How do you get set free???!!!!!

#1
:confused: Just wanted some viewpoints on this subject of freedom in Christ. Though I think I am a Christian, I'm all mixed up - mainly to do with my past and being brought up with a "different" God who was always ready to strike me down and send me to hell for the slightest thing. I was brought up in an extremely religious, controlling family without much love and a lot of judgement and condemnation. I didn't want anything to do with church for a long time but now that I have been going back to church and trying to get on track with God, I can never seem to make it.

I feel like I'm in prison sometimes and though I know the Christian life is not meant to be this way, I don't know how to be free. I find it really hard to understand freedom in Christ and how Christianity is not just a set of rules.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks,

Libby
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#2
The clich? answer to this is that "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

The depth behind that is that by reading the Word of God you get to know His nature and that replaces any ideas we may have ourselves (or have taken on from other people).

In your case I think the Biblical reference might be that there is "no condemnation to those who are in Christ" (I hope that's right - haven't got a Bible to hand at the moment).

If it is a particular issue I've found that the best thing to do is to take it to God in prayer, and keep praying about it. Don't think you've ever got past an issue by yourself, rely on Him to help you to victory.

Hope this helps. :p
 
#3
thanks Tony

Yeah, I guess you're right - "the truth will set you free" but you have to know the truth. It's probably quite a long slow process and I know there are no instant answers! Just frustrating sometimes!!!! :( thanks for replying
 
#4
Our freedom in Christ is the ability to be free from sin!

Ro 6:22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life
Ga 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage
We however cannot do it on our own, Galatians 5 continues and tells us what not to do (the set of rules you referred to!) but he also tells us what to do

Gal 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians also tells us that we do not do this in our own.

Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
2 Tim 1:13-14 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
As we read the Bible or listen to a Bible Study, then God's words has entered into us, then in the power of the Holy Spirit we can remember and do what we have heard.

I know that it is easier said than done but that is part of the surrendering process we have to go through and accept God's offer to work in our lives

Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Sorry for the long response, but if you have any questions or comments, or even want some recommendations for books to read (which have helped me), then please let me know.

Jazz
 
#5
Sister (late response since have been inactive for awhile),
Toneboy hit it on the head though the scripture he references is sometimes misunderstood. In the world today we have alot of strange beliefs floating around under the label of Christianity. I am talking mainstream and non-denominational churches. The scripture says "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" but there are a lot of churches and fellowships that have altered that scripture slightly to say "You shall feel the truth and the truth shall set you free" or You shall hear the truth and the truth shall set you free" or You shall see the truth and the truth shall set you free" or You shall touch the truth and the truth shall set you free". In it's simplest form, the scripture refers to truth and Jesus Christ is The Truth, the Way, the Life. Emotions have a way of clouding our ability to apply the Word and not listen to the enemy. Have you recv'd the Lord Jesus Christ into your life, repenting of your sins and accepting His sacrifice for those sins? If so, you have crossed from death into life. What's next? Walk in the light as He is in the light sister and seek His face in prayer and through the reading of His Word. Get into a bible believing fellowship so you can dine at His table as often as the bread of life is broken.

I can understand where you are coming from having a similar experience though not with my family. Freedom in Christ is NOT condemnation because Jesus did NOT come to condemn but to save. One pastor put it like this. Condemnation is satan speaking to your mind and trying to convince you that your salvation is a joke due to your imperfect life. Conviction (totally different from condemnation) of the heart is God speaking to you by His Word and by is Spirit so He can lead you to Him. Having come from such a condemning environment, you were not allowed to experience your freedom in Christ (my observation). Like Toneboy referenced, "You shall know the truth" and with that knowledge, condemnation CANNOT hold you AND you are set free in Him. It's a beautiful revelation. I pray the Lord fill you with His Spirit and guide you to a place where the Word is preached in love and His presence is ever before you....God Bless....
 

Stuart Kirkham

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
Libby.

