July 4, 2014
Free at Last
So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law (Galatians 5:1, NLT).
Friend to Friend
The story is told of an Indian village that held an annual bazaar where villagers came to sell the crafts and wares they made and the animals they raised during the year. One year, a man brought a covey of quail to sell. In order to display the birds, he tied one end of a piece of string to the leg of each bird and the other end to a stake in the ground.
All day long, shoppers passed by watching the birds walk in a circle around the stake. No one seemed interested in buying the birds until a religious man approached and asked how much the merchant wanted for them. The merchant named an exorbitant price, which the religious man quickly paid, immediately instructing the merchant to set the birds free. When the merchant asked why he was willing to pay so much for the birds and then let them go, the religious man simply responded, “Because they were created to be free.”
The merchant didn’t understand, but shrugged his shoulders and cut the strings, setting the birds free. The quail continued marching in a circle around the stake. The buyer stepped into the middle of the circle, scattering the birds, which flew a few yards, landed, and once again began to march in a circle. The quail were free – but did not know it.
We all seek freedom. With our very first breath, we come into this world kicking and screaming for freedom. The desire to be free was tucked into our very soul by God Himself as He formed us in the womb. Because freedom is a God-given need, our Father promises to provide a right way for that need to be met and the longing for freedom to be filled.
Freedom comes through truth. In John 8:32 we find the promise, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NIV). To know truth, we must know God because He is truth. In John 14:6, Jesus says that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him. When we come to Jesus Christ in a personal relationship, we will experience true freedom for the first time - freedom from sin, freedom from condemnation and death, and freedom to really live. Without truth, there can be no freedom.
Freedom comes through obedience. Obedience calls us to challenge and lay aside anything that hinders our walk with God. Instead, we sometimes refuse to forsake cherished sin, allowing wrong attitudes to take root and prosper while harmful habits hold us prisoner. The writer of Hebrews offers compelling direction for the captured soul longing to be free. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Obedience brings freedom.
Freedom comes through understanding. Until we understand who we are in His eyes, we will never truly be free. Our value and worth rest solely in the fact that we were created, chosen and pursued by God – for God. We belong to Him. His unconditional love sets us free to become all He created us to be, and more than we ever dreamed we could be. In Romans 5:8, the words of Paul celebrate our identity in Him, “But God showed His great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.” Recognizing our worth and value to God sets us free from the chains of human expectations and earthly demands. Understanding brings freedom.
Christ really has set us free. The question is - are we living in that freedom? Don’t live another day chained to your old ways. Seek His truth, walk in obedience, and celebrate your God-created identity! Free – free at last!
Father, I long to be set free in You but I have to admit that the idea of total freedom in You frightens me. I am not sure what it will require. I have allowed old habits, sins, and attitudes to keep me in bondage. I know that is not Your will or Your plan. Right now, I lay down everything that keeps me from the freedom You have for me. Help me to walk in that freedom.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
You. It is!
More from the Girlfriends
Are you ready to accept the truth that you were created to live in freedom? Great! But that’s not enough. Are you willing to give God permission to work in your life in order to experience His freedom? I sometimes think it is easier to stay in the darkness, to be content in a familiar prison. It becomes our identity…and we are not sure if there will be a new identity waiting for us in the light. Friend, do not listen to the lies of the enemy! He wants you to stay where you are, settling for so little when God wants to offer you everything! Don’t wait another minute. Cry out to God, and take your first step out of bondage into freedom.
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