It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
As free-will beings, we like to be in control of our destiny. Particularly, for those of us living in the Western Hemisphere, personal freedom, and the right to make our own choices define our existence. Countless lives have been lost for freedom’s sake throughout history. Many wars have been fought to preserve the rights of individuals to live as free beings.
That innate desire for freedom can be a detriment to our relationship with God. Many people who reject God do so because they do not want to surrender control of their lives to a deity. The mistake they make is assuming that a relationship with God negates their personal freedom. They think that faith in God suppresses their free will.
Those of us who have surrendered our lives to God through Jesus Christ have discovered more freedom in our spiritual walk than we can ever imagine. The Christian journey is an invitation to discipleship. Once that invitation is accepted it becomes a charge to do the great commission work for the sake of the kingdom of God. Though that charge requires obedience to the will of God, it is still a choice.
The kingdom of God does not consist of robots. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ does not turn a person into an android. The Christian journey is freedom-based. Believers of Jesus are free to worship, free to serve, free to evangelize, free to love their neighbors, free to forgive, and free to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, daily devotions, and Bible study. We do those things because we love God, not because we are forced to do them.
I pray without ceasing because I love talking to my God. I study the Bible consistently because I enjoy learning about what God has been doing in the world since creation and how I can partner with Him to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. God does not demand that I preach, feed the hungry, help the poor and be an instrument of His love in the world. He gave me a choice as His royal priesthood and special possession.
How can I say no to a God who sent His Son to die for me and gave me the gift of eternal life? Besides, it is when I do the will of God that my life gets easier and more worthwhile. I don’t want to be free to fight the devil and his demons by myself. I need God’s strength to overcome the attacks of the enemy. The freedom I need is conformed to the will of God. As a sinful being, I can’t trust myself to do as I please. I need God to order my steps and lead me through life. Only God knows what is best for me.
Freedom without God is enslavement to sin. Jesus died to set us free from sin. It is by knowing God and serving Him we learn what true freedom is and how it can be lived out with purpose and joy. Just as the devil deceived Adam and Eve in the garden and enticed them to disobey God as free beings, He is still seducing many people to think they do not need God and are free to do as they please.
Most people want freedom but are not willing to pay the cost of that freedom. The freedom we enjoy in the United States comes at a great cost. Many soldiers die every year for that freedom. Jesus already paid the price for our freedom. His invitation to accept Him as our Lord and Savior is a free-will decision with eternal benefits.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What are the benefits of surrendering to the Will of God?
Why is freedom without God a danger to our spiritual existence?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for sending your Son to pay the price for my right to have a relationship with you. Thank you for the freedom to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please continue to order my steps and may the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.