The moment you give your heart to The Lord Jesus Christ you ARE free. It is the devil who plagues you with doubt. I know because he attacks me. The Lord brought me through a terrible time, and the verse that he led me to was Prov.18:10. "The Name of The Lord is a Strong Tower." The Lord also spoke to me in a dream in 1988. He said " I will never leave you, nor forsake you. " Heb.13:5. He will never leave you, nor forsake you, Libby.
God Bless,
Stuart. :wave:
 
#7
Libby's guide to being set free

In John, chapter 8, Jesus says:

"If you follow my commandements, then you will truly be my disciples; then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."

In order to be free, you need to know the Truth. A disciple will know the Truth. In order to become a disciple, you just need to follow Jesus' commandments, these being:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your spirit," and
"Love your neighbour as youself"

Do you love God with all your heart? If not then you are not keeping the commandment.
Do you love your neighbour? Even if he is a child rapist?
Do you love yourself as you love your neighbour?
Even when you do wrong?

If there is any reservation in your love, then you are not keeping the commandments and therefore you are not truly a disciple and therefore you will not know the Truth and therefore you cannot be free.

The great thing about Jesus is he really did give out some dead simple instructions. Many people just can't believe it's that simple so they look for metaphors and interpretations and complicate the issues. But it really is that simple.
Have faith in Jesus, have faith in his teaching.
Many of us have inner doubts about our faith. You can't just decide to have faith though, faith itself is a gift so there's no point in worrying about it.

If you feel your faith is not strong enough, and you want to be free, but don't know how to get started, here's a little prayer you can say:
"Father, please give me faith in Jesus' commandments and help me follow them"

If you have trouble loving God, then ask him to show you his love. He loves you more than your mum does and it's easier to love someone we feel loves us. If this is where you have difficulty try this prayer:
"Father, I don't know how to love you. Please make it easy for me and make me feel your love for me"

If you have trouble loving yourself, think about this. Do you do wrong? Sometimes. Do you ask forgiveness? Yes. And do you forgive people who ask it of you? Yes. God loves you. Is he a chump? No, so you must be worth loving. God is a very good judge of character.

If you have trouble loving your neighbour who has done evil, try imagining how you would feel about your own child or parent or brother or sister if it were they who had done evil. You would still love them, although you would hate the evil they did.

If it happens to you like it happened to me, then when you get the hang of 'love thy neighbour', you'll look at all the sin and the suffering in the world and your heart will break. You will go into the nearst church and stare up at the image of Christ crucified and you will understand. And you will love him then with all your heart. And you'll follow him. And you'll know the Truth. And you'll be set free.

Oliver :)
 
#8
Thanks for all your replies. I haven't been on here for a few months and came onto it again by accident tonight and saw loads of responses - thank you. They are all very clear and concise. In the past few months though, I've been so discouraged that I am on the verge of giving my faith up. I have been searching for a while and there don't seem to be any answers. I can't find God and I don't have any faith in God or Christianity so there's no point. I don't know if I can believe it. I believe in a God but I don't know who that God is anymore. I can't find God or peace. God, Jesus and Christianity are not real to me and there is too much hurt there.

Thanks for all your help though

Libby
 

Stuart Kirkham

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
Libby.

There is a point. You talk of pain. Ive had a lot of experience of emotional and mental pain and I can tell you it is agony! The Lord has brought me through and I KNOW He is real . We will pray for you . Please feel free to e-mail me or contact me whenever you feel low.
God Bless,
Stuart.
 
#10
Thank you Stuart,

Yes, you are right - emotional and mental pain are agony. At the moment though, I don't see any point because God is not real to me. How are you so sure that God is real?

Libby
 

Stuart Kirkham

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
Hi Libby.

