Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Free

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free."
Three times, when Paul introduces himself in his letters, he calls himself Christ's slave.  Once, he even calls himself Christ's prisoner. 

Is there anyone more to be pitied than a slave? A prisoner? Don't we all want to be free?

I haven't had much to write the past couple of days. My brain is on burn-out. But today, I got blasted (yet again) with this idea of freedom. So many people feel restrained in life.  So many people want to throw off the chains that they feel are hurting, binding them.

I have friends who have thrown off their marriages, because they were binding. Like caged animals, they were desperate, and could not be happy until they were free of that spouse, that relationship.

I have friends who consider themselves free from various aspects of religion.  Pick your prison:  Reformed theology, church attendance, adherence to the Bible, Christianity altogether.  When a person feels those prison walls closing in, they bold for the door.

Lots of young people feel imprisoned by their parents.  Run! Get yourself some freedom! Break those bonds!

I'm sorry to say that lots of people, in their desperation for freedom, fly right into the arms of sin.  They become slaves.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin." (John 8:34)

Sin is the slave-master we should be fleeing from. I watch my friends jettisoning their marriages, their churches, their families, their whole past -- all so that they can feel free. What is this free feeling that tingles in their soul, when they sin? Why do they feel free?

Jesus tells us in this passage from John 8 -- the "free feeling" is a lie.  It comes from Satan who is the father of lies. The truth is not in him. The truth, Jesus says, is that sin is what enslaves you. Not a spouse. Not a church. Not a theology.

When you hurt others, so you can have your own desires, that's sin. When you reject God's Word, that's sin. When you refuse to have anything to do with God's people, that's sin.

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another." (Gal. 5:13)

If you think you're feeling free, and you're leaving a trail of devastation behind you, your freedom is a lie. Real freedom is found in serving others.  What's a servant?  A slave. A willing slave.

God is the King.  And I'm His slave.  Not because He forced me to be, but because I long to be. I'd rather be His slave than be my own loose cannon, free-wheeling around the kingdom on my own. There is no greater freedom than to willingly walk into the throne room, kneel down, and say to Him, "I long to serve you because you are glorious."

When I break free from constraints, in order to fulfill my own desires, I am a slave to those desires. I'm no free woman.

I hope this makes sense. It's been on my heart this morning.

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