Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. In the place at the end of ourselves, the Spirit takes over leadership in our lives. That place is the place of freedom, in which we hold our lives and possessions and control so loosely that the Lord directs our steps.
26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
Proverbs 28:26, 29:1
17 Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
I often think about what it takes to get to the end of ourselves. Somewhere at the end of the rope of self-sufficiency and self-centredness, after we have tried to control everything and be the masters of our lives and futures and successes and failures, is the end of ourselves. Some of us haven’t have been there. Yet.
This place is all-to-familiar to the addict and the ruined and the bankrupt and the chronically or terminally ill and the abandoned. If you have tried everything and thrown up your hands or got down on your knees and said, “I give up,” you could teach us all about this.
When we get there, we’ll know it because God is there. It will be a burning bush moment like Moses had with God. It will be holy ground. The veil over our eyes will be lifted as we encounter God in all his power. Now, God is in all his power all the time, yet in our lives, God’s presence is felt greatest and most truly impactful when we realize that we are not God.
In that place, at the end of ourselves, the Spirit takes over leadership in our lives. And that place, dear friends, is the place of freedom.
To quote Kris Kristofferson, that great modern theologian, “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” That’s true. It’s freedom to hold our lives and possessions and control so loosely that the Lord can direct our steps.
We actually think freedom is the opposite of this notion, though, don’t we? We think the ultimate in freedom is to be the masters of our destinies. We think that if we have enough and control enough and can do enough and buy enough and decide enough, that we are free. The truth is that when we throw ourselves completely and fully into the hands of God and rely on him and serve him, we are the most free we will ever be. Nothing will be holding us back or entangling us in the trappings of this world at that moment. We will be truly eternal and focused on the eternal when we get there.
If, when we get there, we don’t listen and bow and come to the awesome realization that God is God, we will likely destroy ourselves. We will go beyond the end of ourselves to a place where nothing will save us.
So where are you? And where are those you care about? I know where some are. At different places or even off the chart. And we mourn the losses over these precious souls. Yet for those of us who are considering our ways and our relationship with God and his influence and place in our lives, each of us can make a choice today which will surrender another area of our control to his control.
What area will you give over today? Commit it to God in prayer and ask the Spirit to take over and bring his freedom.