I’ve been thinking about freedom quite a bit in recent months. Because of the ever vacillating Covid restrictions, I have been reflecting on how precious freedom is. I have grieved over my lack of appreciation for the freedom I previously enjoyed, assuming the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave always would be.
Freedom is, by definition, the absence of coercion or constraint in choice or action. It is liberation from slavery, restraint or from the power of another. Although the world is going through an unprecedented time of coercion and restraint, this growing lack of freedom is nothing like the slavery I was in prior to Christ’s work in my life.
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”John 8:31-32
He went on to further explain that whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Before I came to know the forgiveness and salvation of Christ, I didn’t even realize how sin was actually in control of my life. On the surface it seemed as though I had freedom, but that wasn’t reality.
There were moments of clear thinking. In those moments, I realized the decisions I was making were not wise. I was putting myself and others in harms way. If found out, my decisions would injure others. But those moments of clear thinking were fleeting. I would quickly succumb to the temptations placed before me, gladly partaking of the words, attitudes and actions I now cringe at when I remember.
I may have lived in a free nation but I can tell you with all sincerity I was not free. I was enslaved by my sinful flesh and I was in bondage to satan. But God demonstrated His own love toward me in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. He didn’t wait for me to free myself in order to forgive my sin. Jesus crushed the power sin and death had over me. He freed me in order that I might live in true freedom. I am now free to not sin, whereas before, that was not the case.
So, what do I now do with this freedom Christ purchased for me? As I live in a world rapidly stripping me of the physical freedom I once enjoyed, I have choices.
- I have a choice to sink into despair over the loss of physical freedom OR believe God is sovereign and on the throne. I can respond with faith and not fear, which is the only real way to please God.
- I have a choice to fill my mind with the latest news from the Capitol OR I can meditate on good things…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
- I have a choice to use my words to add to the noise in the lives of others OR I can encourage and build up. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)
- I have a choice to try to figure out the best game plan for the future OR I can cast all my cares on Him because He cares for me. Prayer is one of God’s most precious means of grace for His children when in times of trouble. When I pray, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7).
- I have a choice to live in a fearful, isolated bubble OR I can keep my hands busy with the work of the Lord. I can choose to focus on whatever tasks the Lord has put on my plate for that day. By worrying about tomorrow (which has enough worries of its own), I get robbed of the joy of doing the tasks God has given me to do today. I miss out on opportunities to love and serve others because I’m too busy thinking about myself.
Let Freedom Ring!
Yes, I have choices. Praise the Lord! Ultimately, the choice comes down to living in a way which pleases God and is obedient to His word OR live and think like the world to the detriment of myself and those around me.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Galatians 2:20