Welcome back to The Brittany Bruce show!
Do you feel called to do something that’s not only crazy, but it’s downright impossible? You want to live out God’s plan for your life, but you feel trapped…in a cage…as a slave to your own life…bound up by busyness, comforts, fear, or the sin and shame thats preventing you from fully experiencing a new life that God is calling you to. You can see this life, you know what He has called you to, but instead of running full speed toward it, you run back to your cage of familiar. The cage that’s easy…feels good…And the one that you are always welcomed in.
These cages are preventing you from running to and experiencing Jesus, and thankfully, Scripture has SO much to say about this.
We’re going to break down the formula of how to live in freedom so we can do the thing God is calling us to do. And that’s what this episode is all about.
Today we are going to talk about ‘living free’. But before we dive in I want you to download the The Bible Study Guide! This guide was created to equip you with the tools and knowledge to study scripture on your own without a curriculum! The goal is to get you digging into the Word, actually understand what you’re reading, and apply what the Holy Spirit revealed to you! Just go to www.brittanybruceeducation.com/guide to get yours. Don’t forget to join us in our free online facebook group, The Brittany Bruce Community! In the group you can meet other podcast listeners who want to go even deeper!
Alright friends, are you ready to finally live in freedom and do the thing God is calling you to do? This is going to be a life-changing Word for a lot of us. Let’s get out pens, Bible, notebook and prepare our hearts and minds as we dig into The Formula to Freedom.
I’m going to tell you a story, that will be really hard for you to believe. Honestly, I’m still having a hard time believing it myself and I’m actively living it!
About a year ago, the Lord called me to do something that I never…EVER thought He would call me to do.
Something that I never planned as a part of my story. I saw this as something for OTHER people, but NEVER for myself. Something that rocked my entire world, and everyone in it!
He called me to move away…pack up my family of 6 and move away from everything and everyone.
Away from my entire family, away from my mama who lived next door who is the best cook in the WORLD, away from my sister and friends, away from all our babysitters, away from my hometown that raised me, away from my church, away from amazing schools, away from my boutique that I had JUST opened, away from my dream home we just built ON FAMILY PROPERTY…away from the ONLY life I had ever known.
Away from my comfort, my conveniences, my safety, my security, my life that I had spent 33 years building.
I was a little confused. Because a few months before this, God called me to preach– as if that wasn’t bad enough!!! Now He’s calling me to MOVE?
So what did I do? I told Him no!
Because this thing He was asking me to do, was LEGIT impossible. We were landlocked because we built our gorgeous white modern farmhouse laced with shiplap and french doors…on FAMILY PROPERTY. Which means it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to sell.
Not to mention, it’s been a big family dream to live by each other! Raise kids and do life with the grandparents in the backyard! That’s just what us southern people do– and when you got free babysitting, you don’t just leave that for anything!
I also had way too many COMFORTS and CONVENIENCES I’ve worked my entire life to obtain. Like knowing the local grocery store owner, banker, and post office managers on a first name basis.
And to bring it really close to the impossible…I had a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY of being the only income provider for my family…which makes all of this downright impossible.
These were just a few things I told God. I felt like I made a great case on why He should change His mind and quit the endless tugging, nudging and pushing on my spirit.
I then started to spiral. Thinking about everyone who had expectations of me…and that I would rather DIE than disappoint anyone in my life.
My parents would be devastated, my sister would feel abandoned, my husband would worry even MORE than he already does, my 4 kids would be ripped away from their schools, their cousins, their home… My employees would lose their jobs.
And then fear took over. What does the future look like? Where would we live? What if I suck at preaching? How will we make money? Will I fail? What if we hate Orange Beach?
What if this is way too hard for us to do?
I felt totally out of control, yet I KNEW that if I told God YES, SEND ME, USE ME, I would immediately feel peace.
The next day, I sat Thomas down and told him everything. How God put this CRAZY idea in my body and I cannot shake it…
A part of me (the spiritual obedience part of me) Was hoping he would be all in…
But a REALLY BIG part of me…(my flesh, my fear, my doubt, my need for comfort and convenience and wanting nothing to actually change) was HOPING he would say “babe…this is dumb. Maybe you just need some tacos”.
I told myself that Thomas would have the final say…and would be what I would do. He’s my husband and so I can be assured that if he says no, then we’ll stay and continue life as usual…
So then he said, “WOW this is crazy, but I can totally see us moving and you stepping into preaching and ministry…but like in 14 years when Bonnie graduates. That makes the most logical sense. We’ve got a good thing going with the boutique, and I’m able to run your online business. Why would God call us away from that? You help so many people…It’s basically ministry”
I had both a feeling of relief that I wouldn’t have to leave my dream home and family and comforts and our brand new pool we had just installed.
