Freedom is a bit of a paradox for me. First, I generally like to be in control of a situation. When I’m not in control, I can feel resistance building within me. But when I do have control—when I can do what I want, when I want, and the way I want to do it—I feel free.
Until I don’t.
When I’m “free,” I’m the one making the decisions. I’m the one responsible for the outcome. I need to be aware of the big picture and the smaller details. I have to answer for something. And this can be incredibly stressful, causing worry and anxiety to grow inside me.
This human perspective of freedom—what I want, when I want, how I want—as Lead Pastor Ben Snyder defined it, is ironically quite constrictive. Jesus, however, invites us into true freedom, which is reflected in this week’s bottom line: Freedom is trusting what God intended, when God intended it, and how God intended it.
So, what does this look like? How do we find freedom in Jesus? Jesus’ words in John 8:31-32 are a good place to start.
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth will set you free. It’s such a common phrase that it’s become trite and cliché, and often an invitation to roll our eyes. But when we start to unpack what Jesus is saying here, it takes on a much deeper meaning.
Jesus says the truth will set you free. What is the truth? Well, that one’s easy.
John 14:6 (emphasis added)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Jesus teaches that he is the truth. So to remain faithful to his teachings is to remember this, to believe it, and to live it out. The Gospel, aka the “Good News,” is not a holy handbook to keep us bound and enslaved to rules. Instead, it is a way of life in freedom and truth. And the truth is Jesus and who we are in him.
A new creation.
How do you define freedom? Does it line up with the definition in this week’s bottom line?
Do you find following Christ to be freeing? Why or why not?
Dear Jesus, thank you for relieving me of the need to control anything and everything in my life. I pray that I can remember to put what you intend, when you intend it, and how you intend it over my own plans and desires. Remind me daily who I am in you, and help me to live in a way that shows others who they are in you as well. In your name, amen.
This post was written by Ryan Leone. Ryan is grateful to help people experience Jesus through the written word. He and his wife Mia are Ohio natives who now live in Boulder, Colorado with their dog Bella. Ryan spends most of his time running trails through the Rocky Mountains, exploring God’s beautiful creation.
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