Freedom Comes by the Law of the Spirit

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinth 3:17).

The road to that freedom sometimes looks like a detour to the one traveling it, especially to one who doesn’t understand God wants a personal relationship with him. That was true for Fred.

Fred grew up in an abusive home. His stepfather was so cruel that one of Fred’s brothers killed him to protect the family from his rage. His mom worked two and three jobs to support them which kept her from knowing what Fred was doing.

It was easy for him to start using drugs and just as easy to deal to support his habit. This led to a string of burglaries. The further he went into drugs, the more pressure, fear and loss of hope he felt. In despair, he took a .45, aimed it at his head and pulled the trigger—but it didn’t fire. Angry, he pulled out the clip, put it back, pointed the gun out the window of his car, pulled the trigger and it fired. Puzzled, he didn’t follow through on the suicide attempt.

When he attempted suicide the second time, Alice his girlfriend knocked the gun away and the bullet missed his head. Fred continued the spiral downward. During a robbery, the owner came home and called the police. He didn’t harm her and ended up in jail.

The next day he was released on house arrest. About a week later, he went into a dark alley behind a church. Just as he was about to do drugs, he clearly heard God speak in his mind, “Do that and you’re dead!” Fred dropped the drugs, fell to his knees, and gave Jesus his heart.

Fred was so transformed by his conversion he went to the police and confessed all his crimes. He wanted to pay the people for their losses. He was so different Alice had difficulty taking it all in. As she watched the radical change in his life, she gave her life to the Lord too. Then they married.

Months passed before Fred went before a judge. The officer in charge of house arrest testified to Fred’s consistent good behavior since that night in the alley. After all arguments were presented, he was given short jail time—short because he had changed, and jail to satisfy punishment.

Most of us never have such a dramatic encounter with the Lord. But then, most of us never know how many times He has intervened for our protection. There are at least two kinds of freedom. We are free from and we are free to. We are free from fear, guilt, God’s judgment, and any number of things, depending on our lives, as Fred was. Then we are free to become who God intends us to be and free to do what He has called us to accomplish. Fred knows God has a call on his life to serve Him.

It’s all by the power of His Holy Spirit. We are born again by the Spirit, we are led, filled, and taught by the Spirit. Often what we consider intuition or “a knowing” is nothing more than the Spirit of God leading us. When there is any transformation in a life or an answer to prayer, it’s by His Spirit.

Even if Fred had gone to prison, he would have been free inside. Freedom doesn’t come externally from the world or riches; it comes by the work of the Spirit. “For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2).