Written by: Teresa Criswell
Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Now imagine for a moment, you are on the beach. You can hear the waves and the sound effects of the wind. If you are wearing pants, roll them up and walk towards the beach ~ sit down and let your toes dig into the wet sand ~ listen to the sounds of the seagulls off to the distance.
Are your senses mesmerized by the symphony of the wind and waves as they crash together and become one? It may just be the most beautiful symphonic arrangement to your ears. Just stand there and let the vastness of the ocean and the breeze of the wind caress your face and hair as the tide comes in so smoothly and brushes up against your feet and above your ankles. Slowly inhale that beautiful fresh ocean air… now slowly exhale. Open your eyes and look into the horizon, look to the left and now to the right…there seems to be no end to this splendid ocean as it seems to go on for eternity.
Awake my sister, God's love is more vast than all the grains of sand in the entire world. Ponder this thought for a moment: you are on the beach looking out to the horizon, that one area where you are standing look to your right, now look to your left, now look straight ahead. You cannot see the end of the ocean; it keeps going even beyond what your eyes can see!
Wow! Now listen to the rhythm of the waves crashing in. Listen to that ongoing sound; the sound of power. Now, imagine your head upon God’s Almighty chest and that sound of the rhythm of the waves is as His Awesome heartbeat.
O Princess, He wants you to know His love is more than enough! More than your parents love, your husband’s love, your children’s love, your friend’s love all put together does not come close to God’s enthralling love for you! His capacity to love is so great, for this is Who He Is: LOVE!
Obviously, we will never understand the vastness of who He is, but let us just ponder a few amazing characteristics of God. Well, most of us have been taught according to the Word that He is “The Great I Am”. He is “All Sufficient”. He is “The Redeemer”. He Is “The King of kings”. He is “The Lord of lords”. He is our “Provider”. He is “More Than Enough”. He is “The Commander of The Heavenly Hosts”. He “Reigns In Victory”. “He is Love”. He is “The Beginning and The End”. “He made all things and for Him they were made”. He is our “Strong Tower”. He is our “Refuge”. He is our “Redeemer”…The many words to give descriptions of adoration in Who He is, is definitely eternal. The amazing truth is that these describe only a glimpse of Who He is. These descriptive, active words are not clichés that we use so loosely. These words reflect the attempting power of letters to worship Him as vocabulary itself cannot contain such massive power!
In this massive power He imparts who He is…and that is Freedom revealed because of Truth! God has so freely and lavishly given us freedom. He has given us the keys to see ourselves through His loving, beautiful, merciful eyes. He has given us the ability to run from the lies with His powerful grace as we run with great humbleness.
In humbleness, we will find that we will no longer dwell on the actions of how people have wronged us. For when we focus on people, we lead ourselves right back into captivity. When we look to God and lean on Him the One who cannot fail, we are free.
We know that Jesus is simply yet most powerfully the key to freedom, however, how do we come to this realization? By the Spirit of God and God’s Word as we get to know Him and His character through what He has already done as revealed in scripture.
As I read through the gospels, the writers have a common thread that is so beautifully knit together. As Jesus performed miracles, there was this genuine, authentic, wondrous, uncontainable love that was lavished upon the unlovable. Jesus repeatedly gave glory to the Father as He would say, “I do this because I have first seen my Father in heaven do this.” We also know that He had compassion and intimacy with His Father on earth as flesh. He knew who He was, yet He also knew that in order to do the great exploits that we triumphantly read about He knew He had to be dependent upon the Father. His power was manifested by His dependency on God’s compassion. Jesus revealed His active humbleness towards His Father.
The dependency on The Father is incredibly amazing, however, I am brought to this glorious reminder of Who Jesus is revealed as Truth. Paul, the apostle had such a revelation of Jesus as He revealed a vivid picture of the Armor of God.
I want to bring focus on the belt of Truth. This belt girds us about. Jesus is that belt of truth that girds us about as one of the pieces of spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). He girds us, He holds us in who He is and what He does.
The definition of gird according to Webster’s Dictionary: 1. To encircle or fasten with or as if with a belt (on a sword). 2. To invest especially with power or authority. 3. To prepare or brace.
Watch! Listen! See this!
Jesus encircles us or fastens us with His truth (The Word of God is as the sword).
He invests in us with power and authority.
He prepares us and braces us with His love.
He not only frees us he also equips us in His authority on how to remain in that place, by being embraced by Him.
Now it is our choice to stay in that powerful, loving embrace or walk away from it and go right back into the lies of captivity.
