Happy Fourth of July! And God’s favor on the freedom you enjoy today. I can’t help but ponder the 4th because, like most of our holidays, we are removed from the real pain and sacrifice of the individuals who broke the ground before us. It’s embarrassing really. I am trying to decide whether to grill hamburgers AND hot-dogs, as compared to my ancestors who were literally fighting with their lives for the independence I am now enjoying.
As a lover of Jesus, my freedom is doubly significant. He also fought with His very Life for the freedom I am now enjoying.
So what do I do with this outrageous gift?
Paul’s letter to the Galatians has thoughts about it.
“Plant your feet firmly therefore within the freedom that Christ has won for us, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the shackles of slavery.” (Galatians 1:5, Phillips Translation)
Did you enjoy my oh-soft-intro? Let’s heat it up a bit.
Here are the shackles of slavery we have been freed from:
Performance and legalism — futile efforts to try and to earn God’s love.
Politics and public opinions — attempts to deceive and distract us from God’s truth.
Selfishness and Pride — focusing on our accomplishments rather than God working in us
Fear of man’s rejection — raising others above God’s opinion of us
Fear of death and hell — obsession or denial of a certain act and decided future
We are free from all of these, and so much more, in Jesus.
Which leads to the same questions spiritually we are asking as a country?
Can we maintain our freedom?
How do we maintain our freedom?
Are there areas where we have lost our standing?
“Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do. For love completes the laws of God. All of the law can be summarized in one grand statement: “Demonstrate love to your neighbor, even as you care for and love yourself.”” Galatians 5:13-14 TPT
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
To which the pundits cry, what is love? How do I know if your idea of love is the same as mine?
It’s neither. It’s God’s idea of love because it’s God’s Son who bought our freedom.
We are grateful recipients of a life we could never attain on our own.
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you
is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart,
and strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities,
for they are meant to be limitless.
We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.”
Galatians 5:22-23, 25 TPT
It’s for THIS kind of freedom you have been set free. Free to be loved perfectly by Perfect Love.