Then it occurred to me that freedom is a interesting concept, because it can be interpreted in many ways. Am I free because I can be who I want and do what I want? In a sense this is true; although only to an extend, because I am limited by rules and laws of course! But let's not think about freedom in a political sense or discuss different religions and cultures, because the freedom I find most intriguing is the freedom mentioned in Romans and Galatians. Freedom in the Spirit.
As Christians we have laws in addition to the rules and restrictions people set for us on earth. But God's law is unique in that He allows us to choose whether we want to follow them or not. Oh, how lucky we are as Christians that we have been gifted free will from God! Some have chosen not to follow God just yet, maybe because they still want to indulge in life or maybe because it is simply easier not to follow His way.
It is wrongly said that we will enter into eternal life if we follow the law set out for us in the Bible but this makes many of us feel that we are enslaved and thus we tend to postpone choosing the path of the Lord. It is simpler to just ignore God and live life as we want to, until we destroy ourselves and realise that we have made the wrong decision.
Rather, He comes knocking on the door of our hearts often throughout our lives to call on us to rethink our choice, to repent and accept Him as our saviour. Still many of us do not answer His call. These souls have ironically lost part of their free will, because they enslave themselves to sin. If we choose to be sinful in order to be free from the restrictions that God's law places on us we are rewarded by the short pleasure that sin provides.
It is short lived and will pass, thus we need sin repeatedly in order to receive the good feeling again. We end up consumed by sin, far away from God and as a result we are enslaved by a different god: sin. We end up feeling unsatisfied, unhappy, empty. "They have been fooled into thinking that they have true freedom, for they are prisoners of the law of sin and death in their members." (Romans 8 verse 2)
Freed from the flesh to serve the Spirit.
I'm reminded God has sent His only Son to set us free and forgive us our weaknesses. "Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don't be entangled again with a yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5 verse 1). By serving the Spirit we are enslaved by righteousness and thus we are not bound to any law (true freedom) we would want to follow the Lords way of life.
Because we do not feel enslaved by it, we experience true freedom and by being free we experience love in our lives. We automatically love one another and we feel loved by others.
I smiled to myself. Here I sit with my coffee, thinking about things I probably don't fully understand, envying the freedom of birds while I am already as free as anyone can be. It makes me happy to know that I am already free, because I was gifted with free will and I chose God. Now, saying this is easy but how does God want us to do it? I am not sure, but I do think that Romans 12 verses 9-21 gives us a good start. I leave you with this lovely scripture.
Love in Action (Romans 12 verses 9-21)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Leanne van Rensburg grew up on a farm in a small town in South-Africa. Leanne earned degrees in biotechnology and microbiology and moved to Australia in 2012, working as an oncology technician in Sydney. Leanne is adventurous that loves taking risks and trying new things.
Leanne van Rensburg previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/leanne-van-rensburg.html