I am sure God is real. In 1988. My wife Jane was praying that God would reasure me (I was hitting a low patch) whilst I was asleep I heard a distinct voice. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I had to look that verse up in the Bible Hebrews 13:5. Praise The Lord. There are other times God has spoken to me from His Word. When I was offered early retirement, I said out loud "Where do I go from here.?" I did my Bible study later on and the Verse I was guided to was Psalm 32:8 " I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go : I will guide thee with mine eye". I hit a ver bad patch when we were in Scotland this year and The Lord gave me a verse " The name of The Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe." Proverbs 18:10. Do you come from Dundee Libby? Jane comes from Dundee and we regularly (every year in Sept or Oct) stay with her sister in Dundee (just off the Kingsway) we love Broughty Ferry!
God Bless,
Stuart. :wave:
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Libby said:
Thanks for all your replies. I haven't been on here for a few months and came onto it again by accident tonight and saw loads of responses - thank you. They are all very clear and concise. In the past few months though, I've been so discouraged that I am on the verge of giving my faith up. I have been searching for a while and there don't seem to be any answers. I can't find God and I don't have any faith in God or Christianity so there's no point. I don't know if I can believe it. I believe in a God but I don't know who that God is anymore. I can't find God or peace. God, Jesus and Christianity are not real to me and there is too much hurt there.

Thanks for all your help though

Libby
Libby, again I hope I don't sound as if I'm producing answers off a conveyor belt. In my experience I think God would appreciate your sincerity. Be honest in your prayers, tell Him of your doubts. I honestly don't think He will condemn you, instead I think He will want to reassure you.

(I'll say this, your honesty encourages me. If there were more of it in the Church I'd say the Church in Britain would be healthier and people wouldn't carry so much baggage around with them.)

I know it isn't always practical, but have you got somewhere you can read your Bible and pray privately? Maybe even just a weekend away somewhere can do wonders sometimes.
 
#13
Hi Stuart,

Thank you for your post. Yes, I am living in Dundee though am not from here. I like Broughty Ferry too, It's pretty and we sometimes go there to get away from the city. St Andrews is better though - have you ever been there? It's a beautiful town. Does your sister in law go to church in Dundee? I'm glad you are sure that God is real and that God speaks to you. I've asked God to show me how to have a relationship with him and to show me the truth but God never seems to speak to me. Maybe I'm too bad! It's just the same - I still don't know if God is there so I start thinking because he hasn't answered then maybe it's all a myth!! I don't understand why God speaks to some people and not others. I asked God to show me if he was there...... Nothing!!To be honest, I don't know what I believe!

Toneboy,

Thank you for your post and no, you don't sound like you are producing answers off a conveyor belt, believe me I've had plenty of those in the past! This week I've been really upset at times and have prayed for the first time in a long time - I have been honest but God doesn't seem to be there. I find it hard to be honest with God but I have prayed and been angry recently. As I say, I've asked him to show me if he is real and there is nothing. Now I don't know. I don't think God does want to reassure me - he is so far away. Thank you for saying my honesty encourages you. Sometimes I feel that people act like they have everything "sorted" and that discourages me as I know I don't. In answer to your question - I could read the Bible and pray privately if I really wanted to but I can't say I do. The Bible doesn't mean much to me and I struggle with it. I'm so angry at God that I can't get past that and don't even want to read the Bible and pray!

Thanks to you both, much appreciated,

Libby :p
 

Stuart Kirkham

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
Hi Libby.

Glad you like Broughty Ferry, I fell in love with the place on my first journey to Scotland in July 1977 when Jane took me there and the love has grown ever since. This was before we were married. The Lord brought us together, we met on a CHA holiday in Barton on Sea near Bournemouth, married in 1979 and born-again December 1980. Praise God!
We have been to St. Andrews. Ive watched the Dunhill Cup a few times, not played golf for a few years myself. I am a keen racing cyclist and take part in Time Trials. Elaine (Janes sister) attends Stobswell Parish Church in Dundee.
Libby, please don't think you are too bad. Nobody is too bad to come to Jesus, no matter what sins you have committed, if you come to The Lord in full repentance and ask His forgiveness, He will forgive you , see 1 John 1:9.
God Loves you, if you take that first step of faith and believe in Him, He will save you and give you the assurance of salvation. This may not come straight away but you will receive peace in your heart. Ive had struggles myself, there are times when Ive felt very low and felt that God wasn't answering my prayers, later Ive realised that He did answer them but not in the way I expected but always for the best.
Jane and are praying for you.
God Bless,
Stuart. :wave:
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#15
Libby, I fully agree with what Stuart just posted. No-one is too bad for God. As a thought perhaps it could be Satan trying to condemn you? I can't remember the exact verses but the Bible is pretty clear about Satan being the accuser of Christians, while Christians have no condemnation from God.

