“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17.
As many of you know, this past weekend was Memorial Day. A day to celebrate soldiers who have fallen. A day to celebrate the freedom that we have in America. A day to appreciate those who have given their lives for freedom—and remember that freedom does not come without a cost.
Which, in many ways, points us back to a different kind of freedom that as Christians, we have the chance to experience. A freedom that also, did not come without a cost.
Furthermore, freedom does not come to us apart from love. On Memorial Day, we are reminded that there are people out there who love this country enough to die for it. Most people, if you were to ask them on the street, know that, and would accept it without question if asked. However, if asked about Christ’s love, many people would not know how to answer. It is relatively easy for people to accept that someone might die for a country, or a cause that they believe in. It is much harder for people believe that a perfect God would die for broken, imperfect individuals. That someone would die just to save them.
However, both of these things remain true. Jesus died so that we might find freedom—and be restored to a right, and loving relationship with God the Father. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV). This is exactly what Jesus did for each one of us. And He would do the same thing all over again, even if we were the only person left on this earth.
Yet in spite of all of this, so many of us, as Christians, live as if we are not truly free. We live like we are still in bondage. Like we are still slaves to trying to earn God’s approval. I am always amazed when I see believers who are so afraid of God that they fail to experience the joy that He has intended us to have. Who choose to see only darkness in this life. Who are afraid to talk to God as a friend, and who approach Him more as a judge instead. Who dismiss all music, dancing, television, and entertainment as evil and reduce Christianity into an excessively long list of dos-and-don’ts that are exhausting and anything-but the embodiment of freedom in Christ.
This is not to say that as Christians, we shouldn’t live in the obedience and purity that God calls us to in His Word. However, when we are truly living life with a spirit of grace and love for Jesus, following Him becomes something we do naturally. Every ‘no’ becomes an invitation to a greater ‘yes’. Things like purity, kindness, and generosity become a part of who we are, and a part of the condition of our heart, rather than simply another list of ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’. By definition the Christian life should have more freedom, joy, peace, and life—not less of it.
The Christian life is one that should be characterized by hope, because we are people who have been set free from our chains.We have the knowledge that we are personally and intimately loved by a God who breathed breath into our lungs. We know that there is something beyond just the here and now and that ultimately, we have hope for our tomorrow. Christianity isn’t rigid, harsh, or rule based. It’s a personal relationship and friendship with God. It’s a joy that surpasses our circumstances. It’s an adventure—with more beauty and more excitement than we could ever dare to imagine.
This week, I want to challenge you to live into that freedom. To fully embrace the promises of God, and live like someone who has been set free. To demonstrate this freedom, this love, and this hope to the world around you through your actions and your words—not just on Sunday, but throughout your whole week.
To truly live like someone who is free, and remember the words of John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (NIV)
“Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do.” – Galatians 5:13 (TPT)
How about you? Do you ever struggle to live into the freedom that God has given us? Feel free to share in the comments below! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!