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Created to be Free

Love (Divine) Freedom Submission

Source: “Created to be Free” by Todd Pierce, posted on Crossroads.net, retrieved May 9, 2022.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-05-20

Scripture: John 8:36 ; John 15:5

Author: Todd Pierce
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ILLUSTRATION

Todd Pierce is a professional cowboy, rodeo rider, and horse trainer. Over the years he has come to discover that his experience with taming wild horses is indeed a picture of God’s great love and care for us as He reaches down to tame our own wild hearts, making us fit for His service and setting us free to experience our true potential. 

The following is a partial transcript of one of his demonstration videos wherein he films himself gently wooing and taming a wild horse, explaining step by step how the process relates to our own relationship with God, and calling us to “leave behind our wildness and embrace the freedom that a loving God offers.”

The following are excerpts from the transcript of the video. For the fullest experience and understanding, please be sure to follow this link to view the entire video. The demonstration begins at marker 00:01:01.

The scene opens with Todd alone in a small training ring, making his first approach to a wild horse, a filly, who’d been brought in the previous evening, and he makes the observation that “because she hadn't had any handling, she thought that she was actually doing really well, because she just lived in a pasture, got deep grass, and that was her life.” 

He continues:

Unfortunately, that's where I believe a lot of people live, is they've settled for this ability to stay alive and survive, but they don't actually know what they're capable of and the potential that's hidden inside of them.  And you can't forgive yourself. You can't bring out the greatness inside of you. That's something that is reserved for Jesus alone.  So we'll let her move around because I want her to know that she's actually free.  I can't control her.

And now that she's looking at me, she's probably asking the question of why it is that she's here and what do I want from her? A wild horse, even the wild horses that we have in our country, they don't live near as long or near the quality of lives of horses that are actually cared for.

If you’re gonna go round up a wild horse, it will take a tame horse to do it, because one tame horse can overcome fifty wild horses simply because it’s partnered with man. 

It probably never even crossed her mind that I would want something from her. If she knew what my dream was for her, there wouldn’t be any hesitation in this at all. And what she’s gonna get to encounter today is not just a look from me, not just a knowledge of me, but such a connection that everything that’s inside of her, as far as all of her gifts, all of her potential is gonna get released. She’s super nervous about this, and she’s got a reason to be. All of her instincts say that, “I wanna stay in control of my own world.” 

She’s paying just enough attention to me so that she can be comfortable. But if we’re gonna get anywhere today, she’s gonna have to understand that we’re gonna have to become one. And that oneness is gonna take a lot of courage on her side, and a lot of kindness and patience on my side. ...

The rope isn’t here to control her. It’ like the Holy Spirit that draws us to Him. … If we use fear and intimidation so that we can dominate her and manipulate her to make her do what we want, then we’ve got a broken animal. We don’t want a broken animal. We want a healed animal. And her nature would actually work against that healing if all she listens to was her instincts.  ….

She’s got her boundaries. She comfortable with me around her, petting her … [but she's thinking], "This is unsafe. Someone’s gonna hurt me. Someone’s gonna take something from me. How do I stay in control?"

She wants to know me. She just doesn’t know what it will look like to give up all of herself so that she can have all of me.

I don’t wanna get too far away from her here for a second, because I don’t want her to think that every time she gets scared that the only way she can feel safe is to get away from me, because, eventually, when she gets scared she actually gonna start lookin’ for me.

If she felt like I was gonna put her in a corner or force her to do something, this would have had an entirely different outcome. Just because you’re in authority, doesn’t mean that you have to dominate [people].

It’s nothing short of a miracle. This is what love does. It creates safety. It creates power. It creates a whole new world of opportunity. ...

As he slips on the saddle for the first time, he makes this powerful observation:

She don’t know yet that this is a gift, but she’ll learn. … It’s not because she was forced; it’s because she was loved.

 

APPLICATION

As he is finally able to mount her, ride her, control her movements, her speed, her direction, he makes the following observations:

Because God was so kind, ... He showed up in human form and Jesus walked around and He interacted with people, He just gave invitations. He never told them what to do or what not to do. He just said, "Would you come and follow me?" And that following looked like something. It required them to walk away from one thing so that they could pursue something else. And that pursuit was Jesus.

And so today, while you watch this and you watch her deal with her own concerns and misunderstandings, that you can look at your life again and say, "In what areas is [it] that I've just actually limited God, and I've wanted to keep Him at some distance because that's where I feel safe?"

But she wants to know me. She just doesn't know what it's going to look like for her to actually give up all of herself so that she can have all of me.

God is perfect love. He's the perfect Father. And I see a world that's filled with people that just don't -- they've never encountered that. They don't understand that the creator of heaven and Earth is actually desiring such an intimate connection with you.

