by Rob Dunne
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Our bright red blanket provided dramatic contrast to the beige sand of Dennis beach. Fortune smiled on us as the normally crowded shore lay virtually barren. The late Spring sun did its best to provide warmth as moderate temperatures and strong winds tried to chill our bones. Unusually small waves provided a soft whooshing sound as they gently crashed upon the land. The distinct smell of sea water scented the air.
We took a short walk along the beach. Our solitude was interrupted as a woman danced on the sand. It was difficult to tell if it was choreographed or impromptu. The delight on her face made that inconsequential. When we got within an earshot of one another, I asked her what I owed her for the performance. “Was it good?” she asked. I assured her it was and she thanked me. She took dance as a child and loved it. She said it brought God delight to watch her dancing so freely.
Life has a way of changing us. We allow what other people think about us to influence how we behave. The goal is to fit in and be “normal”. Rather than dance freely on the beach without a care in the world, we feel self-conscious that others may be looking and laughing at us. There is so much restriction in that.
Jesus went down to the Jordan River and was baptized by His cousin John. As He came up out of the water, God audibly spoke and said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” In that moment, the Father solidified Jesus’ identity for Him. You are the Son of God. Immediately, that identity came under attack. Satan tried to get Jesus to question His identity. “If you are the Son of God, then…” Fortunately, Jesus didn’t fall for the devil’s trickery. He was supremely secure in who He was and nothing or no one was going to take that away from Him – not even the devil.
The born again experience is an exchange. God gives us a brand new spirit with a new nature. This ushers us in to His kingdom and He calls us sons and daughters. The rest of our lives are spent drawing that new nature out of our spirits and in to our hearts and minds. The bible tells us who we are and what we have in Christ. As we put faith in what God’s Word says and believe it in our hearts, we are transformed and become everything that He created us to be. The more secure we become in that new identity, the more freedom we experience in our everyday lives.
There was a part of me that desperately wanted to join the woman dancing on the beach. The idea of being that free to dance like no one was watching appealed to me. That reserved self-conscious part of me has not been fully renewed yet. So I sat and watched and imagined myself twirling beside her. Maybe next time I will join her.