….but an even bigger feeling of unrest and missing out. Like there was a Jesus train of life abundance that was passing me by and all I had to do was jump on…
But my fear of a misstep, my fear of preaching, my fear of walking away from the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, my fear of leaving the land of familiar, and my fear of disappointing people in my life…kept me staying exactly where I was.
And y’all, Thomas was right…WHY would God call us away from all this GOOD?
I’ll tell you why…And this was the BIGGEST lesson I learned in this season.
GOOD THINGS can prevent us from experiencing GOD THINGS.
We do this all the time don’t we? God is calling us to do something, or He gives us CRAZY ideas. Moving, or giving, or starting a Bible study, or helping someone, or opening a business, or going into ministry, or just simply taking a break from the day in and day out routines of the busy lives we’ve created…
We reason with God and tell Him that everything we’re doing right now are good things. So the God thing He’s calling us to do just won’t fit into our already good and cozy life.
BECAUSE we are so caught up in building the dream life. We are caught up in what is culturally normal, what makes sense in the eyes of the world, building a life that brings happiness and comfort, creating a (quote unquote) “a normal and stable life”. We’re blind and deaf to miraculous glory and privilege that COMES WITH living in the abundance of holy royalty.
When Jesus was being nailed to a cross He was thinking about you. He died for you WILLINGLY so that you can live in the FREEDOM, joy and the purpose and plan that His Father has for YOU. Jesus saw that version of your life!
Which gave Him the motivation to sacrifice Himself, and die the most gruesome and painful death. Because YOUR LIFE of freedom and abundance and joy and contentment was worth it to Him. He knew THAT LIFE would bring MORE people to His Father and bring His Father MORE glory, honor, and worship.
Listen in friends…Jesus didn’t die a gruesome death, so you would continue to live a gruesome life in the bondage of slavery and fear.
He died to give you LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANTLY
Jesus says this in JOHN 10:10. He says, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy you…BUT I came that YOU, MY DAUGHTER, may have life, and have it in abundance [TO THE FULLEST, till it overflows IN ABUNDANCE to those around you].
This abundance pours over into your children, and your childrens children!! And THEIR children.
LET ME CAMP RIGHT HERE FOR A MINUTE, BECAUSE THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM THAT EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN STRUGGLES WITH, ME INCLUDED.
Before salvation, before Jesus saved us, we were living in a prison of SIN. Locked up. With no hope of getting out, because WE didn’t have the payment, or the power or the authority to free ourselves.
But then Jesus came and paid for our penalty of sin. The sin that put us into that prison. By dying for us on the cross, and By. His. resurrection. The enemy who was keeping us locked inside the prison cell was defeated and the chains that were HOLDING US INSIDE were broken.
We were set FREE from a life apart from God. And once He set us FREE, God says we are a NEW CREATION (1 corinthians 5:17)
We are now ADOPTED as sons and daughters of THE KING! We experience freedom, abundance, grace, joy, privilege, authority, favor, goodness, closeness and comforts of the kingdom you are now a part of.
Galatians 4:4 says,
God sent His son, Jesus to redeem those under the law, that we might receive our adoption as sons and daughters of a king. Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”…
You are not only free, you are adopted. And God says that he wants you to now call him Abba– which in English, means Dad.
You only call the father that you can depend on, Dad. You only call the father you trust and crawl into His lap when you need something, Dad.
Dad is the one that when you mess up, you call on him and cry to him.
THIS is what Jesus died for.
And so we accept this payment of sin, we break away from the prison. We are crowned as sons and daughters of THE KING and we RUN to the KINGDOM to experience the glory and wonder and fulfillment and the joy that is now ours!
Do you remember that moment?! The euphoric joy and overwhelming peaceful feeling that you experienced when you accepted Christ? And that season when you were living in that FREEDOM of salvation!? Do you remember the moment the Holy Spirit entered your body? THAT was ABUNDANCE that no paycheck or achievement or your mama’s cooking, or worldly pleasures, or busyness, or comforts of your hometown could ever match…
In that moment was The Kingdom! THAT was abundance! THAT was Jesus!
But then…As life continues…Fear enters….
Fear, mind games, outside voices and habits make us run back to that prison, because that’s most familiar to us.
When we’re uncomfortable, when we are scared, our flesh tells us to do what’s familiar. It lies to us saying that THAT is what’s going to bring us comfort…The familiar.
The familiar is GOOD and SAFE. The familiar FEELS COMFORTABLE.
