What Is True Freedom?
Do you live in fraudulent freedom? Or are you truly free? Some people insists they can do whatever they want and call that freedom. Yet they are miserable. Fraudulent freedom produces just that: pure misery.
You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! (Romans 6:17-18, MSG)
When we offer ourselves to God we can find true freedom. It is one of the paradoxes of faith: When we lose ourselves we gain ourselves. When we give up our freedom to do whatever we please we find true freedom. Obedience brings blessings into our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Blessings produce healing and holiness in our lives. That’s true freedom.
I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness? (Romans 6: 19, MSG)
Fraudulent freedom lures people to do whatever they want no matter how much their actions hurt other people. Fraudulent freedom takes hostages. Fraudulent freedom robs your life. Fraudulent freedom brings nothing but misery. Yet people think they are free. They’ve been thought that self-centeredness is freedom. But that’s a fraud. And believing the lie and living the lie leads to a dead end.
As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end. (Romans 6:20-21, MSG)
But we have a choice in Jesus. When we are saved by grace through faith we don’t have to live in fraudulent freedom. We can have the real thing. We can live in true freedom. When we surrender our lives to Jesus we receive blessings into our lives. God heals us, puts us together, and offers us life and more life.
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6: 22-23, MSG)
Once you’ve experienced true freedom in Christ you don’t want to go back to fraudulent freedom. Once you’ve lived life the Jesus way you don’t want to live it any other way. The world has hard time understanding why obedience could produce true freedom but it does just that. Because it is God who is bringing gifts into our lives. Because it is God blessing us. Because it is all God! It’s not us putting our lives together. It is God’s wild grace freeing us from death to real life in Jesus.
Thank you for giving us a choice!
Thank you for offering us true freedom!
Free us from fraudulent freedom!
Enable us to surrender to you day after day.
Show us what it is to live in your grace.
Bless us. Keep us. Send us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How has the trap of fraudulent freedom caught you? How did you get out?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you walk in true freedom!
Photo courtesy of Kendall Conner