When this word comes to mind I think of running – almost flying – through wide, open spaces of green, skirts twirling, laughing voices ringing through the crisp air. I think of Mel Gibson’s heroic scene in Braveheart, and what a riveting thing it is to see a man fight wildly, passionately…
Freedom is always fought for. It can be a battle to the finish line to reclaim what’s been taken from us. Abuse of power scars us, and limits our free will either physically or emotionally. Such cruelty is often dished out by people who’ve been ensnared and restricted themselves.
The search for freedom can seem futile, impossible. And when we remain victimised by life, in terms of our outlook, we feel like we’re just groping around in the darkness. Hunched over and utterly lost, in our very own jail cell of unforgiveness and bitterness.
Some claim that Christianity takes one’s free will away. That Jesus Christ’s followers are just blindly following a god who dishes out rules like some power-hungry manipulator. Critics say the fact we follow a god at all is delusional, pathetic, disempowering. Others think God works rather like a genie… He’s there when we need him, blamed when things go wrong – but ultimately a thief when it comes to freedom of choice.
It’s a pretty sad existence if we feel that no-one is trustworthy. That everyone – including God – is ultimately interested in taking from us, throwing us and our unique identities out the window like yesterday’s garbage.
I certainly wouldn’t believe in a god who limited freedom – or didn’t care passionately about who I was in the scheme of things.
But let’s go back to the definition of freedom.
Allowing my kids to run ‘free’ on a busy road is irresponsible at best. My love for them dictates clear, consistent boundaries.
I struggled with the concept of boundaries for many years, believing love meant letting others have free rein to do with me as they pleased. I have slowly learnt that love – of yourself and others – instructs clear limits. You protect what you value. But if you don’t see yourself or others as valuable, for whatever reason, you tend to allow a slackening of the rules, and abuse often occurs.
The Bible is full of guidance and inspired truths from God, handed to us as His ultimate ‘word’ on life and faith. But rather than serving as a list of rules for rules’ sake, these words of wisdom and warning come from a heart of love, compassion and protection. God wants us to follow His ways so we might enjoy lives that reflect Him – His character. This is so that when others see us, they might crave to know Him better. He’s in the business of drawing people back to himself… People such as me who keep forgetting that freedom comes when we live under the guidance – not the abuse – of one who knows us better than we know ourselves. The one who’s absolutely perfect, holy, and the Creator of this incredible universe we live in.
When we follow him, and seek to please Him, we don’t give up our ‘freedom’ at all. Opening the door to new faith is truly like stepping into an open field of joy and dancing, celebration and wonder. Yes, we will probably live differently to before. But because we truly want to. We discover unconditional love for the first time. And we are ‘freely bound’ to Him who just wants to be alongside us, loving us, offering us dignity as His children, and filling our lives with eternal purpose. We discover that ‘living as we pleased’ wasn’t living at all. But living as He pleases will truly set our hearts on fire…
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.“
(2 Corinthians 3:17)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10 ESV)
Another great article! Thanks!!!
Thank you!!! God bless.
I like how God allows us to choose whether we want to be slaves to sin or slaves to Him. Serve God or serve Satan? It’s one or the other. I see unsaved people and it is so obvious (to me) that they are being slaves to sin, thinking it is “freedom”. I’ve been there! I remember the idea of “Free Love” that was so prevalent in the 1960’s… of course, “free love” was really a smokescreen for sin. Free Love ended up costing quite a bit for a lot of us.
Well said!! Freedom dictated by society costs us dearly. But thank God Jesus paid the price for true, eternal, spiritual freedom.
And yes, I love that we always have a choice. And by His grace we can choose life.
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts Joy.
well said. I like the term “freely bound”… Good blog title!!!
Yeah I heard it in a sermon once and liked it too! And thanks! Appreciate you taking the time to read it.
Freedom!!!!!!! Love it when Mel Gibson yells that out in Braveheart! Maybe we should play that scene in church each week to remind us all what we are fighting for
It’s a powerful scene isn’t it! That would be awesome. Sometimes we forget the battle we’re in the middle of!
Thanks for dropping by,
Great post! And I absolutely agree: Living as we please, which may seem appealing at first, isn’t that great at all! Why not follow the God who loves us unconditionally and find abundant life? God bless! 🙂
Absolutely! It’s such deceptive freedom isn’t it – thankfully He will never deceive or mislead. Thanks for taking the time to read it and writing such encouraging words. Hope you’re doing well. Blessings,
Wonderful message, Ali! I always wonder where all those wrong ideas come from, aside from the devil, that is! If folks weren’t so arrogant/prideful, they’d take a second look–and discover Jesus freedom is very empowering and so full of JOY. It’s not about rules just for rules sake–(safe boundaries, like you mentioned)–it’s about a relationship with HIM that we can NEVER LOSE. God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo
SO TRUE Caddo – there’s certainly a lot of lies people believe when it comes to true freedom. So thankful we’re ‘bound’ (in a really, really good way) to Him forever. Lots of love to you, and God bless all you put your hand to today x
You bring back memories of that ‘freedom’ that was so trapping and tangling that it almost killed me. So glad to be running in His green fields now, yelling freedom in Christ and living it each day! God bless you, Ali, as you rally us to Jesus!
I’m so glad you were freed from that Debbie, and thanks for that picture of you running and yelling his freedom now, daily. That’s beautiful. May it continue to be your battle cry until ‘it is finished’ and the eternal journey with Him begins! Thanks Debbie,
True freedom is found only in a relationship with Christ Jesus. We are either slaves to Christ out of redeeming love or we are bound as slaves to sin from a fallen nature. Good post!
So true Richard. So simple isn’t it? And I’m so glad, by His grace, we can make a choice who to serve each day of our lives.
Blessings to you,
Freely bound…nice! On the surface, it is counter-intuitive to think that we could have freedom under God’s guidance. But really, we gain so much freedom and have fuller lives when we obey his commandments and seek a relationship with Him.
Thanks Janna – I heard the expression in a sermon once and really liked it too! I know, it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people but it truly is a freeing relationship and way of life,
Thanks for dropping by and God bless!
Great article, I do like what your wrote that being a Christian is like “opening the door to new faith is truly like stepping into an open field of joy and dancing, celebration and wonder.”. You know the saying “dance like no one is watching” well we should all be dancing because God is watching! 🙂 Blessings – Patty
Thank you Patty!
And amen to that! – so glad he is watching, engaged with us, and enjoying our every move of joy, praise and celebration.
Thanks for stopping by my blog,
I love what you said: ‘We discover that ‘living as we pleased’ wasn’t living at all. But living as He pleases will truly set our hearts on fire…’ Powerful message, thanks & blessings 👑
Thank you! Living to please God is truly the most satisfying thing 🙂