The fullness of freedom is available
My friends—hello. My name is Adria Johnson, but most of my dearest ones call me something like JoJo, Adri or A-hole. I want to welcome you into my inner world by sharing some words that the Lord has spoken to me over the last handful of months. First, let me just acknowledge that you and I both are wondering how Victoria and I know each other. We met in middle school and I can’t say we’ve seen each other since. Yet we’ve kept knit together by our deep, deep affection for Holy Spirit. We don’t have memories together or inside jokes to laugh over, just a Father who calls us both his sweet girls. Thank you, Victoria, for the ways you’ve loved me without hesitation. And thank you for sharing my words with your dear ones.
Friends, here’s the news I want to share with you today. Jesus did 100% of what needed to be done for you to have 100% freedom from 100% of the things that you are enslaved to. There is no version of the story where Jesus only did 75% of what needed to be done for you to have 75% freedom from 75% of the things that you’re enslaved to.
I’ve lived the better part of my life in the 75%, believing that the last 25% was my responsibility to cover. Not because the cross was insufficient, but because I was unworthy of its all-sufficiency.
In John 8, the religious people bring the woman caught in adultery to the temple, but Jesus refuses to condemn her for what she’s done. Instead, He says some words to convict them, then patiently waits as every last accuser walks away. When no one is left but Jesus and the woman, He looks at her with lovesickness in his eyes and asks, “Who condemns you now?”
“No one, Lord.”
“You’re right, and neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more.”
Those parting words will ring in my spirit for the rest of eternity as a token of the Father’s character. He said that I could go and sin no more. He said that I could live in 100% freedom from 100% of the things that I’m enslaved to. Because it turns out that’s what sin truly is—it’s enslavement to earthly things. It’s a heavenly desire that’s satisfied by an earthly pleasure. And he said that the fullness of freedom is available.
The catch, however, is that your flesh will continue to excuse you from freedom because it’s entirely willing to operate outside of the all-encompassing resurrection. Ten times out of ten, it’s more convenient to satisfy earthly pleasures and receive forgiveness than it is to use self control to step into freedom. It will always be easier to remind yourself of your humanity than it is your holiness.
The reality is that discipline won’t free you. Praying and fasting and reading and doing will never free you, because you’ll never be able to pray and fast and read enough. Discipline wasn’t ever intended to satisfy the last 25%, but to be an overflow from Jesus’ perfect 100%.
Adria Johnson is currently traveling the world with an organization called Adventures in Mission whose heartbeat is go where, do what, and love however Holy Spirit says to. She’s working on her first book—a memoir reflecting on her journey into freedom and connection. She dreams of teaching holy yoga and catalyzing a redeemed philosophy and practice called Selah. You can connect with Adria on Instagram, through her blog, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.