2016-11-09 - Freedom
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” (Isaiah 61:1 NIV; verse repeated in Luke 4:18 NIV)
The purpose of freedom (free will) is to release us from slavery, and allow us to choose the love of a Savior. As children, we are taught basic precepts from which freedom is derived, and then at a certain point, we begin to make our own choices. We start small with clothing choices, food choices, friends to spend time with - and later, perhaps things like class choices when there are electives, and so on. As we begin to have more options, we then also realize that the process of making our own decisions can be less attractive, and not quite as fun as it seemed in theory.
I remember when our kids were little, and they began to get to an age, they decided they didn’t want a certain kind of food that had always been their favorite. They really enjoyed being able to try something new, and then they would want it for a while, before moving on to a new favorite. Then we would go out to eat on occasion, and they would be able to order for themselves. At first it seemed great, but then they were overwhelmed with all the choices, and had no idea what to pick. Sometimes they would refuse to choose something, so we would order them something. And then again, when a little bit older, they learned if they wanted something to eat, they needed to make a decision - because we weren’t ordering for a thirteen- or fourteen year-old anymore. Sometimes I still struggle with ordering out, and am relieved I can often look at menus online before getting there, so I can have a couple things in mind, should I not be sure upon arrival. Decisions and the choices related to them can be far less appealing, when we now need to make them. There’s a certain amount of being a child, at least for me, that was quite wonderful. I was free to enjoy many aspects of life, with a total confidence that I would be taken care of by my parents. It was something I didn’t have to worry about at all and not common for everyone, having their physical and emotional needs supplied.
Our Father in Heaven wants us to have the same kind of peace of mind, spiritually, that I and our children were able to have growing up physically and emotionally. Whether we realize it or not, we all long for protection, boundaries and discipline. It starts with the physical, and then we develop it mentally - and hopefully at some point, it all translates into a spiritual freedom that protects us with a love unspeakable in an eternal way. We do have to choose spiritual freedom, because a love not chosen freely is not truly love at all.And God wants to be chosen by us, so it is as real to us as it was for Him when he conceived the thought of us. He created each of us for a reason, starting with the fact he wanted us with Him. If not, why would he have done so in his own image and likeness, and then said it was “very good?” (Genesis 1:31 NIV)
“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.” (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted