What is Freedom?
Are you free? Are you sure? Americans have such a materialistic, selfish view of what freedom is.
What about freedom, outside of being an “American” or how about freedom being a “Human” The constitution talks about “inalienable rights” Dictionary.com tells me that inalienable means; not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied.
Dictionary.com also tells me that Freedom in Philosophy means, the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.
How can you not have some form of constraint when every action of “freedom” will in one way or another affect another person, as well as yourself? Not to mention the fact that your decisions are influenced by past experiences. So, what do they mean by autonomy? We do not live on our own little islands.
What if we look at freedom from the view point of being a “Spiritual Being”
This world has such a negative influence on us that we forget we are “Spiritual Beings” created by God in His image!
In Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon Bible study, she says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Think about that for a moment…. No really, stop and think about it, how does this single statement change your viewpoint and overall approach to life?
If we can live our lives from the perspective of being spiritual rather than human, everything changes. Your thoughts and feelings about this temporal life, and eternity shift. What about your priorities? or your ideas of success? And now how do you feel about “freedom”? WOW the whole idea of freedom is turned on its head. We are too wrapped up in our human bodies and our human experiences that we neglect our spiritual health.
What does the Bible say about this;
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” John 8:34
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
We have all sinned and we are not free if we are a “servant” of anyone or anything, especially sin.
Do you want to be a slave to sin? I don’t! Yet I know I have been, time for me to make a confession. I was a smoker. For 30 years I smoked and for 25 or those 30 years I was trying to quit, I tried everything at least twice. I knew I was a slave to the cigarette, there were times at work that I couldn’t get a break for over 3 hours, and let me tell you the fact that I was a slave was painfully obvious. My brain functions would slow to where I struggled to think. It was terrible and I hated it, yet no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t quit. Somehow (GOD) all that changes when the doctor says you have cancer. Now the real kicker for me was how can I tell my children that they can do ANYTHING if I can’t quit, now. Something (GOD) changed me with that realization, it was the something I had been praying for, and it wasn’t as hard as it had been all those years of trying. God helped break me free I know He did, I had proven time and again that I couldn’t do it, I had to lean on Him to receive victory. I had to stop trying to quit with my own ability and start trusting and leaning completely of God.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
In “The Cost of Discipleship” Detrick Bonhofer says, “The baptized Christian has ceased to belong to the world and is no longer its slave. He belongs to Christ alone, and his relationship with the world is mediated through him.”
Through Christ Jesus we, as baptized Christians, are no longer slaves to sin. We no longer belong to this world. And our relationship with this temporal world is now mediated through Jesus Christ. As Christians we know this, so let’s live this!
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Jesus spoke a lot of searching, finding, and treasures.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
Hummmm…. I wonder if where are treasure is, in some way determines what sort of freedom, or bondage we have?
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44
The kingdom of heaven is worth all you have here on earth, and then some. That once you find it you will sell all to have it. Although, this is not so easy, we, Christians, still find it very difficult to separate this temporal life with the eternal life. To the young man who came to Jesus asking what he should do to have eternal life, Jesus said
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Matthew 19:21
But the young man went away “sorrowful” it is not easy to give up everything of the temporal and tangible to get the eternal yet currently intangible.
The point though is that if we really want to have freedom it is only found in Jesus, our eternal Savior, it can’t be found in this temporal decaying earth. We must give up all for the God that spared nothing, not even His Son, to bring us salvation, freedom from sin. Only in God can we find what we are searching for. Only through Jesus can we be made whole, and our hearts can be healed and filled. Our true freedom is in being what God created us to be. Jesus said, “come and follow me.” This is where our freedom is found.
We need to be more detached from the things of this world and more attached to God and His calling on our life. Be open and willing to do whatever He asks you to do, He can make it work out, no matter how crazy it sounds. Trust me, writing was the most off the wall thing He could have asked of me, and here I am, because He asked, and finally, I was willing to follow. Be open and willing to obey. Spend time in serious prayer, He can be very clear, if we will just be open to hear. If your now sure don’t be afraid to ask for confirmation, God understands your heart, and He will speak to you in the way you need.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
So, now how do you feel about your freedom? I would much rather be free in Christ than free in this world.