Freedom in Christ (Day 3)
For years, I believed God was working against my personal freedom. I pictured Him as a divine Lawgiver who spent the majority of His time creating new ways to further restrict my liberty. Statements such as the one found in Galatians 5:1 made little sense to me: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.” I would read them over and over and wonder why, if Christ came to set us free, I felt like such a slave.
Then one day when I was reading Genesis, a thought popped into my mind: Adam and Eve had only one rule (Gen. 2:17). Imagine living in a world where there was only one rule! The implications are astounding. Most significant, however, is the fact that in the perfect environment, where God had everything just the way He wanted it, He issued only one “thou shalt not.” To put it another way, God’s not a God of rules. Our God is a God of freedom. In the beginning, He placed the first man and woman in a beautiful garden and for all practical purposes said, “You’re free to enjoy yourselves.”
“So,” you may ask, “why all the moral and ethical taboos now?” The answer is found in Genesis 3. Our earliest ancestors did the very thing they were told not to do and so opened the door for sin to enter the world. And with sin came death. Thus, humanity became a slave to sin and death.
Whereas our world teaches that freedom is gained by throwing off all restraint, Scripture teaches us that the opposite is true. Human beings forfeited a great deal of freedom in an attempt to gain absolute freedom. As we begin to put two and two together, it becomes increasingly clear that freedom is gained and maintained by adherence to God’s laws. Just as a good father sets loving limitations for his children, so our heavenly Father sets moral and ethical perimeters for us.
Once again, the bottom line is trust. Can we trust God knows what’s best for us? Can we believe He really has our best interests in mind? Adam and Eve didn’t. And they lost the very freedom they were convinced their sin would ensure them. What about you? Are you willing to accept that God is a God of freedom—that His laws are for your protection, given to ensure and not hamper your freedom? If so, take a few moments to surrender to God the areas over which you’ve maintained control. Confess your lack of faith, then rest in the assurance God will grant you the maximum amount of freedom available in this sinful world.