Freedom in Jesus

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. (Galatians 5:13-14 The Message)

Oh, how I long to be free, to not have any limitations or constraints to struggle against, to be able to do whatever I want whenever I want and have the resources available to do it! But this idea of freedom conveniently avoids facing an important fact. I am assuming that my idea of freedom will help me thrive, and that simply is not true.

A fish in an aquarium is alive, but not free. If you dump that fish onto a sidewalk, it is free, but soon it will not be alive. True life and true freedom for a fish would be to swim in the open ocean near a coral reef where food and protective places are available in abundance.

Aquarium fish by Kazuend-25768-unsplash
Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Every human being was created for a relationship with God. It is what we need like a fish needs water. But there are also counterfeit water sources available which will keep us alive, like the water in an aquarium, but without the true source of living water, we will never be free.

The Good News is that Jesus has built a net to scoop us out of our self-built aquariums and set us free. Using cross threads of God’s perfect love and His perfect justice, Jesus lifts us out of our prison of perpetually striving to earn favour, significance, or healing for ourselves and He sets us free in the open water of His unconditional forgiveness. Nourished by Jesus words of love and grace, we freely admit our tarnished past and the darkness of our sin-soaked soul. The only opinion that counts says that those things don’t matter anymore. God’s infinite love for us is what defines us.

In Jesus, we are truly free.

This means that we are free to love those around us in life-giving ways. We don’t need to manage or control or manipulate or direct the adults around us. We don’t need that for ourselves and they don’t need it either. What others need is to be loved with God’s love. We provide that love and then we watch without interference as Jesus scoops them up with His Gospel net and set them free in the realm of His love and forgiveness.

Jesus has set you and me free to love. As we love others freely, freedom grows.

Dear Jesus, thank You for the freedom You have given me. Help me to live and love in that freedom. Come and have Your way in me. Use me to make freedom grow. Amen.

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