Freedom; a word that means different things to different people. The dictionary would define it as, “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” There is a stigma that surrounds the word. I’ve heard the argument that it only belongs to certain people. I’ve heard the pain in another's voice when speaking about their lack of it. We’ve seen thousands of people die for it, and we’ve seen millions cry for it.
Have you ever felt like you could never find the freedom that you were chasing?
In America, we cling to the rights that it provides. Freedom to practice religion, freedom to speak your mind, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition. As if these rights were truly the freedom that we had been desiring. As if there wasn’t more going on inside our hearts than in the world around us. We act as if the freedom that the world provides us is enough to make us feel free.
"After chasing freedom for thousands of years, how are the people of this world still not free?"
After chasing freedom for thousands of years, how are the people of this world still not free? Why do we still walk around in bondage and in chains? What is the freedom that we by nature seak, and how do we find it?
When talking about freedom, our minds instinctively think of slavery, war, or prisoners. But aside from the evil people of this world, there is something stronger that holds us in bondage; there is something stronger that separates us from our freedom. Those words that someone said to you as a child that rings in your ears, or that memory of someone who kicked you while you were down, maybe it’s the disappointment that you can still see on your parents or your teachers face. Or maybe its not at all what someone did to you, but rather what you’ve done. Maybe it’s something that keeps you tossing and turning at night, never being able to forgive yourself. The countless times you’ve cried in regret, or the fear you have that holds you back from being who you so desperately want to be. The hurt from our lives holds us so tightly and gives us no room to breathe; the exhaustion sets in from fighting it for so long, and there is no freedom in sight.
But there is one who can provide us with the freedom that our hearts have been searching for and He is woven throughout Scripture. The sinless man who was crucified and then resurrected three days later, graciously offers us FREEDOM from all of our sins and our shame; His love is unconditional and His mercies will never end. Jesus says in John 8:34-36,“Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” The freedom that we’ve been searching for has been available to us for the past 2000 years, yet we still look elsewhere. Some turn to substances to gain freedom from their thoughts and emotions, others turn to relationships to find freedom from themselves or their pasts, and time after time the things of this world fail us.
The Apostle Paul wrote multiple books of the Bible from prison, yet while in prison he empowered Christians all over talking about the freedom and joy in Christ. In Ephesians 3:13, he is writing to the church of Ephesus and tells them not to lose heart about him being in jail because this is part of God’s plan for him. Even in chains, Paul feels free, he writes in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
"our fantasies, our lives, our plans, our doubts, our fear, our depression, our anxiety. Jesus died for them all"
There is freedom in surrender. Surrendering our fantasies, our lives, our plans, our doubts, our fear, our depression, our anxiety. Jesus died for them all, He died so that we can be free from the burdens and the hurt that this world tears us down with. He died so that we didn’t have to live in regret and so that the things of our past wouldn’t destroy our future. He died so that no man on this earth could enslave your heart or your mind, but so He could cherish it and protect it forever.
Jesus Christ is freedom; our sins and shame have no hold on us when He breaks those chains, and He’s waiting eagerly… so what are you waiting for?
Written by Jordan Arce,
Well Youth Lead at Wellspring Church
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