What is life like for freedom activists?
A life of discovery
Freedom activists live a life of discovery. We are not just talking about freedom. We are learning how it feels when we live it, and we are showing people what a free life looks like, calling them to be as free as we are.
We gradually discover a new identity and purpose, and we start seeing ourselves differently. We aren't on our own any more, struggling through life one hard day after another. We are in SYNC with Jesus and his campaign strategy. We are connected with something ancient and liberating--the Freedom Declaration of Jesus.
That is why he came to earth at all, to issue that Declaration. He pronounced the arrival of the new era of freedom that the ancient prophets had predicted (Luke 4.18-21, 43). He sent out his freedom activists to spread his official proclamation across the whole country. (Matthew 10.5-8)
He is still alive, still beating the drum of freedom, still turning people into his freedom activists. When we start dancing to his freedom beat, when we say, "Sign me up for the freedom team!" he frees us from our old life of doing the best we could for ourselves. He gives us a new life as free citizens of his new kingdom.
Then we start discovering what life is like when he is in charge, directing us to focus on his campaign instead of our own welfare. This is so liberating!
He does still give us instructions all the time through his Spirit (his inner Self) who lives in us, but those are not oppressive or even burdensome. He is a great coach! We love playing on his team of freedom activists even if some of the practices are hard, the play is challenging, and we get injured sometimes. We are thrilled to get to play, discovering more about the game as we go.
How do we actually discover all this in everyday life?
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! We have a whole new life opening up for us to explore. And no one can take our freedom away unless they can take down the king who guarantees our freedom, King Jesus. Our relief, joy, and excitement arouse other people's interest in the freedom we are finding.
We connect with one or two friends for a weekly freedom exercise. We are not really free in Jesus if we are not connected with other activists in his campaign team. One way of getting better connected with them is a self-organized Just Do It Group. meeting weekly for a month or two. This works even with people who have never heard of SYNC or Jesus's freedom campaign if they are open to finding more freedom. Easy guide for a one-time trial session (no registration required)
We pray. It's amazing what all we discover as we are praying if we get into the habit of letting God put words in our mouth. Written prayers can also help us discover things we would not have thought to pray on our own. Prayer involves listening too, especially listening for Jesus's instructions about what he wants us to do next in his campaign. Some freedom prayers
We master the basics, starting with the most basic fact, the empty tomb. Jesus was in the tomb because he got executed for claiming to be the Messiah, the God-appointed king who would bring freedom to his nation. His enemies killed him to block his freedom campaign. But God the Father raised him from the tomb 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! The four basics
We stay on message. Jesus 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 the kind of freedom he was talking about, and it will be difficult for us too, but like all skilled campaigners, he stayed on his message. He patiently, creatively, sacrificially made his point.
We don't expect everybody to like Jesus's definition of freedom. Many people today suppose they like Jesus's teaching. They suppose it fits easily with the way they already understand freedom, but 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, fitting Jesus in as far as it suits them, will not see any freedom in Jesus at all. They are tourists not pilgrims.
As you do these things and get better at them, you keep discovering more of what it means to "See Yourself iN Christ." He connects you to the truth that sets you free from all kinds of things that have been tying you up and holding you back.
The freer you get, the more people will like to be around you. Your freedom is refreshing to them. In the meantime as you are discovering your own freedom, your assignment is to make sure those around you get the memo, "Freedom is here, and Jesus brought it." Then they can start their own journeys of discovery.
A global prayer
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.
The four basics for freedom activists
God is on a campaign to promote human freedom
Jesus is the key figure in the campaign strategy, the one who launched the new freedom era
God the Father raised Jesus from death in order to put his stamp of approval onto Jesus's Freedom Declaration and enable him to keep directing his activists
We find true freedom today in Jesus as director of God's freedom campaign which frees us so we can free others
As these four ideas soak into us, new freedom, healing, and deliverance arrive. Our lives change. We have new freedom stories to tell.
A prayer for someone you know
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.
What about the people who see activists as pests?
They won't see us as pests unless we have been carelessly obnoxious about our freedom message or unless they see Jesus himself as a pest now that they understand what he said.
Jesus had an agenda, and he pushed it. He was on a freedom campaign, constantly talking about the new state of things, a new era of freedom under the direct reign of God. 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 a prime location for it, an outer section of the Temple. This outer area happened to be the only section of the Temple 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 moral 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.
So we have to accept that we will look like pests sometimes. That is how we come across to people who don't want freedom on the terms of Jesus's Freedom Declaration.