“In [this] freedom Christ had made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
–Galatians 5:1 AMP
I’ll give you an example. I was meditating on an illustration that God had given to me, in regards to how He is the key to freedom. His name; Jesus is the Key. He broke me free from the bondage of my past that I constantly dwelt upon. He showed me that when I was free, He would say with excitement, “Teresa, you are free from this prison of captivity!” In this visual I received, I remember watching myself just stand there, I thought for sure I would run out of the prison shouting and rejoicing; embracing my Mighty Rescuer, Jesus. But to my dismay instead I felt the indentations of the cuffs that once held me by my wrists and ankles, and it was as if I had that feeling of “forgetting my jewelry” and I needed to go back and put it back on. I lived a life of captivity for so long, that I was unable to experience freedom, for the familiarity of captivity held me back in the demented comfort of the chains. This time without the adversary’s help, I placed those chains of the past back upon myself.
This powerful illustration shocked me. I remember crying out to God, “Why would I do such a thing?” “Why do I deny your power not with my words but with my actions?” It is as if I heard the Spirit of God say, “The Israelites did the same, reliving a false, demented memory of the past.” They forgot how awful it was being in captivity, they had a false memory in the heat of the moment of “how much better Egypt was” than where they were. Of course they were in the wilderness, not a place anyone wants to be, however they weren’t alone. They had Almighty Jehovah parting the Red Sea so they could cross over from the land of captivity to go to a land of promise and freedom. Almighty God was their “Cloud by day” and “Fire by night”. He provided manna from heaven and when they got “sick” of that he provided quail because they just had to have meat (waist deep). There were many impossible situations, yet, the God of the impossible would make it possible. Anytime I read those historical accounts of the Israelites, I ask God with great frustration, “How could they forget what You, Almighty God had done?” Yet, sadly I was reminded that I do the same thing!
When I saw the imagery of the Israelites I shook my head in sadness for what an awful attempt to slap God's Holy face. The Deliverer was being told by the one’s who were delivered that He did not do a good enough job for their sakes. The astonishing part, they only knew slavery, for more than four hundred years they were in captivity, so being free was absolutely foreign. They were free but still had a slavery mentality. That spirit of slavery that was upon them did not allow them to see the beauty of freedom that they stood in.
I no longer want to be guilty of having a slavery mentality. I no longer want to be guilty of having an oppressive mentality, to where when freedom comes, I unknowingly reject it, because I have no idea what it is.
This is such an awakening. I must know my God, The God who Frees and Restores back to us what we may have never known before…a free woman.
I have heard it said, “Your past does not determine your future.” I believe that to some degree, however, most people’s past does determine their future by wrong choices. I choose to say, “Your past does not have to determine your future.”
We must make choices every moment of the day. One of those choices, revealed by these questions, “Will I allow yesterday’s failures and decisions determine today”? Of course, we want to say, “No!” But how do we live that out?
I believe with some of us we have to remind ourselves literally every moment of the day by speaking aloud, declaring with a ShOUT into the atmosphere over ourselves:
“I am Free.”
“I am set free!”
“I am disentangled from lies!”
“I am relieved and cleared by Jesus!”
We must shout and declare it with a shout of praise unto God with great fervency!
To the degree that slavery has tried to come after us is to the degree we must resist it! How? We MUST submit to God. We unwillingly told ourselves how we could never be free, so we must now willingly echo what is truth… “I am free, because of my Freedom Fighter, Jesus Christ!”
Think about this, unwillingly we tend to live our lives as a lie…when willingly we must live Truth. With freedom, we must uphold it. We maintain that freedom by maintaining intimate time with the Author of Freedom. For when the will goes away to be intimate with the Freedom Fighter, Jesus then the unwillingness will sneak back in and it will snatch us with its clenching jaws as we become a slave to the lies yet again.
Willingness comes at a price, however the incredible, awesome outcome is of truth! In this Truth we grab hold of, more than anything pleases the Almighty God.
We must also remember that unwillingness also comes at a price for the results are lies and destruction, which does not reveal the glory of God.
Which will we choose? I pray we will say “Yes” to the King and live as our rightful place in His Glorious Kingdom as His daughter of Truth!
You have lived the life of peasantry long enough…you have a legacy to leave…be a part of rescuing the little girl from the lies of the enemy and be a part of the Redeeming power to change the outcome of her life by living the life of freedom!
Remember this is more than a daily walk. This is moment by moment. This is a life of choices; those choices not only remain with you but they will and can remain with the generations after you. If you have an unwillingness to do it for yourself, then be a visionary and do it for the generations after you that you do not hear! But know this…they are crying out for someone to make the right choices for God’s glory. Walk the path of His glory. You are not a peasant, you are His daughter! You are no longer an orphan; you are His royal heiress!
I plead with you! Look into the mirror and see the daughter of the King! Rise up, for remember, God is enthralled by your beauty; which is truly His beauty.