Archive for June 16th, 2009

In my last blog in the “Heart of a Worshipper” series (HWS). I wrote that we must have a willing heart, allowing God to use us in whatever way He wants. The very exciting thing about serving God is that when we are willing to let Him lead, the paths He takes us lead us into ever increasing freedom. Read on as I look at three ways that the heart of a worshipper is a free heart.

A Free Heart

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
          2 Corinthians 3:17

Regularly worshipping God means regularly entering into His presence – allowing our spirit to encounter the Spirit of God in a stronger and more intimate way. That experience changes us forever. As we learn more about God and who He is, we learn more about the insignificance of this world. And that’s freedom! It unencumbers your heart and mind. It releases you from the bondage of this world. It sets us free.

In what ways has the Lord set us free? Let’s look at just three of them.

Freedom from Condemnation
You probably know Romans 8 verse 1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” But did you realize that verse 1 ends in a comma? The statement is incomplete. Let’s look at the full sentence (verses 1 and 2):

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
          Romans 8:1-2

There is no condemnation because Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death. When we recognize Him as Savior and receive Him as Lord, we are freed from eternal judgment and given the Spirit of Life. I am not condemned. Period. And if God can forgive whatever I’ve done and all that I’ve done, it seems a bit prideful to me not to forgive myself. When I don’t forgive myself, I am setting myself up as judge above God – I am overriding (or overturning) His “not guilty” decision. I really try not to trump God. I’ve found that it doesn’t work in the long run! God has declared me “not guilty.” I choose to agree with Him (regardless of how I feel on any given day). Again, I choose to agree with Him.

Freedom from Fear
A little further in Romans 8 we find the following verses:

because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
          Romans 8:14-15

These verses tell us that we have been released from a spirit of fear and have been given the opportunity for an intimate relationship with God (“Abba” can be translated “Daddy”) – the Spirit of sonship.

2 Timothy 1:7 is a verse that many people memorize:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [or fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline [or a sound mind].
          2 Timothy 1:7

Fear does not come from God. Faith comes from God. Assurance comes from God. Love comes from God. I don’t know what your greatest fear is, but I do know that spending time in God’s presence can give you His perspective on things. His perspective includes, among other things, the following facts:

  • That God is good and desires good things for me (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • That He knows me and understands me better than I know and understand myself (Psalm 139:1-3, 13)
  • That He is the One who controls all that happens to me today (Proverbs 16:9, 24).
  • That He will provide all that I need (Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 9:8)
  • And that He is the One who has said “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Meditating on these statements and verses pushes fear away. And while you’re meditating, here’s something else to think about: If you look up the verses I referenced in the short list above, you’ll find that you are familiar with nearly all of them. If I can come up with a list like this from the most commonly known Scriptures, imagine how much longer the list could be if you or I were to dig further. If you struggle with fear, let me encourage you to focus on the character of God. As you read your Bible today and tomorrow and the next day, ask God to show you His goodness, compassion and love and His awesome ability to hold you near to His heart. Ask Him to allow you to see yourself, those around you and the world through His eyes.

Freedom to Obey and Serve
There is tremendous freedom in knowing God and being willing to obey Him – to do what He calls you to do. Many years and several states ago, I had a good friend who was afraid to give herself fully to God because she was afraid that God would require too much of her. He’d ask her to become a missionary to Zimbabwe or he’d allow her to become paralyzed so she could have a ministry like Joni Erickson Tada. (Perhaps she’s never heard Joni’s full testimony. I’ve heard Joni say that she’d rather spend the rest of her life in her wheelchair with God at her side than to have spent one minute of her life without Him.) Knowing that you are willing, are doing and have done what God wants you to do is tremendously freeing. Withholding from God, or being outright disobedient to God carries a whole lot of emotional baggage. It’s like a constant nagging in your heart and soul. My friend was never free from the knowledge that she wasn’t living God’s best for her because she wasn’t willing to give herself entirely over to Him. It pulled on her spirit and dragged her down. And perhaps appropriately so – she was grieving God’s heart. But doing His will brings a lightness, a freedom to our hearts. Even the difficult tasks bring with them the peace that comes from knowing that God will enable and supply. And that allows us to be free from worrying about the results.

Let me give you just a couple of verses to meditate on:

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.
           James 1:25

This verse describes God’s law as “the perfect law that gives freedom.” This seemed strange to me when it first registered with me because I had never thought of God’s law as bringing freedom, but I now understand that obedience brings freedom. When you’re driving on the freeway within the speed limit, you have no fear of who’s around the corner. When your foot is heavy on the gas pedal, there’s a bit of wariness that leads to stress.

I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
          Psalm 119:44-45

The Psalmist is saying that because He has studied what God wants and has decided to obey, he will walk in freedom. Obedience brings a freedom of spirit that is life-giving. It is a freedom that brings light-heartedness in difficulty.

Freedom Here We Come!
We value freedom very highly in this country. Christ has come to bring a degree of freedom to our lives that is beyond any freedom we can experience at the hands of men. That freedom comes about by getting to know God better. The heart of a worshipper is a heart that is free! Spend some time today in worship!

Comments Comments Off on HWS: A Free Heart

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter