Today, I’ve been thinking on the idea that it’s possible to have the capacity to be free, and not operate in that freedom. It’s like someone posting bail for an inmate, but they continue to sit in the jail cell. The price has already been paid for them, but they’re choosing not to accept the benefits. This seems crazy, right? A person has paid the price for them to be free and live their life, but the inmate has chosen to keep himself locked up. That makes no sense! But, we do it in our lives spiritually.
In Romans 6, Paul discusses how after we accept Christ, we are free from sin, and alive to Christ. Verses 5-7 say: “For if we have been united with him [Christ] in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
This sounds like a great deal, right? Christ paid the penalty for our sin, and we can be free from sin because of his work on the cross. That’s amazing news!
Now, let’s look at verse 12 which says: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” This verse stopped me in my tracks when I read it this morning. This verse means that freedom is a choice for those who follow Jesus. He’s already paid the penalty for sin and the price for our freedom, but we can choose to let sin reign in our bodies, making us slaves again. This is heartbreaking to me. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly, but many of us aren’t taking full advantage of the life that he’s given to us.
This reminds me of agoraphobia; a phobia that prevents some people from leaving their home. Although they have the physical ability to walk out their front doors, there’s something inside of them that’s keeping them locked away. I feel like there are a lot of spiritual agoraphobes out there; Christians who are weighed down by sin, even though they don’t have to be. Heck, I used to be one of them! Although my sins were paid for, I was still holding onto the baggage of hurt, anger, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, and much more. These sins consumed me, and although I thought I was “free”, I was far from it.
It’s taken me years to be able to let go of those things, and I’m just now learning what it’s like to walk in freedom, wholeness, and healing. Honestly, there are times when those old issues start to rise up and take control of me again, but when I feel as though I’m starting to fall back into those old tendencies, I have to remind myself that those things have been crucified with Christ, they are gone, and don’t have authority in my life any longer. I have to take time and pray to refocus myself. I have to resubmit myself to Christ, die to myself, and continue walking toward him.
So, my question for you is, are you walking in the freedom that Christ has paid for, or are your a spiritual agoraphobe, being held back from truly living?