Ok, so that title is a cheap attempt to get your attention, if you’re reading this it may have worked!
“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
What is freedom and what does it look like?
I mean, we live in America so do we event understand what freedom is. I believe to understand something you have to understand what it isn’t as well. So do we no what a lack of freedom looks like? Probably not, unless you were born in another country.
Well, this theory applies to freedom within a nation but how does it apply to self? We live in America so the word freedom has become synonymous with our identity. But what if I were to suggest that the freedom that we love so dearly may just be a mask or bandaid? What if national freedom didn’t mean freedom at all?
As individuals we are constantly struggling with thoughts and emotions that can be more enslaving than the strictest of dictators. Our minds and hearts can keep us trapped more than any physical obstruction. When I think of freedom I have begun to look at it as something much more than the right to bear arms while drinking a beer around a camp fire.
The truest sense of freedom, for me, is the absence of trying to meet an unrealistic expectation. Freedom to love life. Freedom to engage others. Freedom to give. Freedom to receive. Freedom from comparison to others.
On my ride home from work tonight I was thinking about freedom and what it means. I immediately flashed back to several conversations that I had throughout the night where I experienced freedom. It was small pieces of it, but freedom nonetheless. I was free to share the kingdom of heaven with others. I was free to even do that without using divisive speech… I was free to simply love. That was an amazing feeling.
You see, Christ set us free. I’m not bound by slavery. I don’t have to compare myself to others in ministry. All that I have to do is walk in the freedom that Christ has graced me with and trust him within that. I don’t have to worry about how others may perceive my ministry. Who cares if they don’t see the validity in it? I’m free to do this the way that I was created to do it.
Now this may seem like a rant, but it’s not at all. Nobody has questioned the way that I minister in quite sometime, other than myself. I have enslaved myself and told myself lies. I have compared myself to others, and said that their ministry was more valuable than mine. Truth is… it’s not my ministry, and it’s not their ministry. The ministry all belongs to Jesus. He frees us from slavery and then allows us to partner with Him in HIS ministry. The “effectiveness” is not something that can be gauged by any known standard. We are talking about a supernatural divine ministry.
Talk about freedom! I’m free from the way of thinking that had me trapped before knowing Jesus, and now I’m free from earning merit by “winning souls” because Jesus is the one doing all the work there. Some of you may say, “Bobby, this doesn’t sound like you. What about faith without works is dead?” To that I say what I have always said- The works are just a byproduct of the faith… they do not and cannot produce faith. Me loving Jesus is going to have the natural by product of works of love. But that’s all Jesus, and none of me.
The freedom of that Jesus has bestowed upon me is one of the most amazing feelings ever. I can say that I’m a better friends, boss, coworker, father, husband, minister and whatever else you can think of because of that freedom. It’s funny that an instrument that was designed to bring torture and oppression has brought the world more freedom than anyone could have imagined. Thank you Jesus for the freedom you show us through your death on the cross and then even more so when you showed us the ultimate freedom in your resurrection.