Ask a room full of people to define freedom and it’s is very likely that you will get as many different responses as there are people. However, for most, freedom revolves around the lack of external forces or restrictions that allow them to do exactly as they please. The more “freedom” they have to do what they want, the “freer” they feel they are. Yet, it’s pretty obvious that there are many people with no significant constraints placed on them whatsoever, who still live in total bondage.
Understanding True Freedom
Why is that? It has to do with a lack of understanding regarding the true meaning of freedom. Man’s way of defining freedom often means having the ability to do whatever he pleases with no one telling him what to do or how to live his life. God, on the other hand, tells us that freedom comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship with Christ removes our sin and wipes our slate clean before God, so that because of His sacrifice and death on the cross, we can be forgiven and righteous before God. Sin is the ultimate bondage maker. It separates us from God and enslaves us to a life totally contrary to the life He created for us to live. Through Christ, we are empowered by His Holy Spirit to rise above our circumstances, our sinfulness and the things that enslave us – fear, anxiety, temptations, unforgiveness, anger, hopelessness and despair. We then see life through His lenses of hope, joy peace and purpose, confident in His love for us and His promise to always walk with us.
A Life of Purpose or Regret?
The ironic thing about pursuing freedom without Christ is that it’s based on the thinking that the person knows best what will most satisfy them and bring them fulfillment. If truth be told, at the end of life, honest reflection will reveal their self-guided decisions lead them down a futile path of emptiness and a life lived in vain.
In Romans Chapter 6 of The Message it says:
“You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing – not caring about others, not caring God – the worse your life became and the less freedom you had?”
“As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end!
No Freedom Possible without Christ
No matter how hard you try to twist your way of thinking to prove God wrong, you will not find freedom apart from a surrendered life to Christ. If, on the other hand, you choose to believe God‘s way is the real path to freedom your life will be changed forever but you must choose. Here is God’s encouragement to you as you ponder your decision:
Galatians 5 (The Message)
“My counsel is this; Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?”
The Better Choice
What happens when you live God’s way?
“He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
God is offering real freedom to you today. It’s already been bought and paid for by God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and it’s yours for the asking.