Today is July 4th, it’s kind of a big deal here in America. For those of you readers who are not from the states, this is the time when we eat, eat, and do some more eating then shoot fire. Okay, it’s a tad more than that. It’s a time where we celebrate the conception of our country, a country that chose to be free rather than held back by another person. To this day we have soldiers that continue to fight for freedom, because we all want to be free. It’s hard wired into all people, we want to be free. Freedom is one of those tricky ideas, too much freedom can lead us into trouble, the first sin by Adam and Eve was caused by their desire to live independently from God. At the same time, God doesn’t want us to be mindless followers, so, what exactly should we do. The solution is that we live in freedom by dependent on Christ. That’s the beauty of our awesome creator, when we choose to follow him and his ways, he gives freedom unlike anything else. We have been called to live in freedom.
So, we have been called to live under the teachings of Christ, but how does the living in freedom work? Freedom in Christ isn’t a free pass to do what we want, it is the power to serve others in love. Galatians 5:13-14 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” We are free because when we love others like ourselves, we are no longer slaves. I believe there are some keys to living in freedom, today I want to focus on three practical steps that this can be achieved. Yesterday in my church’s children’s ministry, we talked about the story of Jesus and just how powerful his life was. He was a man who walked in freedom each day. What we told the kids is that the story of Jesus is for everyone, every single person no matter what they look like or where they’ve come from. We all need to share the power that is in the story of Christ. So today I want to help you live in freedom so that you will have the courage to be empowered to share this incredible story with every single person you see.
We’re all screw-ups.
And that’s okay! One of the biggest things to understand is that none of us are perfect. You will make mistakes, but those mistakes don’t have to define you. You can either let the mistakes and the sin control you, or you can use it to propel you into God’s vision for your life. Here’s the key, don’t let your sin stay in the darkness, get accountable. When you confess the sin with your words, it loses the hold it once had. Our enemy wants you to hide away and let it hold you back, but God wants to use is to move you forward. I’m a screw-up, I have never been perfect, but I will work hard to live in freedom by confessing my sin and receive healing. That’s the beauty of Christ, he doesn’t care that we make mistakes, all he wants is for us to follow him and press into his word. We’re all screw-ups, but with Christ we have spiritual victory.
We’re all unique.
There will never be anyone just like you. Even if you have a twin, no two people are ever the same, we all have been given gifts and talents that make us individual from all others. When we lose sight of our individual nature, we lose freedom. We become obsessed with trying to fit in or be something we’re not, which causes us to live in bondage. God made us exactly who we are for a purpose. Step into who God made you to be, because he made you for a reason. Focusing in on who you are called to be allows for you to live in freedom, so be who you are. Who you are is exactly who God made you to be.
We’re made in the image of God.
I love this sentiment, since the beginning of creation God created man in his image. This means that you are loved more than anything, you have value, and you were made with a purpose. When we begin to focus on this fact, nothing else seems to matter. Like a switch being flipped, it no longer matter what others say to us or how we may be attacked by the enemy, all that matters is the truth that you have been made in the image of God. This allows us to live in freedom because we hold to the one who is above all others. We can claim freedom over our lives, rejecting the enemy and moving forward, never worrying about tomorrow. You are made in the image of God, and he allows us to live in freedom.
As you celebrate the freedom of a country today, remember the freedom that comes from a God who loves you so much. You don’t have to live in fear, in slavery to sin, or constantly trying to be like everyone around you. Instead you can receive healing from mistakes, stepping into your unique nature, and know that you have been made in the image of God. Have fun today and celebrate freedom, and always remember that true freedom comes from a dependence on Christ.
Live in freedom.