For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. --Galatians 5:1
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Freedom: without it, life itself is impossible. To live is to be free.
Yet we see people everywhere deprived of freedom who live, or appear to live. What if, tomorrow, I am thrown into a prison cell, chained and tortured? It happened to Paul, and it did not seem to be much of a hindrance to his liberty. He could pray and believe and love. Nothing can separate us from the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Tomorrow will mark 238 years since a solemn assembly issued our Declaration of Independence. As a nation we have wandered far from the path of freedom, the trail marked by the Founders, but hope that we will again find our way remains. It depends on us. No nation or people may long be free who submit to the slavery of sin and seek to live independent of truth and of God.
Meanwhile, we as individuals have the choice to reject the world, the flesh and the devil and the shackles of delusion, regardless of what the majority choose, regardless of governments, of oppressive, ungodly laws and tyrannical regulations. If we do not have freedom in our hearts, we will not see it on the earth. If we do, there has not been and never will be forged the chain that can bind us.
Tomorrow, I will thank God that I was born in the time and place I was, born an American with all the opportunities that I have enjoyed. Especially I will give thanks for the privilege of knowing Christ, of being set free through the cross from the dark dungeon of falsehood. Perhaps, too, I will offer a prayer of confession and repentance for too often turning from the light to chase after shadows, of sometimes preferring the darkness where I might seek to hide an evil deed. I will remind myself that the decadence of a nation or of a class is no excuse for debauchery in myself, that I mock liberty and can never be free of oppression if I am willing to oppress and enslave others for my own benefit.
The Lord says that He desires truth in the inwards part, honesty in my heart. Where there is no truth, there can be no freedom. If we are willing to know the truth, the truth will indeed set us free (John 8:32).
Have a happy 4th of July. May God's grace be shed upon us and deliver our nation from destruction.