“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NASB)
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13 NASB)
Jesus gave His life to purchase our freedom. And He wants us to fully embrace that freedom. But what does that mean? And how do we know if we are living free?
Often when people hear freedom they think of external freedoms – what they can participate in, indulge in, or express. Think of how many high school graduates view starting college. Suddenly they move into adulthood and they think of how they can do what they want, whenever they want. They are excited they don’t have a parent looking over their shoulder or telling them what to do. And if they are not careful, at the end of their freshman year they might look back to a year of poor grades, bad choices, and many consequences to face. Why? Because they had a misconception of adulthood. Even though as an adult they have the freedom to make choices, those choices pave the way for their future. And while skipping class and partying may feel good at the moment, it is far from what mature adulthood should look like.
In the same way, Galatians 5:13 challenges us to examine how we use our freedom. Our freedom in Christ does not mean we serve ourselves and our own purposes. It means we have a greater purpose, the purpose of knowing God’s love and sharing that love with others. While the world views freedom as self-serving, Christ’s freedom gives us a new way of living. Living out our freedom should be life-giving, not only to us, but to everyone we come in contact with.
When you hear that Christ has called us to freedom, what do you think that means?
Do your actions reflect a self-centered and worldly freedom or do they display Christ’s freedom and love?
What steps do you need to take toward living out the freedom you are called to?
Father, I know that as your child, You have called me to freedom. Forgive me for the times when I don’t embrace Your freedom or when I use that freedom to serve myself. Help me as I learn how to fully live out this calling to freedom. Help me to see the opportunities You give me to serve others and share Your love. Thank You for opening my eyes to see what freedom really means. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.