There are four qualifiers in knowing we are walking in the total freedom Jesus came to give us (Luke 4:18-19).
We are free in Christ when we have:
- Nothing to hide
- Nothing to fear
- Nothing to lose, and
- Nothing to prove
Let’s take a look at each of these. First of all, we know we are free in Christ when we have nothing to hide. Remember, the very first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned was try to hide from God. But God came walking in the garden and asked, “Where are you?” They couldn’t hide from Him and neither can we. The Bible says if we make our bed in hell, He is there. He doesn’t join us in our sin, but He is watching us. If we are in any kind of sin, we need to repent and stop sinning. When we are walking uprightly we have nothing to hide from God or from others. We can be honest, transparent, and humble. Our conscience is clear.
Secondly, we know that we have been made free in Christ when we have nothing to fear. 1 John 4:18 tells us that “perfect love casts out all fear.” Fear is a spirit. (Don’t be afraid to cast out any and all spirits of fear.) 2 Tim. 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” When we “give it all to God” and we rest in His wisdom, goodness, and power, we are able to trust Him completely with our lives. Total surrender brings total trust. We cannot trust Him fully until we submit fully. There is a part we play and a part He plays. Oftentimes, we believe we are waiting on God and He is actually waiting on us.
Thirdly, we have nothing to lose. It doesn’t matter what we lose in this world because we understand the principle Jesus was speaking of when He said in Matt. 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” We are not greedy for gain; we don’t need the approval of man; we are not trying to protect our reputation. We are not even trying to preserve our own life here on this earth. In Matt. 10:39, Jesus said, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” In other words, nothing on this earth becomes more important than pursuing Christ and advancing His Kingdom. As a disciple of Christ, we have already lost our life for the sake of His Kingdom, but we have found the “pearl of great price!”
Fourthly, we have nothing to prove. When we feel we have to “prove ourselves to others,” we get caught up in pride―the kind of pride that causes boasting, showmanship, competitiveness, comparison, and jealousies. We get caught up in striving. Everything becomes a struggle. The need to prove ourselves is often caused by rejection and inferiority issues. What frees us from that is knowing we are accepted by the Lord and greatly loved, that He lovingly corrects us when we err. And we learn to welcome that correction and discipline because we know He is a loving Father. (Also, there may well be a stronghold of the enemy that needs to be confronted by the power of God and dismantled.) When we truly know deep in our souls that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God, we will have nothing to prove to ourselves, to others, or to God!
Our freedom in Christ doesn’t usually come all at once, but if we are able to honestly declare all four of these things are true, then we can be assured Jesus has set us free and will also help us maintain that freedom.