“What will people do if they believe they have complete freedom as a Christ-follower?”
Recently I read “Free Book” by Brian Tome. The fact that the word “fanatic” on the cover was enough to intrigue me enough to read through this book. I loved how blunt Pastor Brian was throughout the book.
I love the fact that he mentioned that there are millions of books about religion and self-control but so very few about freedom. Jesus Christ talked about freedom so much- why does this seem to be the missing link in Christianity?
In 2009 I seemed to be bent on “living life to the max” and have a couple blogs that one could go back and read. (Disclaimer- remember I have grown Spiritually and mentally quite a bit since 2009). I have come to love the term “hedonist” which John Piper brought into the Christian realm. A hedonist is someone who lives for the pursuit of pleasure. I believe that Kingdom-life through Jesus Christ is the pursuit of the ultimate pleasure, or life to the full (John 10:10).
The man that led me to Christ (Paul Curran) was very big on “embracing your vulnerabilities” in an effort to “access the power of Christ” ( a writing of his about this topic is in the appendix of my book, Freaked Out by the New Covenant). Embracing your vulnerabilities is allowing yourself to die, so to speak, or be weak that way Christ is your strength. I believe this to be quite the liberating experience.
I remember brother Paul aways citing 1 John 4:8, “perfect love casts out fear”, as a primary thought to challenge people to live without fear. Pastor Brian says this in the book:
“Fear might keep you from going places you could enjoy, talking with people who could expand your thinking, and trying things that will grow you”.
LET YOUR LOVE FOR LIVING YOUR GOD-GIVEN LIFE TO THE FULL CAST OUT FEAR. Make the pledge today to live fearlessly. “Freedom is being who God designed you to be”.
“Instead of being so concerned about what might happen if you get too close to the proverbial line- because there are plenty of those messages out there- we need more voices saying, “You are free, and don’t allow anyone to bum you out by judging you”.
Let me make sure you know something upfront. The minute you decide to take control of your own life and live free- there are always those who will “judge you” and try and bring you back into bondage. I would say this is one of the “universal truths” we can derive from the 1st century gospel message (the contrast between the persecuting “Hagar” and the free “Sarah” – read Galatians 4:21-31). As Saul Alinsky once said:
“Change means movement. Movement means friction”.
“If you are focused on maintaining balance- trying to satisfy all the people in every area of your life and just skating by with a little energy here and there- you probably aren’t moving, and you probably aren’t experiencing the blessings that come from a life lived in freedom”.
Another disclaimer is the fact that freedom is kinda scary. It’s the unknown. A favorite author of mine, Shane Claiborne, talks about this is his book- The Irresistible Revolution. He speaks about how perhaps the most dangerous place to be is in the hands of God. A God who challenges men to trust Him and walk on water- Yes, God will bring you to some interesting places. Sadly, as was said in the book:
“…when a new way of living is introduced, we are hardwired to think it is in our best interest to eliminate in and not change”.
So I want to initiate something here. Let’s call it the Caleb Project. If you read about Caleb in the book of Numbers and the book of Joshua you learn about his steadfast faith in God- willing to have what is called “risky faith”. I am asking you to consider that today. Let’s put this freedom thing to the test.
Have you ever written your bucket list? Write down those things you want to do and get started. Here are a couple of things I ready to start within the next couple weeks and it would be awesome to hear that you are involved.
The LIAR LIAR EXERCISE which is dedicating a day to being “brutally honest” with anyone and everyone you meet. This is quite the daring experience but I imagine it will be quite liberating, and yes- fun. Ha Ha, I just have to include this clip from the movie Liar Liar:
Pay It Forward is another liberating experience wherein you do a good deed for someone, or pay for their food, in the effort that they will do the same thing. Let’s start a chain reaction. I can give you story after story of how that looked on the Starbucks Drive-Thu line.
In the next week or two, I will begin the 3 Day Challenge of Living on the Edge. I will be trying to get as many people as possible to participate. Let me know if you are willing to try it out. Learn more by visiting this website:
Some other ideas I am going to try out are living off the land for a week or so and being a freegan. Yeah Google that term it’s quite interesting.
I know this is not exactly my usual “intellectual” style blog. I pride myself on not taking life too serious, living radically and loving Jesus-m demolishing strongholds and enabling others to find abundant life in Christ. I call this “living lightly”- something I look to get tattoed and start a chain reaction too. Are you willing to try out FREEDOM?
“Because Caleb has different fuel in his tank- a fire burning in his belly- he followed God full-on, and God decided to bless him remarkably through his life and his lineage”.
I look forward to your responses. Blessings in Christ.
-Pastor Michael Miano
Here are links to the blogs I had written back in 2009: