Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Freedom is your inheritance… Freedom is your birthright! It’s in your divine bloodline because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus didn’t pay for you to experience partial freedom, but complete freedom!
Let’s be real, it doesn’t always feel that way. Honestly, it’s the opposite that feels true. Freedom in certain areas of our lives tend to appear as an intangible reality. Have you been aggressively trying and trying? You’ve tried reading a popular self-help book; you’ve tried using your own grit and willpower to overcome some of your most personal battles, but there just seems to be no breakthrough; no change; and no progress…
Well, there’s a story in the Bible that I believe gives us three keys that we need to practically experience a lifestyle of freedom. Over the next three weeks I want to study this story with you. It’s the story of the demonized Gerasene in Mark 5:1-20.
This week let’s read Mark 5:2-7… it says,
2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”
Now this is a very odd scene… Jesus and his disciples stepped out of the boat, and immediately this oppressed man runs to meet them. He’s so oppressed that he lives isolated in a graveyard and he’s been rejected by his community. This man lives in a constant state of torment and brokenness. Upon the arrival of Jesus and his disciples, there wasn’t anyone that was capable to help him.
However, this man does something that fascinates me. Mark 5:6 explains that when he sees Jesus from afar, he runs out of the tombs towards Jesus and falls down at His feet.
Here’s the first key to living a lifestyle of freedom we see from this passage:
There was something inside of this demonized man that recognized in Jesus lied his only opportunity for freedom, so he ran from the tombs and kneeled down at Jesus’ feet.
Living a lifestyle of freedom will require dedication to leave behind the things that are dead, the things that aren’t life giving for the feet of Jesus. Living a life of freedom will require that you leave behind thinking patterns that aren’t life giving, relationships that aren’t life giving, environments that aren’t life giving, beliefs about yourself or others that aren’t life giving for the feet of Jesus.
Sons and Daughters fight their battles through a lifestyle of surrender.
What is it that you have to surrender to Jesus? What are you lugging around that you don’t actually have to? What are you tired of carrying on your own?
James 4:6-7 says this,
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When the demonized man ran and kneeled down at Jesus’ feet it was an act of warfare; the most violent thing he could’ve ever done. Simultaneously, while surrendering to Jesus, he was resisting the enemy.
It’s important to understand that this man ran towards Jesus out of his own free will, but once he was in Jesus’ presence a battle began to take place. The demons within him didn’t want to flee, so they began speaking through him and resisting because they knew that it was eviction time!
When you surrender an area of your life to Jesus don’t be surprised if you experience pushback or some kind of spiritual warfare. For example, you decide to surrender your dating life to Jesus, choosing to wait on His best for your life. Then soon after you’re met with a on slot of unwarranted attention or messages from a ex… Quite simply, it all means that the enemy is afraid. He’s afraid because he knows that he can’t ultimately win a battle against a Christian who has surrendered to Jesus!
He’s intimidated by your surrender
To experience the full extent of our inheritance as sons and daughters it will require surrender!
Next week we’ll dig into the second key that I believe empowers us to live in the freedom that Jesus has for us!