Friday, September 25, 2009

Choosing freedom

I heard this song on the way to work recently. I’m sure the entire set of lyrics could serve as the foundation of a sermon on their own - course, to keep folks happy, we’d need to toss in a few verses from the New Testament among the lines there!

Although the first verse gets my attention every single time I hear this song, it wasn’t what drew me in today as I was listening to it. It was actually the bridge this time. Although all four lines speak very deeply to AND about my life, it was one line in particular that “got me” today:

“Captured by grace now I’m finding I am free...”

Freedom carries a lot of definitions and means a lot of different things to individuals. National freedom has proven to be costly for some folks, tightly protected by some and taken for granted by others.

You can be free from many things in your life and your environment like sin, substance abuse, physical ailments, or an abusive spouse.

And sometimes you are free before you ever realize you were bound.

One Sunday morning at church we were singing the song “Freedom” and it hit me. I was free! For the first time, I totally understood the verse in John 8:36 (The Message version): “So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”

Another translation puts it this way: “So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.” (Amplified Version)

Unquestionably free - that has a nice ring to it.

Funny thing about it, though, I didn’t realize I was so bound until God set me free that random Sunday morning. Although there were no literal chains holding me captive, in my mind I could see heavy chains - much like the strong and heavy iron ones prisoners were held by back in the day - dropping from my hands and feet and waist. And I could almost hear the clinking sounds as they fell to the floor our church.

It was a truly amazing moment for me. And one I’m glad I have DVRd in my memory so that I can play it back from time to time.

Although that kind of liberation may not make sense to some folks, it was a literal life-changing moment for me! I can’t begin to tell you what a difference it has made in my attitudes, my actions and my outlook. I literally do praise a little louder than I did before. I jump higher, I love deeper and I worship more freely. Most importantly, I trust more fully than I ever did.

I have been released.

And I credit it all to God’s amazing grace and forgiveness. Although grace and mercy often go hand in hand, they are truly different characterizations. Mercy, by definition, is seen as not receiving the punishment we deserve to receive while grace is receiving something positive that we did not deserve to receive.

It’s arguable whether or not I deserved to be bound. But it’s really arguable when I can admit it was something that I probably allowed to happen even though I never truly realized it had.

Utilizing grace once again, I truly want to do just as the song states, and love God not with just words but with every bit of my being. I want to not only live a life that honors Him and His glory but I want to live in a way that leaves no doubt how much I truly love and adore Him.

And because of that love I give to Him, He will enable me to share His love with those around me.

My earnest prayer for my own life - since I’m instructed to pray for myself as well as others - is that I will remain free and not allow myself to ever become as bound as I once was.

I now know the difference. And I choose freedom.


Everytime I Breathe
(Big Daddy Weave)


I am sure
All of heaven's heard me cry
As I tell You all the reasons why this life is just too hard
But day by day,
Without fail I'm finding everything I need
In everything that You are to me

(Chorus)
Every time I
breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never wanna leave I wanna stay
in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your
Face and Every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true, that You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You
Yeah, so in love with You

Now how could I,
After knowing One so great
Respond to You in any way that's less
than all I have to give

But by Your grace,
I wanna love
You not with what I say but everyday
In the way that my life is lived

(Chorus)
Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never wanna leave I wanna stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
and Every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true, that You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

(Bridge)
Wrapped in Your mercy I wanna live and never leave
I am held by how humble, yet overwhelmed by Your majesty
Captured by grace now I'm finding I am free
You are marvelous God and knowing You is everything

(Chorus)
Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never wanna leave I wanna stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
and Every time I get another glimpse of
Your heart
I realize it's true, that You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You.

2 comments:

Skeemer118 said...

Well said friend. :)

jwelch said...

Hey Kim,

I don't care how sporadic your entries are... i will keep reading. Your page has been bookmarked! I love reading your blogs and hope to keep in touch!

Jennifer
jenniferkwelch@gmail.com