Freedom is put into the wrong category these days. It is a selfish attempt to get what we want and be the center of our own little world. This week is a call beyond selfish ambition to step into the freedom of God. He calls us to four things to reflect on from His perspective.
1. Free from anxiety–There are so many things which constantly catch and grab our attention. A lot of them are vain trifles. In reference to an earlier post, a flea, versus what really matters most. Which is the will of God and seeking only what He wants and desires. Doing all things for His pleasure and not our own.
2. Free from the Devil’s power–He does exist. C.S. Lewis has this important quote. “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) ix. He is simple to deal with because he is subject to the authority of Jesus Christ and has already lost the battle. The next is the harder to deal with.
3. Free from hardness of heart–That means letting go of our own ideas and embracing God’s. It means detaching from our way and sin to choosing to do good. It means repentance. It means opening our hands to what God has for us and receiving both blessing and suffering. Jesus cast out many demons but He encountered far more thousands of hardened hearts. Those who just wanted to be fed physically instead of spiritually, cured physically but not transformed wholly. He met many that would not obey His commands and amend their lives to follow His Way and let go of their own. Here is the challenge: can I let go of my own way and ideas to embrace God’s?
4. Free to Love–God is so wondrous we cannot even stand His Glory without death. The Israelites call out, “Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.” So God has compassion on us and sends us an intermediary. He sends us Jesus Christ like us in all things but sin. He is our very brother. We must listen to His Word and follow in the way He marks out for us. This way of life is one lived in love, putting the needs of others first before our own. This does not mean we don’t take care of our own needs because Jesus also calls us to love ourselves. To put into context what Jesus wants (His ultimate love was the cross,) think of this acronym; JOY. Jesus Others You. It means free to love and be in a relationship with Jesus and others.