So I’ve been studying the book of Exodus. I thought it fitting this week as we celebrate our Nation’s freedom. Both focus on our need to be free. As humans we were not made to be in bondage. We were not designed to wear shackles of any kind whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually. We were made for freedom.
Gerald May, a Christian psychologist and author, states, “The freedom question is not whether we can do whatever we want but whether we can do what we most deeply want.”
I love that! So what was I made to want? The book of Exodus tells us.
The people of Israel were enslaved for 400 years. For us, that would be since 1610. A lot has happened since then. A lot had happened to them as well. For 400 years, they were treated like animals. For 400 years, they were subject to the whims of their unfriendly leaders. They were God’s people but not allowed to worship God. So God raises up Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go that they might serve Me.” Through 10 plagues, God repeated His command. “Let My people go that they might serve Me.” When God has them in the desert, He gives them the Law. After 400 years, God was teaching them how to be fully human again rather than enslaved. We were made to serve God.
Our freedom is not so that we can do whatever we want. Our freedom was purchased for us so that we can do what most deeply satisfies us: serve God. Galatians 5 tells us that it was for the purpose of freedom that Christ set us free. Paul then goes on to say (in verse 13), “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” There’s the law again. Freedom and law go together. Freedom is about loving God and others.
I wish our country understood that. I feel so blessed to personally know soldiers who are protecting us and fighting for our freedom right now. I know some who have paid the ultimate price so that I can sit here and write a Christ-centered blog without being arrested or killed for it. So how, as a nation, are we using our freedom? Are we using it to serve God and others or are we using it to get whatever we want? All I know is this: the only true freedom that a human can experience is that which Christ provides. All other “freedom” is bondage to sin.
I pray that as we celebrate this 4th of July, we would remember what true freedom is all about!