liberty – the quality or state of being free
It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate our freedom with barbecues, watermelon, and fireworks. As I admire the crisp, red, white and blue flag proudly flying at our camp in Liberty, Mississippi, I can’t help thinking about freedom and wondering–what does it mean to be free?
I am an American citizen. That means I am privileged to live in a country that “hold[s] these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Yet, the most patriotic American can live a long life in pursuit of happiness but never be truly free. They might feel happy and free, but never know true freedom.
Many centuries ago, Jesus said to the Jews who had “believed” Him that if they would hold to His teaching they would find true freedom (see John 8:31-32). Yet, shortly after hearing Jesus say these things, they mocked Him and tried to stone Him. These were religious people, but religious people can fail to be truly free!
Even someone who really does hold to Jesus’ teachings can live without knowing what it means to be free. Shame from one’s past mistakes, regret over choices one made, dysfunctional relationships, etc., can leave a person feeling anything but free!
For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 2 Peter 2:19b
Every human being, regardless of their citizenship, is born a slave. That’s right. We are enslaved to our own selfish desires. We are wretched creatures who need rescuing in the worst way! Thankfully, God has provided a way for us to be free–the blood of Jesus Christ, who loves us, frees all true believers from slavery to sin! (Rev 1:5)
For us to know true freedom, we must intentionally set our minds on God. See life with eternal perspective!
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
I’m asking Him to show me areas in my life that I’m still behaving like a slave instead of walking in the freedom He has provided to me. I want to know what it means to be truly free.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1