It is the 4th of July. In 1776, a group of brave, slightly reckless men signed a document declaring freedom from tyranny, freedom from king and country. They sought the freedom to rule themselves, and in their wisdom and courage, they created a nation.
The story that followed was one of men and women choosing sides. They determined where their hearts and consciences were leading them, and fought to the end. For some, the end was their final breath. Some knew victory. Others saw an end of defeat. But ultimately, a country knew its freedom.
What about today? Do we still live in freedom, or have we given ourselves over to a new and different tyranny? It is not a new question, yet one that still deserves thought. Whether you live in the "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" or not, are you truly free?
Regardless of the rules and regulations that control my body, I know my mind, my heart, and my soul can forever be free. Easy for me to say. I've never lived in bondage. It is not my goal to diminish the experiences of those who have.
My point instead is that I make my own bondage of spirit
- Suffocating under too much stuff
- Succumbing to the "SHOULDS" (I wrote about this long ago. You can read it here.)
- Living for a nod from mankind
These things I often allow to steal away my freedom. True freedom is simple, although rarely easy.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
In that saving moment, we are set free.
Then Jesus said:
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know that truth, and the truth will set you free. ... So if the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31-32,36
And what was Yeshua's teaching? Love God. Love People.
So where does my freedom rest? Firmly in the arms of my loving Heavenly Father, who teaches me what it means to love Him, and to love people ... more so each day, if I'm seeking Him. There I find freedom from the world, freedom from myself, freedom to love, freedom to live.
As I think of how our forefathers fought the freedom fight for me, I'm brought to my knees acknowledging Yeshua's fight for my freedom that has truly set me free. I am grateful. Today, I choose Christ. I choose to Love God. I choose to Love People. I choose to live free.