What is spiritual freedom? How do you know you are spiritually free? Or perhaps a better question is, what is spiritual bondage and are you be able to recognize it in your life? Is it even possible to be a Christian and have need for spiritual freedom?
When you find yourself driven to do something you don’t like doing anymore, but you have lost your self-control. Feeling compelled toward a behavior in such a way is an indication of spiritual bondage. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have been diagnosed (although perhaps you have), but the loss of self-control in even a small area of your life means there has been a loss of free will.
Behaviors that cause harm to yourself physically or self-sabotaging behaviors as you move forward toward success. These unhealthy patterns often abort the success of a job or a relationship. Severe self-harm includes inflicting physical pain on self and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Similar to that of a spectrum, self-harm shows up in a wide range of behaviors.
Pulling away more and more from your family, your marriage, your friendships, and your community. Darkness thrives when you’re not in relationship with others. Isolation enables the lies that circle your mind to take root because no one is there to help you combat them.
Physical Illness & Mental Illness
Science is the “systematic study and knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.” However, the spiritual is not material. But it often masquerades as such. Many illnesses and afflictions are sourced in the physical: environment, lifestyle, diet, genetics, and so on. But when the source of the illness/affliction is spiritual, even the best medical and mental health communities cannot pinpoint the source and find helpful treatment. While the mysterious symptoms can be observed, the source remains evasive and treatment elusive. Eventually your sleep, relationships, and vocation, as well as your emotional and mental health are impacted. Unexplained and untreatable illness or affliction is a common indicator of spiritual bondage.
When behavior brings personal shame and humiliation to you and your family members. This is not the embarrassing moment people laugh about at ice breakers. This is a deep, gut-wrenching humiliation that makes you choke on your words as you try to talk about it. This shame and humiliation destroys human dignity.
Self-control. Hope. Sound mind. Community. Unashamed. Forgiven. Well rested. Peaceful.
Spiritual Freedom is a deep, abiding inner peace. Rooted in an identity and freedom that isn’t determined by the external or the internal, but the eternal. Spiritual freedom is reflected in the physical, emotional, relational, and financial areas of life being free of bondage. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life… the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10.
Can Christians experience spiritual bondage? In Christ, we have access to total and complete freedom. He transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light and life. It brings Jesus joy and glory to see you walking in the total freedom He purchased you. But having access to spiritual freedom does not mean you are experiencing spiritual freedom. He gave you the keys to your freedom. Will you choose to use them?
Complacency is the enemy of freedom. Complacency says, “It’s not so bad, others have it worse.” Complacency says, “I’ve dealt with this for years, I’m used to it.” Complacency normalizes spiritual bondage. But the Spirit of Truth shines a light of the disguise of complacency. Truth champions freedom.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32 NIV
Jesus longs to restore you to your position of dignity and authority in Him. If anything we’ve covered in this post today sounds even a little familiar, don’t let complacency steal another moment of your life. Ask a Certified Emotional Healing Practitioner at Redeeming Freedom about our Free In Christ program today. Our team is here for you.