Posted by: Tamara Harrison | June 7, 2011

Breaking Free


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We find comfort in the rules. Comfort in the way we can seemingly control something by placing restrictions over our lives. But when we break these restrictions in even the slightest way we judge ourselves as guilty and confine ourselves to chains.

You might have your own rules, but my rules tend to come in the form of food-rules. Food LAWS. My food laws have been things like “You will not eat any refined sugar”, “you will eat no more than 1500 calories a day”, “you will not eat anything that doesn’t have natural ingredients”. And those are some of the rules I’ve placed on myself since I’ve become better with eating. I don’t even want to go into what my old food rules were.

For the first 2 years of my life as a born-again believer I couldn’t shake the idea that I had to succeed at following my rules in order to have a right relationship with God. I thought that if I followed all these rules I would gain freedom from my sin. Do you see the error in this? I was finding salvation in myself. I was finding hope through my own performance. And when I didn’t meet my own imposed expectations I would feel shame and guilt in the most painful way.

I couldn’t even approach God because of the imaginary wall of shame I had erected before Him. This led to making countless pledges to “do better next time”. Of course it was always in my own strength, and so the cycle of striving, failing, shame, and guilt continued.

I lived Paul’s testimony:

“I discovered that the law’s commands (my “eat this, don’t eat this” rules) which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead ” (failing to keep the rules and feeling ashamed and guilty) (Romans 7:10).

However, there was life-giving truth I just didn’t get:

“But now we have been realeased from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power” (Romans 7:6).

I never fully understood what this meant for me!

The truth is, rules produce the ability to break them. The law makes the sinner stumble. God’s purpose for the Law was to show us we could never follow it!!

So why, why, do we place ourselves under rules only to see ourselves unable to follow them and then proceed to dig ourselves a grave of shame?

God made a better way! He knew we could never gain freedom on our own. That’s why He sent His Son to die for our sins and make a way for freedom through Him. “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord”! (Romans 7:25).

In Him we are declared FREE from the law! We are FREE!!! I no longer have to confine myself back to the rules, thinking those rules will bring me freedom. How backwards this is! Do you see the complete bondage? This self-imposed prison sentence is NOT from our Maker. He came to break that cycle, to set the captive free!

So now, I will no longer give myself a guilty sentence; I will no longer put my verdict above God’s. For who am I to claim that God’s grace is void in my life? Who am I to nullify the freedom and forgiveness available in my Savior? Who am I to look at God’s outreached hand of love and mercy and say NO? And who am I to look at the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for my sins and say that I want the old way?

Well, no more. No more will I be driven by laws and guilt instead of freedom and grace.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1).

NO CONDEMNATION. “No” means none. Not even a little.

To understand that the Judge of the universe does not, cannot, will not condemn you is to understand that condemning yourself because of your inability to fulfill the law is not only a waste of time but not valid! You can pretend that you’re guilty but you’ll be causing yourself, as I have done countless times, unnecessary despair and pain.

So I will live consumed and driven by the living God who forgives me and allows me to live abundantly free. I will NOT live being driven by dead rules and self-imposed guilt.

“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead you live under the FREEDOM of God’s grace”!!!! (Romans 6:14).

The laws you place on yourself are DEAD. When you live through the power of God’s grace you don’t have to live by rules.

I have yet to meet anyone whose rules brought them lasting freedom. Only through complete abolishment of those man-made rules and giving myself over to the Holy Spirit’s control will I find true freedom.

What about you? Are you willing to admit that your rules are not bringing you freedom? I know the fear in the idea of not living by rules. Satan convinces us that we can’t do it and instead gives us something that looks like freedom but is the complete opposite.

I am testimony that by laying down your rules and living through the power of the Holy Spirit you will find complete freedom! I haven’t mastered it in the least, and I continually have to remind myself of the bondage that comes when I go back to my old way of living. Stop striving. Lay down your laws. Start living in Freedom.

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Responses

  1. I am visiting from Lysa’s site today. I really appreciate your statement “So I will live consumed and driven by the living God who forgives me and allows me to live abundantly free.” AMEN!!

    Believing Him~Pamela

    • Hi Pamela! Thanks so much for your comment!! God bless you!!

  2. What a great post! I too am experiencing freedom from laying down other things in my life. Trusting in the Lord and experiencing the freedom that can only come from Him is such a pure joy!

    Grateful to have found you through Lysa’s blog today! I’ll be book marking you! 🙂

    • Thank you Rachel!! You’re so right, it is pure joy!!!! God bless you today!!

  3. I found you on Lysa’s blog today. Your post caught my eye, because freedom is the focus of my own blog. This is a great post, and I’m glad I found your site! 🙂

    • Thanks Amy! I’ll be sure to check out yours too!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. A wonderful article here and a great reminder of the freedom we have in Christ! Praise to God indeed!!

    • Thanks so much for visiting Trudy, and for your encouraging comment!! God bless you today!!


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