Book Review: You Are Free

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FREEDOM has been my word for 2017.  It is remarkable the way the Lord continues to bring this word to the forefront of my time with Him and my conversations with others.  I know that I am the type of person that so quickly looks to my performance rather than the finished work of Christ on the cross.  I continuously have to be reminded of the truth of Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  Our pastor preached on this passage yesterday.  A good friend of mine…another pastor…just released an album on the book of Galatians.  Everywhere I look…the Lord is reminding me that I am free in Him to do amazing things for His glory and the good of others.
You are Free by Rebekah Lyons was so helpful!  I’m grateful for her transparency and authenticity as she shared her own story with this struggle to live in the freedom that Christ has provided us.  I’ve enjoyed watching the Lyons family from afar as I’ve followed Gabe Lyons with Q as well as read some of his books.  It’s exciting to see the way that Lord is using their family to meet a variety of needs in the Christian community. I highlighted several things while reading and can already see several things that I will be reminding myself of quite often!
  • What Scripture teaches about freedom and what we witness in our everyday lives are two opposing realities.  We hobble through our days, yet we long for the God of the grand gesture, the one who splits the seas where they surface and exposes the foundations of the world with a single breath.  Jesus promised life abundant, but this challenges our experience and brokenness and captivity.  p. 21
  • Freedom comes when we know God is enough, when he is our everything.  When he is our peace and our strength, joy, and rest.  Our provision, healer, hope, fortress, shelter, strong tower, and Father.  Freedom reveals everything good is from him and by him and for him.  Every breath we take, every person we encounter, every word we utter is all an expression of a freedom where God dwells in us and loves through us! p. 23
  • “Tell the truth and write about freedom and fight for it, however you can, and you will be richly rewarded.” Anne Lamott p. 25
  • We weren’t made to keep up.  We were made to be free.  To be who we already are.  p. 33
  • We cannot prioritize our doing before being, our assignment before healing, our service before freedom.  p. 34
  • “If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands.” Oswald Chambers p. 37
  • When I was sick, I only looked inward.  Through healing, I started seeing everyone else.  p. 44
  • This wasn’t my story of struggle; it was his story of rescue. p. 44
  • “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buchner p. 47
  • Meaning follows surrender. p. 49
  • Calling is where our talents and burdens collide. p. 51
  • Calling begins with a caller! What a relief; calling isn’t up to us. p. 51
  • “I wil no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth I hold deeply on the inside.  I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.” Rosa Parks p. 59
  • “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Augustine p. 60
  • As we abide in God’s presence, where he informs and sustains us, we can serve from a new place of freedom. p. 69
  • Confession, whether it be a confession of repentance or a declaration of truth, begets freedom.  There is no shortcut or strategy. p. 69
  • “The thirstier a man is, the more he’ll prize a cup of water; the more our sins break and burden us, the more we’ll treasure our Healer and Deliverer.” Thomas Wilcox p. 70
  • What God begins with the natural, he fulfills with the supernatural. p. 79
  • Lord, make me thirsty for me of you.  As you grow my thirst, lead me to the water.  Show me the ways you want to quench my thirst.  You alone are the water of life. p. 85
  • “Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking.  The way to trouble God is not to come at all.” D.L. Moody p. 87
  • What if disciple-making is not just talking about God, but inviting others to talk to God, to confess, repent, and then, with boldness, to petition him?  What if disciple-making is about giving people the freedom to ask, no matter how big or impossible the request? p. 93
  • Asking requires much. p. 95
  • Asking awakens our holy imagination to God’s divine intervention. p. 95
  • Confession opens the gates for healing to rush in. p. 98
  • What would you ask God, if you felt free to ask for anything? Even something so big it seems impossible? p. 101
  • Psalm 139:1-10 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.  Where shall I go from your Spirit? where shall I flee from your presence?If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (ESV)
  • You cannot see the unknown until you release the known. p. 124
  • Isaiah 30:15, 18 For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (ESV) p. 125
  • In our waiting, God is working. p. 126
  • “Rest time is not waste time.  It is economy to gather fresh strength…It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.  In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.” Charles Spurgeon p. 131
  • When I stray from reflection, life strays away from me.  I become restless and fragmented, busy and insecure.  I compare, compete, and strive.  My best parts become my worst parts.  Then I remember Jesus’ final promise to make all things new.  Morning Pages, for me, are a ritual of redemption. p. 135
  • God cares more about our presence than our performance. p. 141
  • What a beautiful relief!  The old covenant was about what we bring to him: our annual offering, our covering of sin to be restored with God.  The new covenant is all about what Jesus brings to us; his offering, his blood to forgive our sins, and his righteousness credited to us, making us right with God. p. 142
  • If we cannot grieve, we cannot be comforted. p. 152
  • Isaiah 53:3 “Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” p. 153
  • Tears confess our need for comfort.  Lament is a different kind of confession, one beyond words.  It’s where the Spirit confesses for us, with groans we can’t express.  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.” p. 155
  • “The weaker we feel, the harder we lean.  The harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away.” J.I. Packer p. 159
  • God wants us to reveal our weaknesses—to recognize what traumatizes and exhausts us.  He wants us to confess our wounds, our sources of pain and stress, and bring them into the light so he can redeem and transform them with his strength.  Have you confessed to him your exhaustion, your fear, your stress?  Have you confessed that God wants to display his strength in your weakness? p. 165
  • Joy is not the absence of darkness.  Joy is confidence that the darkness will lift. p. 188
  • I want my trust to be louder than my fear, even when I tremble.  I want to help others see that fear doesn’t have to win. p. 202
  • Shame is a curse, but forgiveness is life. p. 218
  • “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. p. 221
  • These things I know: Freedom begets freedom.  Freedom is contagious.  Freedom helps us set others free. p. 223
  • There’s no boasting here; I brought nothing to this freedom.  It was all Jesus. p. 227
  • You are invaluable to the kingdom of heaven.  God has appointed a specific role that only you can play.  You are needed and wanted, chosen and set apart, beloved and worthy.  You will receive all power and glory when the Spirit comes upon you.  You will bear witness to everything Christ did to set you free.  This is your calling.  You are free. Go. Set others free. p. 228

 

 

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