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Catching God's Drift: the true Spirit of freedom

June 30, 2017
by Theresa With

A bird on the wing is a beautiful sight to watch. The other day I sat out on our deck, watching a few of the resident birds flitting around, up and down, swooping high and low with carefree ease. Every so often, one would reach a drift in the upper breeze and stop flapping its wings to catch a free ride. Off and up it would go, circling higher with no effort of its own. Yet another would come to the same updraft and begin to flutter its wings incessantly, as a hummingbird does, and eventually wear itself out and drop down lower. 

‘Oh, to be as a bird’, I thought, thinking of the first bird I watched. To be able to catch the drift of the Spirit and rest my weary ‘wings’ on his carrying power. Just like Isaiah 40:31 describes: “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.” Yet so often I find myself more like the second bird, frantically flapping my wings of human effort, only to become too tired to be effective, and getting nowhere fast.

God has a freedom for us beyond ourselves. A freedom that we so often miss because we are trying too hard and fail to catch the breeze he provides for us to soar in. A rest that we avoid out of a fear of intimacy or false sense of duty or belief that ‘we’ve got this’ on our own.

So how to capture the wind of God? How do we find the freedom that He has for us? Because freedom in Christ is the kind that counts. It’s the freedom that we long to share with the unreached, the lost, the dying of the world. How will they ever know the One who “sets you free” ?


It starts with remembering. Remembering how we once were lost but now are found; how much we all need a Savior; and the freedom that has already been purchased and given to us: Here are a few good reminders:


Because of Jesus and the new covenant of grace, we need to remember that it’s not about trying to be good enough, or trying to keep all the commandments (since we can do neither). The cross and the empty grave brought a new freedom to us with grace. Which means we are truly free from sin and truly free to live the life God has called us to live.  Jesus said: “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36 NLT)


I love the imagery of a dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. But even more, I love that the living God IS the Spirit of freedom. “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT) That letter of Paul goes on to say that whenever anyone turns to face God: “They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone…” (verse 18 MSG). We have the Spirit of freedom within us.


Jesus died so we can live free, and there’s no stopping us now. The apostle Paul knew that freedom. As he continues his message in 2 Corinthians 3 we read: “With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us… We're free of it [the Law]! … Nothing between us and God, …” (verses 12-13, 17-18 MSG)

Grace gives us freedom. We have the Spirit of freedom within us. And nothing is left between us and God. There’s no greater freedom that that! That’s the freedom that we have, to bring to the unreached of the world who have never heard his name. That’s the Truth that will set them free, as it has done for us. 


So let’s catch ‘God’s drift’ and fly like a bird to take that message of freedom to the unreached of the world! Which bird will you be like?




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