Stand Firm and Be Free

 
 
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Many countries have a celebration day to remember their freedom. America just celebrated July 4th. In some countries, freedom is not even a reality. Freedom has been a hot topic all through human history. Wars that claimed many lives have been fought to preserve or gain freedom. Apparently, it’s been important to God since before history began. God’s original design was anchored in freedom. He wants you to be free.

Be Free – Side-Step Trickery

It wasn’t until trickery pulled the rug out from under daily freedom that people had to fight for freedom. Before Adam and Eve’s famous mistake (if it wouldn’t have been them, it would’ve been me . . . or you!) freedom was a delightful, continual, daily reality. The free will God gave each person allowed endless choices and possibilities. Daily discoveries. Unlimited options. Unending adventures. Peace. Rest.

God’s intended design promotes freedom. Design does not negate freedom. It enhances and channels freedom to be increasingly powerful and attractive. The endless creativity of free choice was compromised by sin. Then it became a memory. And we all became slaves to sin. What a terrible reality for people who were created to be free!

God Wants You To Be Free

Freedom is so important to God that He went after it again. He re-gifted it back to whoever puts faith in Jesus. This returns you to His original design – living by faith and knowing God. Jesus Christ sets people free to be eternally mobile once again. He does not want you to be burdened by a yoke of slavery. So, He became a slave, took up shattered freedom onto His own shoulders, bore every sin ever committed in His own body, and paid the penalty for sin with His own life. He usurped power away from the enemy and gave it back to His own children. Anyone who believes on Him can, again, be free.

If you have tasted His delicious freedom, work to stay there! Stand firm. Don’t compromise or go back. Your old systems, rituals of behavior (performance, perfection, pretending), or pleasing others (fear of man) pull you away from Christ. Do you really want freedom to become only a memory again? If you do choose this, you will need to be absolutely perfect on your own, keeping God’s holy standards. I can tell you up front – you won’t last long. You can’t be perfect. Only one person has ever accomplished this unfathomable feat. And justification is found only in Him. His holy, perfect life is yours – if you trust Him.

How Can You Be Free?

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (v. 6) You can do that! Walk away from man-made cycles and systems, including your own pleasures. Walk toward Jesus – straight into His open, loving embrace. Your heart, your soul, needs this. All it takes is living a couple of long decades to realize this is truth. But you can accept His gift of freedom before you live out those decades. Jesus already fully paid for your freedom. It’s waiting for you to pick up, unwrap, and enjoy as you very own.

How tragic to call yourself God’s child and not joyfully be free! Especially because, out of deepest love for you, Jesus paid a steep price for your freedom. Hmmm – would you be saying by not accepting His gift – that He wasted priceless payment on you? With His own life blood, Jesus took the punishment so you could walk away from all the burdens, chains, trickery, and bondage – to forever be FREE – to be you!

Application

Why not accept this amazing gift? You can stand firm in your freedom? Why would you let yourself be burdened again by the devil’s yoke? That’s a “no win” scenario. God has ensured you still have power to choose. You are the only one who decides how you will respond to Jesus. He even gives you that.

Where are you living in bondage? What kinds of things keep your mind and heart shackled? What can you do today to accept and start living more fully in your already purchased freedom? Why not live in the original design and be you? Because, in that place – everybody wins (except God’s enemy)! Why not be a winner instead of a loser?

Pen to paper: how will you use your freedom going forward?

Article developed from Gal. 5:1-6.

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