I also think a lot of people talk about "God speaking to them" very vaguely. I think sometimes people use the term too loosely, and don't know if they're hearing from God or not. It's a way to sound spiritual, without that necessarily being the case.
 
#16
Thanks for your replies, to be honest - I don't even know if I'm a Christian or not. I'm just so mixed up by the past and the lies. I have started going to a new church and I know I can't go anymore now. I was there today and I know I'm just going because of the people, they are brilliant people. I'm not going because of any faith in God. I don't have any faith anymore and have decided it's probably best to call it a day. I don't even know what I believe. Sometimes people do say God has spoken to them and that does make me feel worse because I have never experienced that. St Andrews is great, I love it. Maybe no-one is too bad for God but I just don't experience God personally.
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#17
Libby, I honestly think that you are a Christian, and the reason I think that is this: if you weren't this wouldn't bother you, and you wouldn't be posting about it here.

Remember that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Condemnation doesn't come from God.

Is there anyone you're close to at the Church who you can speak to a bit about this?
 

Stuart Kirkham

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
Libby.

Please read Psalm 139. What Toneboy says is true,
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Just pray to God for Him to give you His peace.
God Bless,
Stuart. :wave:
 
#19
Libby
Oh how hard it is, I know because I have been EXACTLY where you are now!
I was brought up very strictly too. Made to go to church, made to feel guilty for the slightest misdeed but never praised for any good thing I did.
When I got married I became lax about going to church. Then I had a disagreement with a priest and stopped going at all.
But how I missed it. Even though was unhappy, at least i felt I belonged and now I didn't belong anywhere. I tried going to church after 7 years and they were all on about God'speaking' to them and I couldn't understand why He didnt speak to me. I mentioned this to the chaplain where I worked and he said that the only way God speaks to us is through his word and if we are thoroughly steeped in his word, really study it daily and absorb what it means, then we understand Gods language and when we have problems or dilemmas, his word is in our mind and He can speak to us as we remember appropriate verses or ideas we have picked up through study. So I set myself the task of studying and started on a distance learning course. I learned quite a lot but not much happened to me spiritually. Then I had a nervous breakdown (Long story) and felt even further from God and considered my study a waste of time. I very nearly gave up, as you are considering doing now. I felt that Christianity was an excelent idea, but why should God want me? I felt as if I wanted to join but no one wanted me. One night I got very upset about it all. I wanted to be a child of God but wasnt sure if God even existed. I heard myself praying:God, please be.
I decided to give the studies one last bash and started on Romans. I read a lot about Luther too at the same time.
~And suddenly I understood: God does exist and no matter how bad I was or how little I believed, God still loves me. Even if I cant see hear or feel him, he is still there. Its a matter of completely giving up and admitting that you cant do anything of yourself, only God can make your faith work so just relax and accept the gift and the more you stop worrying and let God do the work, the better it will get.
Yes you are right its a slow process, but its like swimming or riding a bike, once you appreciate the basic trick of doing it, the more you do it the better you get at it. So Just stop worrying, put it all in Gods hands, trust him and let him work on you and little by little you will get the hang of it. Since I got this on board my faith has increased no end.
I had a deep experiance (will tell you about it another time.....this post is too long already) which meant giving everything to God. I didnt want to but reluctantly I did it and God gave it all back to me and then some.
Just try and trust him and he wont fail you
Hope this helps a bit.....Just don't give up and try and talk to some of the people in your church....get them to pray with you.....I would imagine there is a prayer ministry in your church somewhere. Also, try studying Romans.
God bless you Libby and I pray he gives you the strength to persevere....thats all that is required...to hang on in there no matter what.
Love
Mary
 
#20
Thank you Mary,

That is very helpful. I've decided not to go to the church anymore as I need space and it seems to make things worse. I find reading the Bible very hard but maybe I'll try again. Thanks,

Libby
 
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