By Katie Reid
As our country celebrates its freedom, let’s not forget to celebrate the spiritual freedom we’ve been given by God.
Confession: I have not always walked in the freedom that was mine.
For almost forty years, I wandered around a spiritual desert trying to make it to the Promised Land of God’s acceptance. I carried around a weighty cosmetic bag, filled with determination, perfectionist tendencies, and self-righteousness, trying to make myself more attractive. I was on the “do more, be more” train, trudging onward, but the harder I worked, the more wound up and weary I became. I was locked in a prison cell of performance—trying to earn my keep, living like a weary slave of a tyrannical master instead of a beloved daughter of a Good Father.
Then, on a warm summer day, in the midst of a phone call with a friend, God gave me a picture of grace that changed everything. Jesus invited me to exchange my striving soul for a settled spirit—without compromising my doer’s heart in the process.
He showed me that: Grace is a gift to be received, not a prize to be earned.
Years of striving screeched to a halt as the good news crested like a radiant sunrise.
How had I missed this? I had been so busy trying to prove myself and work for God that I had bypassed the heart of the gospel.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
First and foremost, if we believe in Jesus (that He lived a sinless life, died for our sins on the cross, and rose again) and we receive Him by faith, then we are saved and in right standing with God—not because of what we have to do, are doing, or will do, but because of what Jesus did for us; once and for all.
As we see in Ephesians 2:10, there are good works for us to do. But those works are not a means to obtain and keep God’s love, they should be a response of gratitude for His love. Jesus set us free—ushering in spiritual liberty—so that we would no longer live as slaves, but live as His beloved sons and daughters.
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Now that you are His, you can enjoy the benefits of belonging to Him. You are given a new outlook on life—full of hope for the future, full of peace that transcends the circumstances, full of joy that doesn’t fade…because Jesus lives within you.
But you haven’t just been freed for your own benefit.
You have been freed so you can help free others.
Toward the end of my book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done, I mention a woman named “Minty” Ross. You may know her as Harriet Tubman. Some called her Moses for her valiant work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Harriet not only escaped slavery but she chose to go back into slave territory to bring others out of bondage.
May we be like Harriet, so courageous and committed to the well-being of others, that we not only experience spiritual freedom for ourselves, but we help others enter into that freedom as well.
It is an honor to partner with Fashion & Compassion as they help bring freedom to the lives of others.
To celebrate the release of Made Like Martha, Fashion & Compassion is offering a discount on their “Set Free” bracelet for all who order the book between now and July 10th. This bracelet is by artisans in Mexico and Charlotte, NC, and the net proceeds go directly to end human trafficking.
So strap on freedom with this beautiful bracelet—a reminder that you have been set free in Christ, and a reminder to introduce others to this glorious freedom as well.
Head over to madelikemartha.com to purchase Katie’s book and then be sure to redeem the exclusive pre-orders gifts, including the discount for our “Set Free” bracelet.
Happy Independence Day, go celebrate the freedom that is yours in Christ!
Katie M. Reid
Author of Made Like Martha + Speaker + Inspiration Doula
Katie M. Reid encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at katiemreid.com. She is a devoted wife, mom to five loud children, and a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversations over iced tea. She is also a national speaker and author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done (which includes a bonus 5-week bible study). Subscribe to Katie’s blog for a weekly encouragement to help you breathe deeply and walk freely.