I’m realizing more and more how many paradoxes permeate the Christian faith.
Die to live. Live to serve. Humble yourself to be exalted. Follow in order to lead.
On the list could go. And it does. But I want to talk about one paradox that really hit home this week. I’m in a Beth Moore bible study called “Breaking Free.” It has rocked my world. Beth Moore is a spiritual beast and I really want to be just like her when I grow up. While the subject matter varies from week to week, recognizing different stong holds that we all face and fight, the majority of the references of captivity and freedom stem from Isaiah.
Because of this study, I have found what I feel like is the verse that most resonates with my soul and sings my heart’s song. There are countless verses that I love and cling to depending on the day. But this one is different.
Isaiah 62:4 says
It will no longer be said of you “Forsaken,” nor your land be longer called “Desolate.” But you will be called “My delight is in her,” and your land “married.” For the LORD delights in you.
*sigh* I love that verse. But that really has nothing to do with where I am going with this post. I just wanted to share that with you… in case you cared. Moving on.
Something that Beth said this week struck a new chord with me. While it’s a not new concept, it’s a basic tenant in the faith, it seemed profound to me. And it got me excited.
Beth simply said– “freedom demands renewed surrender and faithful obedience.”
Ironic, isn’t it? To know true and lasting freedom; to be untied for all that holds you captive; for chains of bondage to be broken, you must submit yourself to a higher authority. You must surrender your heart, mind, and soul to another master entirely. You must willingly lay down your arms and be overtaken by that which sets you free from everything else.
What a wonderful capture! What a blessed bondage! What a glorious overtaking! To be surrounded not by lies, but love. To be captivated, not by guilt but glory. To be bound, not to shame but salvation! To be filled, not with fear but faith. To know, perhaps for the first time, not what you are, but who you are– in Christ. To have your eyes opened to your true identity as a son or daughter of the King. To have your heart opened to receive new life that is renewed by mercies that reign over you with the rising of every sun. To be completely entrenched not by the mud of earth, but the river of righteousness that cleanses every sin and washes every iniquity.
To be truly set free, made whole, and satisfied. Satisfied not in your own accomplishments, but in freely receiving that which you could never do for yourself.
Oh how I hope and pray that this takes deep root in my heart and yours. To be honest, this is the hardest thing for to abide in. I know it. I believe it. But so often I fail to feel it– I fail to dwell in the truth of it and allow it to saturate me, through and through. But I am trying everyday to remember, to recite, and to allow it to rule every thought and each word. For whatever reason, it does not come naturally to me. But this is one battle I will not forfeit. I will fight until this truth seeps into the very marrow of my bones, for without it, I will fall prey to a faulty god.
May we surrender daily, willingly and with joy, to Him who will guard and guide us by His grace.