July 4th is the day set aside in the United States to celebrate independence and freedom. That freedom came at a price. Many sacrificed their lives to make America free. Today, many take that freedom for granted. Many abuse that freedom. Many allow their personal freedom to cause harm to others. Freedom misused is dangerous. God gave free will to every human being. Misusing that freedom can be dangerous for our soul. Please read more…
By God’s will, mankind was granted free will and this freedom gave man the ability to choose right from wrong. This freedom was granted so that every person could choose, or not choose, to seek his or her creator. God does not force Himself on anyone. Each person is free to act according to their own will. True freedom, however, is achieved when our actions are directed towards God.
From the first to the last book of the Bible we read accounts of people mishandling the freedom God granted them. Often their sinful behaviors, in addition to negatively impacting their relationship with God, caused them to lose their physical freedom. We especially see this in the Babylonian and Egyptian captivity.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve we have witnessed a history filled with sin and oppression. We have all inherited the propensity to sin. The consequence of our collective sinfulness is clearly seen in our world today. We see it in unjust economic, political, social, and cultural activities. When we chose to make bad choices, those choices can leave us imprisoned to ourselves and they can negatively impact those around us.
It was precisely because of man’s continual abuse of his freedom and his tendency to choose sin, that Christ came into the world. When we disobey God and choose evil, we become slaves to sin.
Through His death on the cross, Jesus won salvation for all who believe in Him. Paul says this in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Finally, in John 8:34-36 we see this, “Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.”
Even when we are believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we still find ourselves struggling to use our free will properly. Just because we have been set free by Jesus, we are not free to do anything we choose. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 we see this, “Everything is lawful for me,” but not everything is beneficial. Everything is lawful for me, but I will not let myself be dominated by anything.”
Unfortunately, too many people today are still living in spiritual slavery. They have replaced the pursuit of God with the pursuit of money, power, worldly possessions and sex. Galatians 5:13 tells us, “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.”
We can also misuse our freedom through our pride and vanity. We can forfeit our freedom through addictions to alcohol, pornography, drugs, and gluttony. How are you misusing your God given freedom? One good way to see if you are truly choosing to pursue God is to ask yourself this question. Where do you spend your time, your thoughts, and your money?
God has given us the freedom to choose our own path. We are personally responsible for the choices we make. Freedom is a gift we must all choose to use wisely. Each choice we make is an opportunity to either grow in perfection or to fall further into sinfulness. The best use of one’s life is to live a life devoted to God. The more we do what is good, the freer we become.
There is no doubt that all people want to be free. But we must remain vigilant. The improper use of freedom can be dangerous. I began by stating that July 4th is the day set aside in the United States to celebrate freedom. If we want to celebrate our spiritual freedoms, we don’t do it by setting off fireworks. We celebrate and gain freedom by spending more time in God’s Word. John 8:31-32 gives us this assurance, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my freedom and free will. Help me to always chose what is right and to avoid the allure of sin. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!
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