We compete, and we compare, and we strive, and we put terrible pressure on ourselves to “keep up.” But the good news is that we were not made to keep up. We were made to be free… to be who we already are. ~ Rebekah Lyons
Country music superstar Garth Brooks and Christian recording artist Susan Ashton recorded the same song about twenty years ago called “You Move Me.” The lyrics to the chorus read in part:
You give me courage I didn’t know I had… Now I can’t go with you and stay where I am, So you move me.
Garth’s version played on the radio this morning, and as I (Annie) sat here at my computer, tears began to form in my eyes. I was singing along, the words coming right back to the front of my mind even though I hadn’t heard the song in probably more than a decade. I knew Susan Ashton’s version first, so I can’t listen to it and not think of it as a prayer I’m singing to God.
As we embark on this journey of freedom together, the question is: are those lyrics among the prayers in your heart to God?
Freedom is just that: we can’t go with God into a free place and stay where we are. But thankfully, He moves us. For me, it was a literal city move to Nashville, Tennessee. I didn’t know at the time that it was a move of freedom, an invitation to walk toward a freer life, but it always was. God always knew.
He knew my heart like He knows yours. He knew I wanted to go with Him, wherever that led. And that’s why you’re here too, right? Because you want what He wants for you — and that, my friend, is freedom.
I think freedom in Christ is less like a tightrope we are meant to carefully balance our way across and more like a wide river that we get to jump in and float down. God moves us. We may plant and we may harvest, but He is the One who grows. He is the One who calls. He is the One who makes us brave enough to face old sin patterns and worries and leave them on the riverbank.
Freedom isn’t a tricky thing. It is truly and purely freedom. If you want to be free in Christ, you can. Let’s learn how.
Watch the Video
Play the video segment for session one. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you.
- Over time, the fear and approval of men and women can get louder than our intimacy and union with God.
- We want to please God and love Him, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of shifting our gaze to men and women — and wanting to please them.
- Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. — Hebrews 12:1
- Burden and bondage are like dead weight on a runner that’s limping across the finish line.
- Paul writes, Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1
- Often we want communion with God, but we also want to hold onto our yoke of slavery.
- Meaning follows surrender. When we fully surrender ourselves and our lives to Jesus, He fills us with His higher purpose.
- Our calling and purpose — the assignment that God has for us — is often informed by the thing that breaks our heart and causes us pain.
- Calling is where our talents and our burdens collide.
- If we are able to admit our losses in life, we will be able to reclaim the gifts we once possessed.
Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture.
1. What’s a favorite childhood memory of freedom for you? (Rebekah shared about riding her bicycle.)
2. How would you explain the idea that “meaning follows surrender”? How have you seen that truth play out in your life?
3. In what ways do you struggle with being a people pleaser?
4. Read Galatians 5:1. What does this verse mean to you personally when you think about freedom in Christ?
5. How do you see your burdens and your talents colliding in your life right now?
6. In what ways have you seen purpose come from pain in your life or the lives of the people around you? What did that process look like?
7. Read 2 Corinthians 3:17. How do freedom and calling go together? Give a personal example if you can think of one.
8. Author and educator Parker Palmer says, “We arrive in this world with birthright gifts — then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them.” In what ways have you found this to be true in your life?
In what areas of your life do you feel bound? What would be different about tomorrow if you believed that you could be free? Share your thoughts with us! We’d love to hear from you!