In case you missed it, here was my guest post on Mary DeMuth's blog.
I believe there are two major keys to living a life of freedom:
1) Do what you were wired to do!
What are you passionate about? What are your deepest desires? What are your hopes and dreams? The first key to living in freedom is to do those things.
Nothing will make you feel more bound and caged, then when you are doing and pursuing things that you were not meant to do. A very good way to become burnt out and feel boxed in is to live against how you were wired.
I came to realize this truth: God isn’t going to make you do something that He didn’t hardwire in you. We have our passions and our gifts for a reason. He wants us to use them. Your gifts, however, are to ultimately to further His kingdom. God requires of you just one thing with the talents and desires that He gave you, and that is to be willing to give them back to Him. In my life, it was only when I was willing to give back to God the gifts, passions, and dreams that He gave me, that I found total freedom.
This leads me to my second key to living in freedom.
2) Surrender what you have been given.
The thought itself is somewhat counterintuitive. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the more “control” you have over our lives, the more “free” you will feel. But something that my pastor said really rings true: “The greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control.” The simple truth is that God is the one in control and not us.
I used to fear giving things up to God. I would hold on to my dreams and desires and keep them on a short leash. I would only ask God for help or guidance when I was stuck or at the end of my rope. I thought that if I gave up my desires and dreams, I would lose them, and that God would use me to do something that I was not passionate about. I now know that not to be true.
But Christianity is funny like that. Sometimes the most powerful beliefs we hold to, don’t seem to fit with common sense. In order to be exalted, you must be humbled. In order to be rich, you must be made poor. In order to be filled, you must be emptied. When struck down, you are to turn the other cheek and then go the extra mile.
So why surrender?
I believe a major reason is because we cannot be fully trusted with our gifts unless we are continually surrendering them to Him. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things…” You may start with good and wholesome intentions with your talents and passions, but if you are not continually laying down your pride and laying down your gifts, it is only a matter of time before you get sidetracked. The benefits of trusting God with our passions, however, are well worth it. Verse 7 & 8 say, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Surrender is not a sign of weakness. Surrender gives God room to work and will allow Him to use you in a mighty way. I’m sure we all want to “never stop producing fruit”, but the key is to always surrender what’s been given to you. Allowing God inside and amongst your gifts is so vital to living a life of freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). You want Him with you. You are better off giving Him your desires, letting God be God, and because of that, living in joyous, complete freedom.
Remember, you are called to be free. And the only string attached to living a life of freedom is more of Christ.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 [NIV]