Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
-Isaiah 43:1

Have you thought about that word lately?

Mirriam-Webster’s definition of redeem:
a: to buy back : repurchase
    b: to get or win back
2: to free from what distresses or harms: as
    a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom
    b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
    c: to release from blame or debt : clear
    d: to free from the consequences of sin
3: to change for the better : reform
4:repair, restore

For human beings, spiritual redemption is one of the hardest things to wrap our minds around. We are hurt, and respond to that hurt by maintaining whatever control we feel is necessary (or possible) to avoid that hurt in the future. We build walls around our heart. We make vows. We take control.

Spiritual redemption is not something that we do. In fact, it’s not something we CAN do. To experience the freedom of redemption, we have to accept it, receiveit…which requires letting go of control. It requires complete surrender of those areas we have been guarding. Is there anything harder for us??

The hard part – the work of freedom, changing for the better, healing, and restoration is done for us. Psalm 51 lays this out so perfectly – David’s action is to humble himself in repentence. Then he prays for God to make all the changes: wash, cleanse, blot out, purify, sustain, and deliver him. Open his ears to joy, create a clean heart, renew his spirit, restore joy, open his mouth for praise… We cannot do these things ourselves, no matter how hard we try.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.
– Ezekiel 36:25-27

It’s hard to accept that we cannot change ourselves, I know that as well as anyone. I tried for many years. And I’m still not sure what happens in a person’s heart to come to this new place of surrender. For many it seems to be prompted by “hitting rock bottom” – hitting the floor in desperation and crying out for Him. My own surrender was born in a time of blessings. The commonality is that we stop trying to make things happen on our own – we surrender to what He has in store for us, knowing it is far better than anything we can create on our own.

The act of redemption has already been made and offered.
Are you willing to be redeemed?