The big idea of Freedom Season
Here is the first half of the big idea, the Freedom Rhythm we focus on during Freedom Season:
God is proactively working a strategy to bring freedom, healing, and deliverance to everyone on earth. Jesus launched it with the Freedom Declaration, which is still in force.
Many people assume God is basically a killjoy, making rules and then making sure people keep them or else. They think of the Bible as the rule book so they don't read it much. Or if they do read it, they feel guilty getting reminded of all the rules they broke.
They don't get the basic idea of Freedom Season. Something different and bigger is going on in the Bible, which is really one long story, not a patchwork of rules. In the story, the victims get delivered from their cruel master by the liberator, the rightful heroic king, but not as in a predictable fairy tale. The Bible's story is more of a down-to-earth thriller with some amazing twists and turns in the plot.
Freedom Season celebrates the biggest twist of all--Jesus, the spearhead of God's Freedom Campaign, is condemned as a fake liberator and executed by the establishment of the day. They thought that his execution would prove that his Freedom Declaration was null and void, and his campaign would collapse.
That was the greatest miscalculation ever by a group of power holders. God raised Jesus from the tomb to prove that his Freedom Declaration was valid. No proclamation on earth ever got a clearer stamp of approval from heaven.
The resurrection of Jesus holds the entire biblical story together from Genesis to Revelation, and it puts freedom, healing, and deliverance within reach of all of us.
Here is the other half of the big idea of Freedom Season:
God's strategy is to have his kingdom of freedom go viral. The free citizens of his kingdom spread the news and infect others with their freedom until the whole world is drawn to Jesus, the Freedom King.
When someone is freed from prison, addiction, illness, or danger, there is always a huge sense of relief and joy. There is also gratitude to anyone who helped get the person free. God's strategy for his campaign to save the world depends on that relief, joy, and gratitude.
As people accept the Freedom Declaration of Jesus and honor him as their King, they experience his deliverance. Often this is so thrilling and life-changing that they never get over it. It is like being "scarred for life" but in a good way. They are permanently relieved and full of joy, and they keep trying to pay off their debt of gratitude to Jesus.
How does he tell them to pay it? Pay it forward! Become freedom activists, telling your freedom story so that others want in on the relief and joy you have. Your freedom infects them, they join his kingdom, they experience his freedom, and they tell their story so that still more people get the freedom news. This has exponential growth potential.
What works against God's strategy for exponential growth? Self-quarantine. When we say "Yes" to the freedom of Jesus but we do not become freedom activists, we get out of SYNC with the essence of God's strategy. He wants the freedom to spread; we bottle it up for ourselves.
This is extremely dangerous. God has a strategy, we know what it is, and we are working to sabotage it? That does not sound like we are free citizens of Jesus' kingdom. More like traitors. But we will excuse that behavior if we do not realize that God has viral intentions for his kingdom.
Bottom line of the big idea of Freedom Season:
We see ourselves in Christ as freedom activists, calling the world into the new era of freedom that Jesus declared under way. We live in SYNC with God's intentions when he sent Jesus to issue the Freedom Declaration.
In SYNC with Jesus, we are part of the kingdom he created when he issued his Freedom Declaration (Luke 4.18-21).
When you SYNC, when you See Yourself iN Christ as a freedom activist, you realize you are participating in that era, spreading the word so others can enter it too. That freedom is for everybody, but not everybody has got the word yet, bought into it, activated it, experienced it.
That is your cause. Give everybody a chance to get free in Christ. You are caught up in that cause, energized by it, and delighted every time you have even a small success.
You want a freer world? So does God. Why not get on board with the new era of freedom that Jesus has already announced instead of trying to work some other freedom plan?
Of course, you have to get over your view (if it is your view) that God is the great restrictor of freedom. If you are stuck there, read the story of Jesus for yourself (Mark 1-16; 30-min read, leave this site). See if he looks like a person who is restricting freedom or spreading it, and go from there.
How does this big idea actually work?
Jesus-freedom works differently than most freedoms. It doesn't liberate you by crushing the people who are ruining your life or by changing your circumstances. It liberates you by drawing you into Jesus's freedom campaign as an active participant. The more you participate, the freer you are.
