1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
Freedom can be a tricky, even scary, thing. The devil is adept at using our weaknesses and insecurities to influence us for evil, and we have to be on our guard against that. I’m reminded of a brief clip I saw recently of a professor in the US who, as an object lesson, over the space of just a week or two, managed to get a class of students (either high school or college, I don’t remember) to act just like the Hitler Youth of Germany in the 1920s and ’30s, with uniforms, a hand gesture, and ostracism of those who didn’t conform. He was so successful that when he called an end to it and explained what he had done, they were absolutely mortified. Those students were free to participate or not, but they quickly twisted their freedom into evil, with the right stimuli. We see the same thing in churches, with some becoming cultish and others throwing Biblical morality out the window. None of that honors God! Paul also fought this battle, against legalism on the one hand and licentiousness on the other. (Galatians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20) Christians are free to listen to and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and that is far too precious to squander on momentary physical or emotional pleasures.
I have always been impressed with the human capacity for evil. When I was in high school I did a presentation in class on methods of torture (totally grossing out my classmates) because I found the subject fascinating. I recognize that apart from the grace of God, I could have become an absolute monster. That should keep me on my guard in terms of my own life, and it should help me understand those around me who have not avoided those pitfalls. Walking in fellowship with God by His Spirit is life and joy and peace, not to mention true liberty, (2 Corinthians 3:17) but the devil does all he can to tell us it’s “too hard,” that we’ll never make it. That, along with everything else he says, is a lie! I know from my own experience that God can take a potential monster and make him a missionary, and I need to help others understand and believe that too. I need to share the marvelous good news that God’s grace is indeed sufficient to cover all our sins, no mater how far we have fallen, if we will confess our own inability, repent of how and what we have been, and allow Him to work freely in us.
Father, I constantly run into people who think they have “gone too far,” that You aren’t interested in them any more, or that You were never interested in them in the first place. I ask for the anointing of Your Spirit to get through to them, so that they may indeed be set free from the lies that bind them, for their salvation and Your glory. (Luke 4:18-19) Thank You. Hallelujah!