Isn’t it wonderful to live in America? America, the land of the free, at least that’s what we call it. But what is freedom, and are you truly free?
Yes, compared to other countries, we do enjoy many freedoms. But let me ask you this, “Do you feel free when you are at work, school, or when you’re stuck in big-city, rush-hour traffic?” These are places we’re more likely to feel trapped—places we can’t wait to break “free” from.
So how do we define freedom?
It’s the ability to do what you want, when you want it, and how you want to do it. I admit, I can easily relate to this definition of freedom, and I imagine there are quite a few people in this country that get to experience this “freedom,” on some level, daily; but are they truly free?
This past weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder opened a new series called Irresistibly Free. He defined freedom a little differently. He explained that our definition of freedom is no one telling us “no,” because we see freedom as having no restrictions. The more restrictions that are placed on us, the more we feel trapped.
This is why some people are resistant to Christianity. They think it comes with restricting rules and regulations, and that, as human beings, is a natural turnoff for us. Consequently, all we want to do is break free and get out.
Feeling trapped is one side of the spectrum, but the other side is when we have too much freedom. Everyone doing what they want, when they want, and how they want would lead to chaos. Chaos is a different kind of trap. Because when everyone is trying to do what they want, when they want, and how they want, it results in nobody being able to do so.
Pastor Ben went on to explain how true freedom is found in the middle, within a certain amount of structure. Not trapped in too many restrictions, but not having unlimited leeway either. We have limits—we were not designed to live outside of God’s plan for us. Jesus proclaimed this several times in the Bible.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
The bottom line is: Freedom is trusting what God intended, when God intended it, and how God intended it.
The rest of this week, LIO will break down details on how we can accomplish this, but I want to leave you with this thought. Freedom is not, as Janis Joplin sang, “just another word for nothing left to lose,” it is what God intended and wants for us.
So with this in mind, shouldn’t we long to be set free?
How do you define freedom?
Do you feel like you live in a state of being trapped or in chaos?
Evaluate where you are in experiencing true spiritual freedom.
Tune in to the rest of the “Irresistibly Free” series.
Father, I long to be truly set free. Teach me how to live in the freedom you want for me. Help me to avoid the traps and chaos of seeking freedom outside of my limits and what you intended for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Ned Miller. Ned loves serving through writing on the LIO team, prayer team, group leader and as a greeter. He loves spending time with his family and working on his model railroad.
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