How we walk in Freedom

In my post, “YOU were meant to live FREE!“, we started with this premise: “God does not deal with you according to what’s wrong with you but with what’s missing in your experience in Christ” (Graham Cooke). This must be our launching point if we’re going to cooperate with God’s intent to transform us in Christ. This requires our repentance (change of mind and heart).

As Dan Mohler said, “We must start where Jesus finished, and not go back.”

We saw this repentance process in Hebrews 12:

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection (Heb 12:2a TPT*)

Our repentance from living according to our old nature to walking according our new life in Christ is the one of the two most critical reasons why our soul should spend time with Christ in heaven. The other is so that we would not just know His works but know His ways. His character and nature—a knowledge that only comes from revelation through intimate relationship.

In that regard, I want to unpack a very important passage here:

3 Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodnessAs a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world. (2 PETER 1:3-4 TPT*)

First, we see that we’ve already been given everything we need. It’s all in us! It’s latent potential, waiting for us to experience and make real in our lives.

Second, all these things are lavished (profuse, spared no cost, over the top) from our experience of knowing Him. Did you get that? Everything God has for us is relational. We can’t go to school for it, just study it, or have hands laid on us to receive it. We receive it as we participate in the divine nature. As I said before, no one else can do this for you. We must all participate in Him with an open heart.

Third, we have been invited into this new way of living! And we have come because we have a revelation of His goodness! No one will come to God if they think He’s out to get them, or that He’s not good. Beloved, you need a revelation of His glorious goodness!

Fourth, we receive all the promises of God as we cooperate with God and experience His divine nature (“in Him – 2 Cor.1:20). These two things—participating in the divine nature and the promises of God—are inextricably linked together.

Fifth, we escape the corruption of the world and evil desires by accepting His invitation to participate in the divine nature.

On a side note, some translations use the word  “lust” for “evil desire,” but we associate lust with sexual lust today, so this is a much better rendering of the original Greek word ἐπιθυμία (epithumia), which literally means strong desire. In this context, it pertains to anything we have a strong desire for in this world that corrupts our soul. It can include seemingly good things.

The bottom line is that all of these promises are relationally-based, so participating in the divine nature is not an option if you want to live truly free. And considering the benefit described here, who wouldn’t want to!

As I’ve said many times before, the problem with our modern gospel understanding is that it seems to more or less, “Believe Jesus died for your sins and then go and try to do what He said,” which translated means, try to imitate Christ (outside-in) instead of incarnating Him (transformation, from the inside-out).

While imitation looks good on a superficial level and it’s easy to teach from the pulpit, it never leads to real transformation.  Transformation that leads to incarnation only comes from abiding in this heavenly realm in God’s love.

So many prayers that Christians want answers for are really truth problems.

I say this particularly to my Charismatic friends (of whom I belong). We don’t need hands laid on us as much as we need to believe the truth. As Dan Mohler says, “Ministry doesn’t make us free, truth does.”  And truth is relational.

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31b-32 NKJV*)

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples….11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  (John 15:7, 11 NKJV*)

Beloved, this is what you and I have been invited into. Truth that changes us from the inside-out is experiential truth, because we have encountered Truth as a Person.

This is how we walk in freedom and fully live our lives according to God’s intent for us, which bring Him glory.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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5 Responses to How we walk in Freedom

  1. Good stuff, Mel!
    I really liked this part, “So many prayers that Christians want answers for are really truth problems.” I’ve certainly found that to be true for myself. Usually if I am distressed, confused, or frustrated, I am deceived in some way. Many people I encounter have a truth problem around who God says they are, what their identity in Him is, and how much He cares for them. It used to make me crazy, (probably makes God crazy too) but we would pray and add the caveat, “if it be your will.” Our job is to draw close enough to Him that we understand His nature enough to accept that He is for us, that His good will towards us is not in doubt.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen, IB. God’s goodness is like the sun shining above the clouds. It’s always good (sunshine) no matter how stormy our circumstances. We must know this if we are going go to Him and discover the truth that makes us truly free.

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    This is an important message, but we don’t understand it well. What is truly wrong with imitation? I think the problem is that it is only where we begin. As Hebrews suggests in Chapter 5, some remain stuck at the beginning, drinking milk when they should be eating meat.

    How do we get stuck on milk like overgrown babes? I have a little theory. We too often speak of being a Christian as if we had to do something magical, but agape love is not magical. It is a bit too rare. We know other forms of love well, but few love God and their neighbors from a generous and noble heart. Yet if we love our Savior and our God, we will yearn to obey Him and be like Him. However, agape love is scary. Agape love is the type of love Peter struggled to achieve when he denied Jesus three times. Eventually, Peter did love our Lord, but he did so at the cost of his life.

    So, we must abide in His Word so we can know Him and learn to love Him, love Him with agape love. Then we will obey His Word and want Him to abide in us because we love Him, even though it cost us our lives.

    Is this truly difficult? Too high a price to pay for the love of God? The Parable of the Sower suggests that for many it is. Even Peter, when Jesus stood right before him, had trouble just staying focused on his Savior.

    All we who know Christ can do is let our Savior live through us by trying to keep our focus on Him. Then, if we succeed, then, perhaps, the world will see Christ in us and more will begin to understand. Some will hate us, but others will want the Christ they see in us.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. And loving Him starts with us learning how to be loved by Him. As John said, we love Him because He first loved us. We give our all and live other-centered because we are compelled by love.

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