible comfort I had been longing for.
Are you free if you don’t feel free. Yes, you are, but you can also be bound in self-indulgence making you feel anything but free. There is only way to break your own chains. Run home to the Father where there is a feast of His presence waiting.
It’s where nothing tastes as good as freedom feels. Nothing.
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1 2 Cor. 12:10 AMP
2Acts 8:39 NLT
3Acts 8:40 NLT
4Matthew 28:18-20 MSG
5Acts 1:8 NLT
6Acts 2:11 MSG
7Galatians 5:1 TPT
8John 8:32 MSG