Jesus Set Us Free From Expectations:
It is for freedom Christ set us free
Hey friends, I got a question for you today. I want to know about a time that you heard something that you’ve heard your whole life, but it doesn’t matter if it was like, 10 years later or 30 years later or whatever but there was just one day, it suddenly clicked, and you were like, Oh my gosh, I finally get it. After all these years, it actually makes sense to me. And I want to share one of those moments with you from my life.
I was sitting in the car. I was thinking about life, which…hi, I’m Kurtis, I do that a lot.
And I was just thinking about my relationship with God and how it’s changed and grown in many ways. It has gone up and down and all through the wringer in a lot of ways, and then out of the blue there’s a verse that popped in my head that I have heard my whole life. I’ve grown up in church so I’ve heard of before.
The verse says, “it is for freedom, that he has set us free.” I’m gonna say that again. The verse says,
“it is FOR freedom, that Chris is set us free,”
I’ve always heard that verse and I’ve said it and I’ve even taught on it. In fact, it was the very first sermon I ever gave from the pulpit as a 14-year-old was on this verse.
As I’m sitting in the car, it was the first time that the meaning of this verse actually hit me, that Jesus didn’t set us free from sin and death and shame and guilt, so that we could become mindless slaves to the system. So that we can become these good little Christian boys and girls who go to church, who read their Bible, who don’t screw up, who become perfect little citizens, and who always honor their father and mother.
That’s not the point of freedom!
Jesus didn’t set us free from sin, and guilt, and shame so that we could keep living in guilt and shame, and try to be perfect!
Okay, the desire and the effort to be perfect feels a whole lot like slavery. In fact, it often feels a lot more like slavery than my life of sin and the things that I’ve done wrong.
So I’m sitting in the car thinking, “Oh my gosh Jesus set me free so that I could live in freedom.”
It sounds silly! You’re like, “No duh, Kurtis.”
We spend so much of our time and our energy as humans, trying to be an image of ourselves that we have in our heads.
And I want to tell you that that image that we have of ourselves is probably a better person than we are now, it’s probably more disciplined than we are now, it probably has more impact on the world than we have now. It’s probably kinder and more gracious and patient too!
But we have this image of ourselves in our head, whether it’s success we want, or a different personality, or to be married with three children, and we so often enslave ourselves to becoming that person! And every time we do something that’s out of line with who that person is, we beat ourselves up over it! Or we feel guilt and shame again.
So I want to tell you that Jesus set us free.
He died and he taught us how to live so that we can live free from all those expectations!
Our life is not about living up to the expectations of others.
It’s not about living up to the expectations that we’ve set for ourselves.
And it’s sure as hell is not about living up to the expectations that we think God has put on us.
You know why?
Because God has not put expectations on you.
Jesus lived a life full of compassion, and love, and acceptance of those that were unable to be accepted. Those that were unable to be loved.
There was no compassion for them and Jesus stepped in and said
“No, I see you. I see your flaws. I fully embrace you as you are.”
So when we think that Jesus or that God has these expectations of us on who we’re supposed to be or how we’re supposed to live, we are wrong!
Those expectations are things that we have stuck in the back of our mind, that we got from our parents, or from our coaches, or teachers, or siblings, or from ourselves. I had an image in my head of the kind of man I wanted to be. I was 13 years old and I knew that
I was going to be a world-changer!
I was going to be this huge stage speaker that when I spoke thousands of people wanted to know the love of God.
And now I’m 31 years old and I’m not doing that.
I’m not even we’re close to that. In a lot of ways, I feel guilty that I haven’t lived up to that. And I want to tell you that
that guilt and the constant striving to become that person is slavery.
And it’s the exact thing that Jesus came to set us free from.
So I want to encourage you today, friends, God has no expectations of who you are or what you become.
He has no expectations of how you live, or even what you believe.
The only thing that he asks of you is to be open.
To open your minds and to see that life is maybe different than you think it is.
To open your hearts to receive a love that you don’t think you deserve. A love that you think that you have to earn through what you believe or how you live.
I’m here to tell you that love is completely free.
It’s completely free of expectation.
The point of it is to set you free from your own expectations. So when you focus on relationship with God, all these other things come naturally.
When you focus on receiving that love and living your life out of that love, it becomes who you are. You become overwhelmed by it and you start loving yourself the way God loves you. Then you start loving others the way God loves you.
And all of the thoughts that say
“Well, shouldn’t I act like a better person? Shouldn’t I become someone of importance who changes the world? Shouldn’t I believe the things that the Bible says I should believe?”
All those things are secondary. The Holy Spirit of God takes care of those. She will lead you into what you should believe, where you should go, and how she wants you to live in the world. She will guide you into that but only as long as you remain focused on an intimate relationship with God that is free of expectations, and full of compassion for you.
A lot of people have issues with this and I want to tell you…it’s the truth.
Even if I’m not 100% accurate–which God knows I’m not, I will never be 100% accurate about things–the point is that God set me free from the need to be right. He set me free from the expectation to get it 100% right.
Life is not about getting it right, life with God is about embracing the compassion that God has for you so that you can have it yourself, and you can freely give it to others around you.
That is good news. That is gospel.
So hope that encourages you today. I really hope that you’re hearing this because this is a life-changer. This changes how you view everything in your world. As soon as we can adopt that we can start living in freedom more and more every day.
As always, I want to remind you that I’m a life coach and a spiritual director. So if you are needing or looking for someone to walk alongside you as you learn to live out the freedom that God has for you, connect with me. You can find me on my website kurtisvanderpool.com or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me on Instagram @kurtisvanderpool.
I would love to be a part of your journey, I’d love to walk alongside you as I step more into the freedom God has for me, and we can share that life of love and freedom together. I love you, friends. I can’t wait to talk with you.