I love the story of Harriet Tubman. She was a slave who escaped to the north and to freedom in 1849. It took courage, faith, and ingenuity to do what she did. However, there would be no museums, books, movies, and documentaries about her if that was the end of her story. What makes her life incredible is that she wasn’t satisfied with her freedom alone. She risked her life over and over again to get everyone she cared for to freedom. It is estimated that she helped over 70 people (mostly family) escape their captivity.
Harriet Tubman had faith that would move mountains.
“I never met with any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken directly to her soul.”
Her faith did not equal easy. She had a brain injury that caused both narcolepsy and seizures and plagued her for her entire life. As she was protecting another slave from a weight being thrown at her, Harriet was hit in the head. She received no medical help at all. Yet, she was undaunted in her love for her God and her people. She is called the “Female Moses.”
As she led fugitives across the border, she would call out, “Glory to God and Jesus, too. One more soul is safe!”
She carried a revolver, and was not afraid to use it. The gun afforded some protection from the ever-present slave catchers and their dogs; however, she also purportedly threatened to shoot any escaped slave who tried to turn back on the journey since that would threaten the safety of the remaining group. Tubman told the tale of one man who insisted he was going to go back to the plantation when morale got low among a group of fugitive slaves. She pointed the gun at his head and said, “You go on or die.” Several days later, he was with the group as they entered Canada. (Harriet Tubman: Wikipedia)
I don’t know about you but I think she sounds more like Madea than Moses.
In America, we may not be slaves in a physical sense, but so many children of God are slaves in their minds. I am in full time ministry and I rarely meet a person who walks in the freedom Jesus died to give us. Most people are wallowing in their past, focused on their present, or worried to death about their future. If that’s not prison enough, they are also trying to improve their behavior, their marriages, keep their kids from splitting hell wide open, and struggling to pay the bills. Sounds like a little slice of heaven, doesn’t it?
God has helped me to walk in a certain measure of freedom in my life and I’m going to be honest; I’m addicted to it and I want more. Not only do I want more, I want to take everyone around me to freedom. Just like good old Harriet, I’m not satisfied with my freedom. I want all my brothers and sisters to be free too.
Freedom is reality for a child of God even if we never walk in it. To experience that reality we have to start believing it between our ears.
Adam and Eve walked with God in total freedom because they were perfect. When sin entered, perfection was gone. God’s presence was no longer comforting; it was frightening. They were naked and afraid; no longer naked and unashamed.
We inherited that horrible reality of shame from our first parents. We try to hide it, but if anyone really knew us (and could read our minds) we have much to be ashamed about. Our minds confirm reality; we are guilty. So, in other words, unless we are perfect, we can’t be comfortable (much less confident) in the presence of a holy God.
Nobody is perfect, right? Wrong. If you are in Christ, you are perfect and so am I.
Reality is what God says, not what we feel.
For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Read it again because I’m not making it up. We were made perfect (positionally) the moment God saved us and deposited His Spirit in us. When we read the words Jesus said at the end of His life, “It is finished,” we should fall to the ground and weep with joy and relief. He couldn’t have said those words if one single thing was left undone. Everything needed for us to be perfectly right in God’s eyes is finished. However, our “being made holy” is a painful work in progress. Can I get a witness?
If we wait to feel this truth, we will live in defeat. Our lives scream of imperfections. God’s Word will scream louder if we choose to believe it. No wonder Jesus said a strange thing when He was asked this question.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus told them to do the hardest thing any of us will ever do; believe what He said and did over everything we feel.
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
If we believed Jesus made us perfect through the cross, our lives would be transformed from “working to get better” to true worship. God longs for His children to be free, and to live lives that show His freedom to the world.
The only people who get better are people who know that, if they never get better, God will love them anyway.”
― Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom
Jesus did not come to condemn the world (John 3:17). Most Christians think it’s their job to convince everyone to behave better. If you are trying to make people behave, you are not walking by the Spirit. Anyone who walks in freedom knows it is a miracle. Everything else is hypocrisy. It is mask wearing. Most people can’t spend extended time around others because pretending becomes too hard. Trying to act godly and kind when you’re not is exhausting and annoying.
How dramatically would our lives change if we believed God accepted us and we were perfect in His sight?
All boasting would disappear immediately if Jesus were in His proper place in our minds. Our own unworthiness would not be our focus because we know the worthy One; yes, the only One. We would attempt great things for God because of our confidence in Him. We would desire what God does; for His Name to be great.
What if we truly believed He saw us that way and was patiently working with us as our holiness progressed. What if we believed He wasn’t furious and disappointed when we fail? All His wrath against us was poured out on Jesus. He can no more be furious with us than He could be against His Son.
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.
All those things are the truth and they would change everything about us. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
This is an excerpt from an article by Debbie Hampton called, “How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes”
Every minute of every day, your body is physically reacting, literally changing, in response to the thoughts that run through your mind.
It’s been shown over and over again that just thinking about something can cause your brain to release neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that allow it to communicate with parts of itself and your nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of your body’s functions, from hormones to digestion to feeling happy, sad, or stressed.
That is science, not the Bible. Yet, it agrees with Romans 12:2.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
Whoever you are; you are not ruined by your upbringing. Trauma does not have to define you. Science has caught up to what God has said all along. Believe what He has said and your mind will be transformed.
Transformed Greek Definition
metamorphóō–metá, “change after being with” and morphóō, “changing form in keeping with inner reality.”
Two things have to happen.
- We have to choose to believe the “inner reality” that we are perfect through the death of Jesus.
- We have to be with the Holy Spirit enough to let Him transform us.
When an orphaned child is adopted, their orphan mindset does not disappear. Their mind is usually convinced the family is going to throw them away eventually, just like their real family. How is this mindset changed? The child has to be with the family long enough to trust their heart toward them. As they trust the family, their mind should start to calm down and be transformed. Some will and some won’t. It all boils down to what they believe.
I have seen people shipwreck relationships because they believe they are going to be shipwrecked and they cause it.
Example: God rescued His people from Egyptian slavery with a mighty hand. When things got difficult, the truth in their hearts came out. They thought God was like their slave masters. They accused Him of bringing them to the desert to kill them. He did not. However, their wrong thoughts about God provoked Him over and over again. Their unbelief became the reason their greatest fear came to fruition. Every single one of them who marched out of Egypt after the ten plagues died in the desert. They were delivered from slavery and loved by God, but because they didn’t believe it, their entire future was forfeited. They left slavery but the slave mentality never left them. This is the sad story of most Christians.
Work hard at one thing; believe every single thing written about Jesus Christ. Act on His words. They are straight from the mouth of God to our ears. He could not utter a single thing that wasn’t the truth. It is finished. We are working from a place of total victory.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Be like Harriet Tubman. Fight for your freedom and when you get it, don’t be satisfied until everyone you know and love is free also.