February 15, 2010 4 min to read
Category : Teaching
I have been struggling with this concept for quite some time now. What is freedom? What does it look like? What is it’s purpose? How do we live a life of freedom? I think I am beginning to find out…
I remember when I first came down here, they told me I was free. I am free to do whatever I want. OK! Well, that sounds nice… in theory. So now what? What do I do with this new found freedom? How will I manage it? How will I live my life?
I also remember one particular person saying that if you are used to living a life of control, you may feel very out of place and will actually LOOK for someone or something to control you and tell you what to do or how to live your life. I remember thinking, “Are you serious?! Who in their right mind would do such a thing?!” About a week later I found myself in that very situation, looking for someone to control me. When you get so comfortable and familiar with the prison bars around you, you don’t know how to live without them when they are gone. Oftentimes you don’t even realize they are there until they are gone. Then you find yourself searching for a way to bring them back. When this started happening to me, I realized it was happening and recognized it, because of the prior warning. I then reminded myself that I am free.
Love = Freedom NOT Control
This statement blew my mind! When I let it sink in…I thought, “I don’t understand. How can this be?”
Let’s look at a few examples of this truth:
1. Creation – God gave us the opportunity to reject and disobey Him. He gave us the opportunity to choose life or death. He gave us the most powerful force in all of creation – free will.
2. Judas – Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, yet He allowed him to sit and dine with Him as one of His closest friends. He gave Judas the freedom to be Judas.
3. Salvation – We still have the choice today to accept or reject the One who loves us more than life itself. He desires that NONE perish, but ALL come to know Him, yet His love for us is so great that He gives us the freedom to choose.
So if God, in His infinite wisdom and love has given us this incredibly powerful freedom, why and how do we feel the right or the need to control?
You see, we control what we fear. We control what we are afraid of(fear). We control what we don’t understand(fear). Most all control is motivated by fear, not love. Most people think, “If I love someone, I need to tell them what to do, what not to do, and how to live their life.” In other words, “I need to control them.” This simply is not true.
I am discovering in life that most of the things that we think we control, we really don’t, and some actually control us! The Bible says “There is NO FEAR in love. (not only that) But perfect love DRIVES OUT FEAR, because fear has to do with punishment. (but wait..there’s more…) The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” John 4:18
Speaking of punishment… I’m so thankful that Christ took all of my punishment upon Himself. I’m so thankful that God poured out all the wrath that was meant for me, on His Son Jesus! That means He has nothing but LOVE for me!
So what is the purpose of freedom? Why did Christ die to set us free? Why am I free? Are you ready, here it comes… It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free! Galatians 5:1
It was for FREEDOM that Christ set us free! Christ set you free for FREEDOM! The reason that Christ set you free is…FREEDOM! How many different ways can I say this? Are you getting it? Can you see it?
(The second half of that same verse says, “Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”) AND if you go back and read the verse in the context of the verses before and after, then the light really starts to go on! 🙂 You see God knows that we are often more comfortable with control than with freedom. Don’t put yourself back in prison. You are free!
What motivates you? Are you motivated by fear or by love? Do you perform FOR love or FROM love? Do you live your life to gain approval and acceptance from God and/or those around you? OR Do you live your life for GodBECAUSE He loves you, BECAUSE you are accepted by Him?