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Spiritual Freedom

7/02/2023


Galatians 5:1, “For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”


Today I would like to discuss spiritual freedom. Spiritual freedom refers to a sense of inner emancipation and self-awareness. It is the state of being able to find inner peace, happiness, and contentment, independent of external circumstances. Spiritual freedom is being unrestrained by others or the ego, so that we can receive God’s full measure of love. We then return that love back onto God, to ourselves, and to others.


Spiritual freedom involves the spiritual independence to think, see reality, choose our own path, and make our own decisions under God’s direction, untouched by the influence of the world and other opinions and beliefs. It is being aware of our power of free will, choice, and awareness, and not being a victim of the collective unconscious or fate.


Our inner sense of freedom grows through our awareness of Spirit, so prayer is an important part of spiritual freedom. Prayer is a way to communicate with God and seek His guidance. It can help us overcome temptation and avoid making unproductive and harmful choices. Prayer opens our hearts and minds to the presence of Christ, which leads us to peace and comfort in difficult times.


Spiritual freedom is a big deal. It is our true sense of freedom, unrelated to what rights we believe we are owed by the government, constitution, or world. It is spiritual freedom that our soul seeks. It is what gnaws at our hearts and creates ‘Divine Discontent.’ The world does not offer what Spirit can offer. Spiritual freedom promotes self-awareness and mindfulness. Mindfulness is being calmly aware of what we are feeling, seeing, thinking, and how we are behaving. It is being in this moment, free from damaging habits, and destructive automatic responses.


The world tells us we are defined by the rights granted by people and their institutions. Spirit tells us we are unlimited just as God created us. The world tells us that governments determine our rights, and not every government allows the right to free speech, to bear arms, to worship the way we want, or the right to vote. Spirit tells us that as a child of God we have the right to live fear-free. We have the right to peace, love, joy, abundance, and are free to live in whatever state of mind we prefer, with or without the rights allowed by whatever government we live under.


Our spiritual freedom is what governs our mindset, temperament, and attitude. No worldly right can bring us joy or true freedom. Joy is at the spiritual level and is determined by our spiritual freedom, and we must choose to exercise that right. Our greatest spiritual right is that of choice, and we choose to embrace our spiritual freedom.


Spiritual freedom is valuable because it empowers us to live authentic and purposeful lives, as we gain the ability to make decisions in alignment with our true selves. This inner liberation allows for increased self-acceptance, mental clarity, and emotional resilience, fostering a deep sense of inner peace and contentment in life. Other benefits of spiritual freedom include being free from the present flood of thoughts that confuse us, the thoughts of our past that entangle us, as well as our own emotional turmoil and fear of the future. Spiritual freedom brings meaning to our life, leads us to greater happiness, and helps us experience more compassion and gratitude.


There are many obstacles to spiritual freedom. Some of them include how we choose to handle unforgiveness, bitterness, bad habits, depression, negative thinking, addictions, and ruined relationships. Then there are the ‘self-sins’ of the ego: self-righteousness, self-pity, self-sufficiency, self-promotion. We can also add to this list attachment to negative emotions such as fear, anger and jealousy and lack of gratitude and compassion.


Perhaps the greatest obstacle to our spiritual freedom is not realizing our need to grow spiritually. “But Patrick, I’ve accepted Christ into my life. I attune my heart and mind to God. I love God, myself, and others. I’m done; I’m saved; I’m good to go.” The truth is that we have been born into the Kingdom of God, but now we have to learn how to maneuver this new way of life. It is through Grace that we attune our minds and hearts and being to God. It is through Grace, undeserved favor, that Christ enters our lives. Then, we must learn how to grow spiritually.


It is important to know that spiritual freedom is not a belief to be believed; it is a reality. It is through choice that we stagnate or blossom spiritually. Simple realizations and moments of enlightenment can help us awaken to our inner freedom.


For instance, there is a difference between suffering and pain. As physical beings living in a physical world, we cannot avoid pain. We are going to stub our toes on the door jam walking into the house. We are going to experience that pain. Pain is actually a useful tool. It points out that something went wrong, and we can change our behavior so that in the future we can be more functional and productive in our actions, words, thoughts, and attitudes.


Guilt is like pain; it brings our attention to something that needs to be changed. But suffering is different. Suffering is our reaction to stubbing our toe. It is getting angry at ourself or the door. It sometimes continues long after the pain has subsided. Our suffering is entirely driven by the ego and is entirely our choice. We do not choose pain, but we choose suffering.


Knowing something this simple can help us maneuver through the complexities of life; it helps us grow spiritually. Ephesians 4:18 tells us, “They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.” When we know God, we grow in understanding and crawl out of ignorance and darkness toward the truth. When we recognize the source of our worldly suffering, we grow in awareness and can change our reactions to the pain we experience. The world will continue to provide sources for pain, and we must be wary of our responses from the ego. If we are constantly getting angry, upset, and offended by what the world is throwing at us, then we are not spiritually free and are enslaved by our emotions and negative thinking. We need to spend more time releasing this anger to God in prayer and letting go of our attachment to the world.


To summarize, spiritual freedom is the state of being unbound by mental, emotional, or personal constraints, allowing us to experience a deeper connection with our self, others, Spirit, and the universe. We gain spiritual freedom through prayer, faith in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Grace of God.


It is my prayer that we take seriously our spiritual development, spend time in the love and light of Christ, and the Presence of God, so that we can enjoy the benefits of our God-given spiritual freedom, which include all the fruits of Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


I wish you a happy Independence Day!

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