Monday, January 7, 2013

To Take Hold of Freedom

When we were in New Hampshire several years back, we noticed on the license plates the words "Live free or die". My husband was drawn to that short, but profound phrase and was thrilled to find an old plate at an antique store to take home with us. 

In this 'sweet land of liberty' we are well acquainted with the words liberty and freedom from our history books, our national songs and our Pledge of Allegiance. We have our military to fight for an defend our freedom and believe it is something worth dying for. We are not the only nation that feels strongly about freedom. 

I doubt if anyone could watch the movie Braveheart and not feel the fire of desire for freedom at the moment when Mel Gibson shouts from the depth of his gut, 'FREEEEDOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!"

Currently we are hearing more and more about the facts of our current world statistics. Basically there is more slavery today than ever. These stats are regarding sex-trafficking and slave-labor. If they took into account our personal slavery to vices such as sex, drugs and alcohol, the numbers would be staggering...

We have a problem in the human race. It is a problem of bondage and we have a deep-hearted desire for freedom.  

The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under restraint.

Freedom speaks of space or room-to-be

Galatians 5:1 says: 
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. {The slavery of our birth-defect called sin, and of thinking we can follow formulas to free ourselves from it resulting often in regret, discouragement and hopelessness}

This freedom that the Bible speaks of isn't freedom to do (whatever you want), or freedom to have (whatever you want), it is freedom to live already-loved

{LoVeD: known, accepted, valued, significant} 

It is freedom because in all the years before we accept the Perfect Love of Jesus, all of our doing and all of our having come from our wanting. Wanting to be loved. But when we find Christ's love, because it is pure and real and unconditional, we (progressively) learn that we simply. are. free! 

To be truly loved is to be liberated from doing, and liberated from having. Because we are liberated from wanting if we really receive the love of Christ Jesus.

Even if all our works cease (perhaps you know someone who is unable to work?) Even if all is taken from us (Perhaps you have lost a job, a home, possessions?) 

Even if we can do nothing and even if we have nothing, we are someone to Jesus who bought us with His blood! We are LOVED!

True liberty (room to be you) comes from GRACE. Grace is God's unearned blessing and favor (LOVE for us) to pardon our sins and set us free without us having to PAY what we owe for having missed the mark of loving God above all. (see commandment #1 in Exodus 20:3 )

When our whole aim is to love God, we are truly free! The remarkable thing about this is that in knowing, believing, and receiving God's love, we are liberated from wanting
We are full of love. 
We are now free to give love purely.
It takes us awhile to realize this though, we are so used to wanting. We are so used to grabbing for takes us some time to understand that love is a grace-gift, so we don't need to grab anything any longer. 

We are no longer grabbers, we are now givers. 
We can give from pure motives.
(we don't always since we are still human, 
but we desire and pursue pure heart-motives always)

This love-grace comes to us through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. The only way to take hold of freedom (apprehend liberty) then is by receiving this One Gift. This gift of Him giving himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God to pay for our human-race problem of bondage to sin, on that cross... And then because He indeed was sinless and He indeed is God, He was raised from the dead and He will come again to take His Beloved home to be with Him forever someday.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. ~Acts 3:19

I don't have to do it all right and I don't have to have it all together, because Jesus' love covers my failures and inconsistencies as I walk this road called life, acknowledging my need of His love, receiving by faith His love...

To take hold of Jesus is to take hold of freedom.
Apprehend Jesus; apprehend liberty. 

1 comment:

Holly Hutchens said...

'It is for freedom that He set us free.' Yes! and Amen! Lord, teach us to walk in it. Teach, and help us to hear and to honor you in our freedom.