Freedom; May 8, 2023

Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

Of all the nations on earth, America is probably the one most founded on, and obsessed with, freedom. However, the devil has been working overtime to pervert that very concept, to the point that many people equate freedom with perversion. The Japanese for this verse doesn’t use the word, freedom, but rather says, “I will walk about broadly,” that is, without restrictions. However you translate the first half of the verse, it is the second half that gives the secret: seeking God’s precepts, His rules for life. The average person equates religion with restrictions, but that’s another of the devil’s lies. In actual fact, God’s rules free us from the chains of sin and death. As Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) John pointed out, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:3-4) We want to be overcomers, but we don’t want to follow God’s guidelines. How self-defeating! It is only in Christ that we are truly free from the flesh and the world – which also teaches us that we have trouble abiding in Christ in this life. That’s one of the things that make heaven so inviting! Until that time, we achieve the greatest freedom by focusing on Christ and following Him. “What Would Jesus Do” has had periods of popularity as a slogan, but we need to remember that Jesus was totally obedient to His Father, and the more we emulate that the freer we are to be and do exactly what we were created for, for our greatest blessing and God’s glory.

Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I don’t do a lot of things that some people find enjoyable, but I do other things that bring me, I’m convinced, far more real joy that they know nothing about. I have known the Bible from childhood, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always been true to it. The more I walk in step with my Lord, the more freedom I experience. As the Bill Gaither song says, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” Like everyone else, I chafe at restrictions of various sorts, but I have found that obedience to God brings genuine freedom, and I am deeply grateful.

Father, thank You for the freedom that comes from You alone. Thank You for opening the way through your Son to freedom from sin and death. Help me be more effective in letting people know of that freedom and inviting them into it, so that the devil’s works may be destroyed indeed, (1 John 3:8) and multitudes be set free to be Your children, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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