Moving with the Freedom Rhythm
Our goal during Freedom Season, April 5 - May 20, 2020
Becoming better freedom activists, calling people into the new era of freedom that Jesus launched
To SYNC with the rhythm of the Freedom Declaration means that we dance to that "Freedom Rhythm," passionately and compassionately playing our role as freedom activists, calling people into the freedom of citizens of the kingdom of Jesus.
How do we do that?
We say "Aahhh." This is not the "Aahhh" for a doctor but the "Aahhh" of someone who is taking a first breath of fresh air in the street after spending years in prison. Free at last! We may not be the brightest, the richest, or the best looking people in town, but who cares? We are free! And no one can take our freedom away unless they can take down the king who guarantees our freedom, King Jesus.
We look at the empty tomb. Jesus was executed for claiming to be the Messiah, the God-appointed king who would bring freedom to his nation. They killed him to shut him up. But God the Father raised him from the grave so he could continue to lead the charge for freedom, calling the whole world into the new era of freedom that he had declared. The empty tomb tells us what time it is--Freedom Time!
We become the kind of activist that Jesus was. He constantly hammered one message, "The time is fulfilled. God is taking over now" (Mark 1.15), that is, "The old era is gone. Step into the new era of God's rule, and discover the rights of free citizens of his kingdom." Jesus did not overthrow the old order and impose a new one. He created a "kingdom of the willing," and that is what we promote now in his name. It was extremely difficult for him to get people to understand what he meant, and it will be difficult for us too, but he stayed on his message, patiently, creatively making his point.
We don't expect everybody to like Jesus' definition of freedom. Many people today suppose they like Jesus' teaching, thinking that it fits easily with the way they already understand freedom. Often it clashes. For example, if we suppose that freedom is the right to be whoever we understand ourselves to be and to express whatever we feel like expressing, that will clash with Jesus' teaching that we are citizens of a kingdom, which requires loyalty to the king and his agenda. People who want to run their lives as their own kingdoms will not see any freedom in Jesus at all.
Non-negotiables - the same for everyone, everywhere, all the time
God our Liberator, we marvel at your strategy of sending your Son Jesus to bring heaven's freedom to earth. It was amazing how he launched the new era of freedom and how you raised him from the grave to shatter the power of those who wanted to stop him.
Thank you so much for setting us free from all the things that used to box us in. Now we are free to live as activists, calling the whole world to enjoy the freedom we have.
SYNC us with your plan to bring true freedom and joy to all families, tribes, and nations. May your praise echo all around the world.
Living as activists for the new era of freedom that Jesus launched
When we experience freedom in Christ, we let it define our identity and give us our purpose in life. We call this "SYNCing" with Jesus and his strategy, seeing ourselves in Christ. If we are in Christ, the freedom bringer, we also become activists who try to get others to say "Yes" to him.
Living free in Christ is not an instant thing. We keep discovering things as we go along. We can open the door to new experiences and discoveries with prayers like this:
As freedom activists, we keep coming back to four key ideas:
God is working a strategy to promote human freedom
Jesus is the key figure in that strategy, the one who launched the new freedom era
True freedom operates under Jesus' kingship, not independently or individualistically
Jesus was raised from death in order to convince his followers to keep working as activists, promoting freedom in his name
As these soak into us, new freedom, healing, and deliverance arrive. Our lives change. We have new freedom stories to tell.
Of course, God did not include us in his group of freedom activists because we were any better than anyone else to start with or because we worked hard and earned this privilege somehow. We only got the privilege because we have said "Yes" to the one who launched the new era of freedom, Jesus the Messiah.
He has the key role of bringing heaven's freedom to earth because he himself was an impossible combination of heaven and earth, of God and humanity. It took such a one-of-a-kind being to connect the unseen "heaven" with the world as we know it and see it. He does not just make the connection. He IS the connection.
And that is why true freedom is freedom IN him not FROM him. We freely say "Yes" to him as king; he makes us free citizens of the heaven-and-earth-kingdom he rules. No free citizen wants to get free FROM his king, at least not if the king is like Jesus. But IN his king, a free citizen has all kinds of rights and privileges.
God, please give [name of person or group] your freedom. Break their chains. Free them from their addictions, habits, and obsessions that are ruining their lives and causing pain to others. Heal their broken hearts and their scars. Heal their diseases, physical and every other kind. Give them the joy of free people, free citizens of your kingdom. Let the suffering of the world be reduced because their lives are SYNCed with your plan.
FAQs about the Freedom Rhythm
1. Do all citizens of the kingdom have to be "freedom activists"? What if I'm just not cut out for that? Can't I leave it to other people who are?
There is a very widespread idea that some of us who "follow Jesus" are not cut out to be freedom activists. Jesus died to free us from that idea, as well as many other limitations. The Spirit whom Jesus sends to live in us is the "activating Spirit," that is, the Spirit who switches us from OFF to ON, from spiritually dead to spiritually alive. He activates us, turning us into activists who are in SYNC with Jesus and his strategy to change the world by bringing heaven's freedom into it.
Being freedom activists for Jesus does not mean we have to hold demonstrations, go on strikes, gather signatures, enroll members, or organize people. It is true that some of us are not cut out for those ordinary methods of activism, but we don't have to use those to be activists with Jesus. People use those methods because they are working to force something to happen. We are not.
We don't spread the message of the Freedom Declaration in order to create the new era of freedom. The era is already here. The Declaration is already in force. But a lot of people either did not get the memo or did not realize what it meant. They are still living like nothing has changed. So we are activists in the sense of raising awareness and doing everything we can to get people to care.
Though we are telling news of something that happened and something that is available, we are not really broadcasters or salespeople. Broadcasters may not care how people respond, and broadcasters usually are not official representatives of the authority who issued a Declaration like we are. Salespeople are in it for the money, but we are in it for the joy of being in on it, helping people, spreading freedom, and making a name for Jesus the freedom bringer.
All free citizens of his kingdom do make some kind of name for the King, good or bad. If we do not care enough to be activists, we make a bad name for Jesus. The supposedly transforming power of his Spirit did not seem to work in our case because it didn't activate us.
2. Some people see activists as pests. What if they see us that way?
That may happen, but if it does, it means either that we have been carelessly obnoxious or that they see Jesus as a pest now that they understand what he said. Jesus had an agenda, and he pushed it. He constantly talked about the new state of things, a new era of freedom under the direct reign of God, and he kept calling people to "follow him" into this new world. Jesus pestered the religious establishment and finally confronted it in its power center, the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21.12-13).
The establishment had authorized certain foreign exchange clerks and some sellers of sacrificial animals to conduct their business in the prime location for it, an outer section of the Temple. This happened to be the only section where foreigners could pray without being executed for trespassing. Since the prayers of foreigners in the Temple had always been a main aim of everything God wanted to do through his Temple and his special nation, the religious establishment lost all credibility when it issued permits for business to be carried on there.
Jesus walked in and threw the merchants out. This was a liberating act. He was freeing up space for foreigners to pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. By doing this purely on his own personal authority, he was being more than a pest to the establishment. He was going for the jugular, so they went for his. First they tried to discredit him by asking several loaded questions in public, but that backfired. Finally they got so desperate that they arrested him and had him executed as a threat to the nation's survival. He died for talking like a liberator and a king.
This may all seem very far-fetched until we realize how threatening a message of freedom is to any establishment, anywhere, any time. It is also threatening to each of us personally because in our personal lives, we are "the establishment" and we like it that way. We want to be the rulers of our own personal kingdoms. We have to give that up if we become free citizens of Jesus' kingdom, because he will be the authority.