Monday, January 10
What comes to your mind when you think of freedom? How about…
*free with no curfews
*free with no restrictions
*free to go where you please
*free to be with whomever you desire
*free to do what you want when you want
*free with no strings attached to anyone or anything
If we follow after these, are we truly free? The truth is that the world gives us a false perception of freedom. It leads us down a dark path, sometimes with no return.
So, what is freedom? Part of the dictionaries’ definitions says that it means exemption from the power and control of another, not in bondage.
Jesus died to release use from our bondage to the enemy, “For He has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who bought our freedom with His blood and forgave us all our sins.” (Col. 1:13-14 TLB)
If Jesus disentangled us from the enemy’s web of bondage, then we need to heed Paul’s advice to the Galatians, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1 NKJV)
Therefore, freedom does not mean free to do what one pleases. We cannot go back into sinful ways. As Peter said, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16 NIV)
Freedom is never free; there is always a cost. Somewhere along the line, someone had to pay for whatever freedom we enjoy. Just as many have lost their lives in service to this country to give us physical freedom from our tangible enemies, so Jesus gave His life to give us spiritual freedom from our invisible enemy...for eternity!
God sent Jesus to free us from sin, as the Word says, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Rom. 6:14 NLT)
We cannot keep returning for a taste of the world, like nibbling on appetizers. Pretty soon, we find ourselves eating a full meal of it, all the way through to dessert, and paying a dear price for it.
When we accept the Christian life, we welcome a new form of rule into our lives. I know, sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Free when controlled. It is freedom from the world and freedom in the Lord.
Paul told the Colossians, “You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world?” (Col. 2:20 NLT)
Only when we are under control of the Holy Spirit are we then truly free, as Paul said, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17 NLT)
When we know true freedom in Christ, we are then released to be all that God created us to be as we follow that True Path God has designed for us, which is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
The disciple John wrote, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36 NLT) But do we place our lives totally in His hands, trusting and depending on Him to have authority over us? How free are we?
We should again heed Paul’s words to the Galatians, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Gal. 5:14 NLT)
My prayer for you all: “Dear friends, God the Father chose you long ago and knew you would become His children. And the Holy Spirit has been at work in your hearts, cleansing you with the blood of Jesus Christ and making you to please Him. May God bless you richly and grant you increasing freedom from all anxiety and fear.” (1 Peter 1:2 TLB)