We hear a lot about it in today's society.
We dream about it.
We long for it.
We work our fingers to the bone to earn it.
We desire to be debt-free.
And if we can attain that freedom at fifty-five, all the better.
We promote freedom to pursue our own wishes and desires because after all, we deserve it.
We practice freedom of speech. As we should.
We prize our political freedom. As we absolutely should.
Men and women fought and died for us to have that freedom.
And a good many of us are seeking freedom from anxiety; freedom from depression; freedom from fear.
Freedom, you see, seems to look different for each of us.
I wonder though, if most of us think freedom is something that it’s not.
The Miriam Webster Dictionary defines freedom as
1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
· b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :
· c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous
freedom from care
· d: unrestricted use
gave him the freedom of their home
This definition implies that there are two sides to freedom. The state of being free from something, and the act of being free to do or be something.
Freedom from and, freedom to.
But freedom is not a fundamental right for us to do as we please.
Katherine Gammon in an article written for Live Science, says this about freedom.
"Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, and the absence of a despotic government. Freedom of speech is the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference. The right doesn’t extend to hate speech, advertising, child pornography, and a few other instances. Freedom of expression includes freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition. This freedom doesn’t extend to expression that defames, causes panic, creates fighting words, incites people to crime, creates sedition, or is obscene. Freedom of religion is the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. This right extends to any religious belief, but not in the practice of all religious activities (for example, ones that involve breaking other laws).
Freedom, you see, does not allow us the liberty to do whatever we want, whenever we want. Whether we realize it or not, there are boundaries within freedom. We are held accountable by laws and regulations. Every action has a reaction. It produces a result; an effect. Freedom is not without limitation.
You and I have the freedom to make our own choices. But, we are not free from the consequences of those choices. We can choose our own path, but try as we might, we cannot change the destination of that path. The only way to change the destination, is to change the path. Contrary to popular belief, not all roads lead home.
It is interesting to me that when we think of freedom, we view it as an end in itself; as a final goal to be attained; that once freedom is achieved, all of our problems will be solved; we'll be free. But free from what? And free to do or be what?
This is where I believe we see freedom as something it is not. Freedom itself, is not the final outcome; it is not the goal. Freedom from, is a release; a liberation. Freedom to do or be, is an achievement or an acquisition. Freedom is something we experience.
True freedom is redemptive.
And true redemption is only found in Christ.
"Because mankind was created in the image of God, the only way we can experience true freedom, is by living in communion with Him. But, like Adam and Eve, we have been deceived into believing that He is not enough. We have fallen out of relationship with Him. We have allowed the temptations of this world to lure us further and further away from our Savior, and the consequences have left us with an all-consuming void."
In our pursuit for freedom, we turned our backs on the only true realization of it.
But there is hope!
2 Corinthians 3:16-17 tells us,
"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil (that which keeps us from freedom and relationship with Christ) is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
We turned away from God because we wanted freedom. What we didn't, and still don't realize is that, true freedom can only be found in Christ.
Romans 8:2 says,
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Our sin is what keeps us separated from heaven and ultimately, from the freedom that we can only experience in relationship with Him. Because God loves us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth and willingly take our sin upon Himself, and give Himself up for us, on the cross. If we choose to entrust our lives to Jesus Christ, and seek forgiveness of our sins, we will be saved from bondage to that sin and as a result, enjoy and experience relationship with God himself.
This is what true freedom looks like.
Freedom from sin and death.
Freedom to be transformed into His likeness.
Freedom in relationship with Christ.
Do you want to experience true freedom in Christ?
I'd love to walk you through the process!
I'm just a click away!