Here’s the next problem, we can’t go back to our prison cell that’s so familiar to us.
Jesus destroyed our prison cell at His resurrection.
So instead, we go back to the cages that are lined outside of the prison walls. These look just like the prison we were in before, except these cages, that were designed by the enemy, were specifically made for us…for Christians.
They look like our prison, except they are decorated with our familiar old life and our very specific unique temptations.
I’m sure there are a lot more, but I’m going to list out 4 familiar cages. As you listen, ask God to reveal to you, which cage may be the one you keep running back to that’s preventing you from running to Jesus and living in the freedom that’s yours.
Four Familiar Cages:
CAGE OF COMFORT – Where we value being comfortable over God’s calling on our life.
This cage keeps you from experiencing the supernatural, the miracles, witnessing God’s power in your weaknesses, seeing God move, and the abundant life of joy that the Kingdom offers you.
The Cage of Comfort requires no need to trust God which keeps you from truly experiencing His intimacy and peace.
CAGE OF BUSYNESS – Where every minute of your day is planned and there is zero room for God to speak to you, or reveal to you a new life, and a better life that is waiting for you right outside this cage.
This cage keeps you from the presence of God that gives you rest and peace and freedom and joy. This Cage of Busyness prevents you from hearing his voice and experiencing his nearness and closeness and refuge. It’s a cage thats holds a lot of pastors, leaders, business owners and parents who no longer have time to just BE with their Father because they’re so busy DOING for their Father.
CAGE OF WORTH AND VALUE– Where you are constantly looking at social media and constantly looking for success and achievement and praise from people and acceptance from anyone who will give it to you. This Cage leads you into staying in toxic relationships, and abuse, never feeling like you’re enough, always trying to overcompensate for your place in your relationship, friend group, or family. This keeps you in a constant state of anxiety and always leaves you feeling depressed and unfulfilled and constantly reminding you that you’ll never be enough.
The Cage of Worth and Value keeps you from experiencing your full inheritance so you miss the joy of God, the assurance of God, the peace of God, the rest and the confidence in your identity and the authority you have as the daughter The King.
CAGE OF SIN AND SHAME – This is where you run to that temptation, life gets hard, or you hold on to the shame of who you were in your past reminding yourself that you’re not worthy of God’s abundance, so you run and hide from him. This cage keeps you from experiencing God’s blessing, God’s favor, God’s freedom and peace and joy. The Cage of Sin keeps you from experiencing His nearness, His intimacy, and His presence. The longer you hide and stay in this cage of sin, the longer you tell yourself that God doesn’t want you anyway.
THE ENEMY’S FULL TIME JOB IS TO CONVINCE US THAT OUR LIFE IS BETTER IN THE CAGES.
Because if the enemy can’t keep us from the almighty power of Jesus’ resurrection which paid for our freedom from the prison…he will do EVERYTHING he can to keep us bound up in cages so that we dont experiences our inheritance and a relationship with Jesus.
So…WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT THIS? How can we live in the freedom and the abundance and blessing and favor and joy and peace and rest that is PROMISED TO US in the INHERITANCE as adopted sons and daughters of THE KING?
Not only that, but How do we CONTINUE to live in FREEDOM and not go back to our cages that are SO easily accessible?
There are three ways we can do this that are STRAIGHT from scripture so we can be confident this is the formula to getting out of our cages and living the life and the abundance Jesus died for…
PAUL WRITES IN GALATIANS 5:1
IT WAS FOR FREEDOM THAT CHRIST SET US FREE; THEREFORE KEEP STANDING FIRM AND DO NOT BE SUBJECT AGAIN TO THE YOKE OF SLAVERY.
First things first, is that we need to identify our cages! Because if these cages are not of the HOLY spirit, then they are from a DEMONIC spirit. So we shouldn’t take them lightly!
Identify your Cages and GET OUT
If you are a daughter of a King, royalty, with a crown, dressed in HIS glory, and have the authority and the power to tell the enemy to get of your way and go back to where he came from… how silly is it to be LIVING IN THE BONDAGE and the confinement of a CAGE?
ROMANS 8:15 says… For you have not received the spirit of slavery, leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as the sons and daughters to which we cry out ABBA FATHER.
Jesus set us FREE: The greek word for Free in Galatians 5:1 literally means FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY/bondage/cages.
So first things first… What is your CAGE? Is it the cage of comfort? Busyness? Worth? Sin? What is keeping you there? What’s making you go back there? or better yet, WHO is keeping you there?
This may be the reason you keep going back. Right next to your cage are some of your family and friends…Your spouse…Your coworkers…And they are living in cages, so shouldn’t you be too?
