Freedom...something we all love and long for, but something that many of us don't experience.
I'm not talking about 'legal' or 'political' freedom--most of us do have that, and we Americans do enjoy that.
I'm talking about SPIRITUAL freedom.
Most of us--even in churches every Sunday--don't experience this kind of freedom.
I believe God wants us to.
To be sure, we are saved by God's Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.
Many of us have come to understand that and embrace that--and to that level, we understand 'freedom'. But I believe that many of us Christians don't really ever get to 'freedom' in this life. Rather, we hang on and wait 'till this life is over--and then we experience it.
But I think God wants to release us from the 'chains' which hold us back in the here and now.
The fear of others' opinions...
The power of temptation...
The emotional baggage from our past...
Our relational struggles...
Our self-centered focus...
All of these things keep us 'in'. They keep us trapped in our own little cocoon--our 'safe place'. We figure that, if we don't allow ourselves to venture out into freedom, at least we don't risk rejection..or failure...or change!
I think that, for many Christians, one of our biggest fears--with the heaviest chains of all--is our fear of really trusting God...
We can't seem to bring ourselves to believe that He IS sufficient, He IS trustworhty, He CAN and WILL 'free' us, support us...and "lead us home".
"It is by God's GRACE that you have been saved, through faith. And this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God--not a result of your good works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
"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)
How would YOUR life be different if you were really "free" in Christ?
I know that, for me, I'd be less concerned about people's opinions of me, less fearful about 'stepping out' into new directions that God is wanting to lead me into, and I'd be more 'real' and 'present' in my relationships. I'd stop holding back, and really be me!
...and, like a friend of mine had the courage to do, I'd live it out 'till the very end!
THEN I'd really experience Freedom in Christ!
God has made us free...let's learn to experience it in reality!