Participation comes naturally once you are clued in to the flow of the story of Jesus and his freedom campaign.
Before the dawn of time God the Father appointed his Son Jesus as leader of the campaign to save the world (leader = "Messiah" or "Anointed/Appointed One")
At the appointed time God sent him from heaven to earth to issue the Freedom Declaration about his kingdom, his new era of freedom
All his teaching concentrated on unpacking that Declaration for people
His followers were eager for him to take power and implement his Declaration, launching the new era of freedom; his enemies killed him to prevent that
God raised him so he would continue to lead the way into his new era
From then till now he has kept sending out freedom activists, empowering them by his Spirit to recruit more citizens for his new era/kingdom
No wonder we are celebrating Easter! In the flow of the story of the world, we are the current freedom activists taking the news of the resurrection of Jesus to the world. And enrollment in the new "kingdom" or era is still open to all. No one is disqualified by their past if they now freely choose to embrace Jesus as the Messiah, the Risen King. All we are urging them to do is to exercise that free choice.
If they do, they will start living in the new era of freedom and discovering a different kind of freedom than they used to think they wanted. They become like synchronized swimmers or ballet dancers, totally controlled by the music but not feeling at all enslaved by it. They are not free from the music, free to make any move they want at any time. They are free IN the music. They love the music and concentrate on it intensely, never wanting to miss any of it by even a fraction of a beat.
If you told them that they are slaves of the music and they should break free from it, they would laugh at you. They would say the music sets them free to experience and display beauty and unity. It is exhilarating and fulfilling. And that is what SYNC says about the rhythm that Jesus set in his Freedom Declaration. It liberates us by capturing us! And in this case, we love being caught.
How do I know if I am already a "free citizen of the kingdom of Jesus"?
The simplest way to tell if you are already a citizen is to ask yourself what you think freedom is. If you can name something that used to dominate your life but it doesn't any more because of your connection with Jesus, you are in. If you think freedom means being free to do whatever you choose or having no master, no debts, and no unwanted responsibilities, you are not in yet.
Another way to tell is to ask what you are doing to spread the news of freedom and call others to enjoy it like you do. The experience of freedom in Christ pushes you toward living as a freedom activist. If the "activist" part scares you, you aren't into Christ's freedom yet, or not very far in.
If you still aren't sure, here is a third way to tell, though it is a little more work. Read the story called "The Freedom Declaration" (2 min., see under "Story of the World" tab) and ask whether you see yourself as part of that story. The "Reflections" at the end of the story include five ways to tell whether you are in or not.
If I wanted to become a free citizen of Jesus's kingdom, how would I do it?
If you are not in but want to be, the way to get in is basically to respond to the story, "The Freedom Declaration" story (see under "Story of the World" tab) by saying, "I'm in," the same way you might say, "I'm in" when someone asked you whether you wanted to go along on a trip or take part in a business deal. Obviously you have to understand the trip or the business deal. Otherwise it doesn't mean anything to say, "I'm in," and you will opt out pretty quickly.
In this case, your "I'm in," means you pray a prayer something like this:
Yes, Freedom King, please grant me citizenship in your "kingdom of the willing." I like the sound of your "Freedom Tribe," and I want to share in its purpose of spreading the Freedom Declaration.
I'm not saying I'm qualified to be one of your freedom activists, but I am saying, "Thank you" for dying to set people like me free to join this team.
Please give me some of your freedom, healing, and deliverance so I have my own story to tell as an activist, cluing my friends in to the new era of freedom.
You become a different person because you belong to Jesus's freedom movement. This is where the idea of being "born again" comes from. The old you was not free in Christ, and the whole idea of "freedom in Christ" did not mean anything to you. The new you is a free you.
It is like you have finally discovered the free life for which you were born. Spiritually speaking, you have discovered part of it, and you will discover a lot more as you go along. Welcome to Jesus's freedom campaign team. Enjoy the ride!
How does Freedom Season relate to the previous one (Roots Season)?