The first step is identifying your cage, because if your eyes aren’t open to the fact that you’re living in one, you won’t ever get out.
You’ll start to believe that your tiny cage is the kingdom. My friend…It is FAR FROM the kingdom that is waiting for you!
So…are you ready to walk out of the cage? This is step ONE. Identify your cages, then Surrender that cage to Jesus, because you are the daughter of THE KING.
The Second Part of This Scripture Says Keep Standing Firm”
Galatians 1:5 says – IT WAS FOR FREEDOM (which is the benefits of our inheritance) THAT CHRIST SET US FREE; THEREFORE (which means, DO THIS) KEEP STANDING FIRM
Once you surrender and walk out, there will be pushback and doubt. The family, friends, culture and world that are in the cages next to you, are going to say things, do things, make you feel stupid and crazy for leaving the bondage of your cage…
This will plant seeds of doubt.. Which is why Paul was writing this to the new believers.. Therefore, keep standing firm.
“Standing Firm” means to PERSEVERE, which means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty, or with little or no prospect of success.
Perseverance is SO important because its SO MUCH EASIER to run back to the cages, than it is to put FAITH AND TRUST in God.
1 CORINTHIANS 16:13 says BE ON THE ALERT. STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.
Once you identify your cage, and you get out you then must STAND FIRM and persevere because it’s not going to always be easy!!
One thing that I tell myself when I’m feeling like I want to go back to my cage is I ask, What is ONE thing I can do today that will bring me closer to what God is calling me to do?
So if He’s calling you back in relationship with Him, but you have been living in the bondage of sin and shame, you can make a decision today to turn away from your sin and run in His arms. This could look like stepping back into church, or turning on some worship music, or opening your Bible, or listening to more podcasts like this one.
Or if you feel God is calling you to start on the dream He’s placed in your heart, but you’re afraid of how it may make you uncomfortable, this could look like doing just ONE thing, like making a facebook page, so that it bring you ONE step closer to what He’s calling you to do.
When God called me to preach, that made me VERY uncomfortable. I am not a preacher…I did not go to seminary. I knew I couldn’t keep running back to my cage of comfort and busyness. So the one thing I did at the time was host a Bible study at the shop. I didn’t even preach. I just opened the doors and pressed play. But that one thing, let me create this show..
So- what is ONE thing you can do today- that will keep you from going back to your cage? Ask God to reveal that to you. He will. This is what it means to persevere and keep standing firm!
And third and final command from this verse… “DON’T GO BACK”
“Gal 5:1 says “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm…AND do not be subject AGAIN to the yoke of slavery”
Paul knew these new believers would go back to their cage…It’s human nature. Our flesh. So when you’re FEARFUL, exhausted, weak, tired or confused- don’t go back to your CAGE and YOKE of SLAVERY.
In episode 2 we talked about what to do when we are totally overwhelmed with it all and when it would just be easier to go back to our cages. Jesus says instead, Come to ME, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take MY yoke upon you and learn from ME; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.… MATTHEW 11:28
Identify your cage, stand firm and preserve. Trust that God has the abundant life he promised you, and don’t go back. Thats why we started this series with Matthew 6:33 – But Seek First His Kingdom. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Keep seeking Jesus FIRST and run to the abundance and freedom God has already given you.
After months of fighting, and running back to my cages of comfort, busyness, worth, value, sin and pride. I surrendered my life to Jesus and said “Yes!”
We started taking very small baby steps…One day at a time…to move to Orange Beach, Alabama.
Our small acts of faith and perseverance. One small baby step opened up the floodgates of God working and pulling off the impossible. We witnessed more miracles and supernatural events during that season than ever before..
We felt more peace and joy and generosity than ever before. I want to say it was a walk in the park, everyone was supportive, nothing was hard, and everything moved smoothly…I can’t. We still faced trials and heartbreak and loss. The enemy was not happy about us moving out of his neighborhood of cages.
But were here. And I’m preaching. God is still moving. And I have no idea what’s next! But what I DO know is that whatever HE calls me to do…I’m not wasting any more time in cages! Because living in FREEDOM is the ONLY way to live. My prayer is that YOU TOO surrender YOUR cage, so YOU can live in the freedom and abundance thats YOURS!
God just needs your faith. He just needs your obedience. He only needs your ONE small step out of your cage toward His plans for you, toward His kingdom. He will gladly take it from there!
Friends, remember…Don’t let good things, prevent you from God things.
Just Surrender your cage and you’ll find FREEDOM.
Deny yourself and follow Jesus. Come to Him when you’re overwhelmed and He will give you the rest you need.