Galatians 5:1-5, 24-25
Verse 1 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.
Liberty – freedom with responsibility. For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about how we worship God by living the way He wants us to live. Today we see that there is liberty in obeying God’s standards and allowing the Spirit to change us from the inside out.
We like freedom, don’t we? In our way of thinking it usually means being able to do what we want, when we want. But the truth of a healthy freedom is that there are boundaries that we need to stay in. The way that liberty is defined above may not be popular but it will be fulfilling.
God didn’t make rules to take the fun out of live. No, remember that Jesus said He came to give a more abundant life (John 10:10). If God’s standards our cramping our style we need to ask ourselves why we are upset. Likely it is because our pleasures are being stifled. We start questioning God’s ways when they don’t match with ours. And what does that tell us? That we are focusing on ourselves instead of God or in other words, worshiping ourselves instead of Him.
So how can we come to see His way of living as living free and liberating? Well first we need to adjust our thinking about what freedom looks like. Sometimes a good way to see something clearly is to look at it from the opposite view. What if we looked at God’s ways of freedom that way? For example let’s look at God’s command about keeping the Sabbath. Portions of history and even in some modern cultures may find this command as silly since they value rest but in western society we rush, rush, rush. So where is the freedom in having a day of rest? We miss a whole day of being able to get things done if we take a day of rest. But God gives us freedom from becoming a slave of our job or our things through giving us a day of dedication to Him.
So it is with all the commands that God has put in place for us. He has set up these guardrails so that we stay on the straight and narrow and has given us the Holy Spirit to help us grow in the fruit of a godly life. This is our liberty. We are free to live within the bounds of God’s guidelines and that is where the joy of freedom is experienced. Worshiping Him through a life of obedience brings great joy.
Making It Personal
Do you find freedom boring? What about obeying can bring joy? Do you find joy in knowing you are in His will?
Making It Personal Kids
What does the word freedom mean? Do you like freedom? Do you think of following the rules as freedom? What does loving Jesus make you free to do?
Father, thank You for helping us find freedom through obedience to Your statutes. Give us an ever growing desire to obey You and find the joy that comes from living Your way. In Jesus’ name, amen.