2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday. The young woman sat in front of our group, sharing her testimony. We all have a story—one in which Jesus steps into the room, looks us in the eye, and invites us to a new life. That’s what happened with her. But the room Jesus walks into is different for all of us, and the one she was in was darker than any I had heard of before.
In short, she had lost her way as a teenager and ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol. She did anything she could to get the money she needed to anaesthetize the deep pain within her. Ending up in the dark world of prostitution, she was broken, confused, and full of inner and outer chaos. She prayed in the only way she knew how—desperation>.
The Holy Spirit entered the room of her despair.
Divinely orchestrated events led a group of followers of Jesus to find her, and to welcome her to a new life. She said yes, and never looked back. That day, face beaming, she told her story tears streamed down her face. She shared how clean, how pure, and how loved she felt by her Father in heaven. She was the bride of Christ. Who could take this new life from her? No one. No one had the power to remove the love from her heart that was overflowing in gratitude as she spoke. Her life, completely turned around, was now spent reaching out to other young women caught in the same cycle of desperation.
As I sat there listening, tears streamed down my face as well. I remember thinking this thought so clearly: “No therapist, no celebrity, no community, even no family, on their own, could bring about the kind of utter transformation I am seeing in front of me. Her life has truly been made new. She is a new creation, a sign and a wonder and a declaration that Jesus loves and has the power to heal.”
Freedom is a word that can be used to mean many things these days. I can be free to do what I want. I can also be free to do what God wants. In the former case, I am my guide, and while I may not end up in a room like anyone else, I seem to be pretty good at creating my own problems. In the latter case, freedom means what it did to the woman at the well—I am free to choose Jesus as my guide, to follow his path to hope, and to surrender myself to a Father who loves me so much he will use any situation to bind my heart in greater union with his.
The Spirit of the Lord is right here, right now, ready to bring freedom to you. Whatever the awakening is that is your next step, say yes to open eyes and a Spirit-filling that will give what you need to step through this season into the new that Jesus has for you.
And if you know of someone who is locked in a room of their own or another’s making, hidden away so that only those who are closest to them can see how afraid or lost they truly are, pause and pray with me for the true Spirit of Freedom to shake the foundations of their prison (Acts 16:25-26) and to break the chains that that have kept them bound within.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. I feel the power of your presence with me once again, reminding me how far we’ve come and how much you have done in my life. Come, Holy Spirit, give me hope for my own wholeness, and use me to intercede in the lives of others who need to taste the extent of the freedom only you can give. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Is there someone that comes to mind that you could spend the week offering to God in prayer? Invite the Holy Spirit to break in, once again, and believe that the Lord will bring them to his freedom.
For the awakening,