The other approach to doing this was that I would actually have to establish dominance with her. I'd have to make her feel like I'm more powerful than her in a really intimidating way. That's just not the way that Jesus operated. He had all the power of heaven to do whatever it is He wanted to do to the people around Him. Yet He chose this way and He said, "Come and follow Me. …

So Jesus had a lot of people following Him. And they would follow Him the way they would follow another man.It's okay that we know how to follow, but I don't want her to just learn how to follow me around like a puppy on a string. She's got too much power. She can do stuff with me now that she's never even dreamt that she could do. This horse is not my slave. She's actually made a decision for herself that even with all of the back story and all the things that she's been through, her saying yes to me became a turning point for everything that's going to happen from here on out.

Won't YOU say "yes" to Jeusus? Won't you let him tame your wild heart and release all the potential within you? Potential that can only be realized when you submit your life to His loving, gentle control. Won't you let Jesus set you FREE to be all you can be?

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36, NIV).

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NIV).

"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 11:29, NIV).

While There Is Still One Soul In Prison

Empathy Freedom Outreach

Source: “Debs, Eugene V.” By Kyle Anthony, published INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR, retrieved 11/9/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2015-11-15

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:15 ; Romans 3:23

Author: Fred Gates
4

ILLUSTRATION

In 1900, Eugene V. Debs unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for the presidency of the United States as a member of the Social Democratic Party, and later as a member of the Socialist Party of America. He was an outspoken critic of US involvement in World War I. 

On June 16,1918 Debs delivered an anti-war speech which would ultimately land him in prison for violation of  the Espionage Act of 1917, with the courts citing his intention to obstruct the draft and recruitment for the war effort. Debs appealed his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, but failed and began serving his 10 year sentence on April 13, 1919. While many others prosecuted under the controversial act were subsequently pardoned, Debs was released in 1921 when President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence to time served.

Though his politics were no doubt in opposition to those of a democratic, capitalistic society, his identification with the needs and plight of the masses are both interesting and even perhaps convicting. At his sentencing hearing he famously expressed himself saying, “Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

APPLICATION

Debs' self-assessment of his identification with the lowliness of all humanity was not born of spiritual enlightenment, but more likely of secular idealism. Nevertheless, his sentiments hearken back to those of the Apostle Paul who recognized that no matter how great his accomplishments might be, he was no better than any other soul: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). 

May we all have this mindset in us—that we are no better than any other; we are all sinners! And while there is one soul still imprisoned by sin, locked outside the fold of God, we are all indebted to bring that soul into the liberty of Christ alone. 

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard” (Romans 3:23, NLT).

Freedom Is Not A Luxury

Freedom Bondage Spiritual Life

Source: "Remarks by Ukrainian President Poroshenko to the U.S. Congress," Speaker: Petro Poroshenko Published September 18, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2014-09-25

Scripture: Galatians 5:1

Author: Neal Pollard
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ILLUSTRATION

On September 18, 2014, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke to a joint-session of the United States Congress. It was an impassioned plea, from beginning to end, as he spoke in his broken English about the trials his people have endured for many months now in the face of Russian aggression. He gave poignant examples of brave men who have been killed for their courageous stand against ruthless enemies. 

In his imploring call for help, he invoked our own past path as a nation and our pursuit of liberty. It was then that he exclaimed, "Let's show them that freedom is not a luxury (as some try to convince them), but a necessity – and a precondition for the true success of a nation!"

APPLICATION

In the spiritual sense, this stated idea is most true and important. Sin is a horrible dictator and master, brutalizing and bringing death to those who are under its power. Eternity is in the balance for us. Will we leave this life as free men and women or as slaves? What makes this so much more paramount is that it is harder to discern spiritual bondage than physical bondage. We may think ourselves perfectly free, all the while toiling in the chains of darkness!

Paul made his own impassioned plea to the saints at Galatia, when he wrote, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).

Can you imagine a nation or even an individual who had endured torture and seen loved ones murdered, now enjoying the rights and privileges of freedom, but voluntarily returning to that former way of life?

It is unthinkable, unless we speak in the spiritual sense. There we find people running back to embrace the enslaver of souls. To them we would exclaim, "Freedom is not a luxury ... It is a necessity--and a precodition for the true success" of spiritual life!

Beheaded Journalist James Foley Found Peace In Prayer

Prayer Peace Freedom

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-18

Author: James Foley / Illustration Exchange
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Desserts and a Cleanse

Cleansing Worship Freedom

Contributed By: Sam Shin | Date Posted: 2014-09-13

Scripture: Isaiah 44:22

Author: Sam Shin
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Boko Haram Decries Sin of Western Education

Freedom Truth Spiritual Blindness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-12

Scripture: John 8:32 ; John 8:36

Author: Isha Sesay, Vlad Duthiers and Chelsea J. Carter /
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Mandela Now At Peace

Bitterness Peace Freedom

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-12-10

Scripture: Ephesians 4:31

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Happy Thanksgivukkah

Thankfulness Freedom Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-11-12

Scripture: John 8:32

Author: Lauren Markoe
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Re-Committing to the Ideals of Freedom

Patriotism Freedom Racism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-05

Scripture: Revelation 2:4 ; Galatians 5:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Room for Doubt

Doubt Freedom Experiencing God

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-26

Scripture: John 20:29

Author: Frederick Buechner
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