In this series, we have asked the members of Freshley staff to choose a verse close to their heart and write on what they believe God is saying through it.
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]
There tend to be two pitfalls when it comes to living a life of “freedom.” Most people tend to be on one side where a true, genuine, real relationship with God is too difficult, so they choose to follow a set of do’s and don’ts to make them feel connected with God. Then on the other side, there are people who think freedom in Christ means that you now get to live however you want to live, free of any consequence because you get to go to heaven. At some point or another, most likely all of us have been on one side or another. But what does true freedom actually look like?
What does it actually mean that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free?”
The second part of this verse tells us to stand firm. Wait. So we actually have to DO something in order to maintain our freedom? Exactly. But then that is followed up with “do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.” Seems kind of contradictory right? If you keep reading this chapter, Paul begins to talk about what it means to walk by the Spirit. The point he is trying to make is that while it is difficult, and often the opposite of what our flesh wants to do, DOING life with God is the thing that is going to bring us the most freedom. Not following a list of rules, or even doing whatever sounds fun and enjoyable will bring you the most freedom, but doing what God tells you to will bring you the most freedom.
All of that sounds good, but what does it practically look like to do what God tells you to do?
John 16:13 shows us that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to guide us. Don’t be intimidated by the words “Holy Spirit”. It's just God. It’s God’s power that is going to help you live in freedom. When you spend time getting to know God whether in scripture, in worship, through prayer, or whatever other ways you can think of, your mind will begin to change. Not only will your mind begin to change, but the way you live will begin to change. God will put a thought in your mind that will stick with you until you act upon it. He will convict you when you aren’t living in true freedom. True freedom is found in knowing God, and because of the way you know God, doing the things that He tells you to do.
To end, ask yourself this question: am I living in true freedom? To some extent, all of us have areas of our life where we aren’t living in true freedom. Ask Jesus to help you walk in more freedom, and find more joy and satisfaction in Him than ever before.
God, I thank You that You are a God of freedom!! Thank You for the ways that You love me so wholly. Lord, I repent for choosing bondage where You have complete freedom and joy for me. I ask that You will show me where You have freedom for me. How can I partner with You to get there? I give it all to You, God. I love You!!! In Your name I pray, amen.