Free Indeed

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“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed”.
John 8:35-36

I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable with the idea of divine healing, not because I don’t believe that God can heal, or that He does (I’ve seen Him do it plenty of times), but because He sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. I can’t explain that. However, the more I am at home in the presence of God, the more I have to make peace with things that I cannot explain.

On this occasion, my tendency to avoid the topic of healing has been thwarted, because it happened to me. Two Thursday nights ago, I arrived at the opening night of our state ACC Conference in terrible pain from a slipped disc in my neck. Even greater than the pain, however, was the restriction I was feeling.

Every movement was carefully considered to accommodate my newfound limitations. Each moment was a decision to push the boundaries set by my pain, or submit to it.

As I walked into the service, I was thinking that I should probably be a bit careful, given my tendency to forget that I am a grown up (allegedly) and jump around with the youth! At this point, two things dropped into my spirit. I definitely don’t always hear this clearly from God, but on this occasion there was no room for doubt; firstly, the Holy Spirit was laughing at me!
“You don’t do anything carefully.”
This is, of course, true, as the paintwork on my car will testify.

Secondly, and this is where He got serious with me, He said “I am not careful in the way that I love you. I am not careful in the way that I bless you. I was not careful to preserve myself when I came to rescue you.”

In that moment, I realised that my preoccupation with my pain and limitation was preventing me from meeting with my God as I was created to:

“Let us come boldly to the throne room of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most”.
Hebrews 4:16

As the team began to lead us in worship, I decided to just go for it. Before we got to the first chorus, I was healed. I was free, no longer limited.

And that would be a great place to end this story, wouldn’t it? However, God had another lesson for me that night; He must’ve realised that I was listening more than usual and decided to capitalise!

As I got back into my car, my mind went through a familiar transition: from the Heavenly to the mundane. I stopped thinking about who God was and the implications of that for my life and started thinking about the logistics of my life: dropping home the people I had invited, picking up my son, the mountain of washing, some issues at work…oh I could go on!

In that moment, something very strange happened; as I became buried in the worries of this world, my pain returned.

What? That’s not right! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed, right??

And again, I felt the words of the Holy Spirit cutting through the mundane: “that depends which kingdom you choose to belong to.”

As I refocused on God, and submitted my mind and body to His kingdom, not my own, not this world, I found that I was I. Fact healed. I just couldn’t expect heavenly results if I was preoccupied by worldly things! By submitting to my limitations, I couldn’t live in God’s freedom.

It made me wonder how much of our time we spend submitted to this world and the limitations it brings with it? What makes us careful in the way that we approach the throne of our gracious God?

What worldly preoccupations are limiting your freedom today?

Written by Jen Grubb

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