Are we really free?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the roots of freedom in the last few days, in part thanks to a historical novel set in the pre-Revolutionary war era and in part due to the realization that many of my ancestors fought in that war on behalf of liberty.
As believers, we speak of freedom as part of our gospel message. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
- Are our decisions made according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, or are they influenced by the pressures and expectations of the groups with whom we associate?
- Are we free to choose right from wrong for ourselves, as children of God who are filled with His Spirit, or are we pressed and pushed and prodded to choose from a limited menu of options presented by our denomination, our political affiliation, our socioeconomic group, or any other demographic that would attempt to pigeonhole us?
- Are we free to express ourselves via words, music, attire, appearance, food, drink, and/or holy days according to our own personal conviction, or do we find ourselves barred by the convictions of others and our own desire to “fit in”?
As we prepare to celebrate the 235th anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, it would behoove us to spend some time before the Lord, asking Him if we are truly living in the kind of freedom He purchased for us. Or have we settled for a cheap substitute in the form of acceptance, approval, and agreement with the majority of those with whom we’ve chosen to associate?
The men and women we honor during our nation’s Independence Day chose to honor their personal convictions above and beyond any group with whom they were allied. They risked, and often lost, friendships, family, and fortune for the sake of true freedom. How did they do it? The same way we must, if we are to have true, personal, individual liberty in our lives: by faith.
Faith is the avenue to freedom.
Fear is the avenue to bondage.
What actions we take, what choices we make, according to faith in God and His Word, will lead us into freedom.
And what we choose to do because of fear — fear of death, of rejection, of loss, or whatever — will lead us into bondage and oppression.
Choose faith. Choose freedom.
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