Psalm 118:5 “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”
One woman finds her heart-felt freedom in gardening. Another woman finds her freedom on her bicycle. A man says that he finds soul freedom riding his motorcycle on backcountry roads.
What is your way to find freedom within your soul?
How can you make it more lasting, beyond the freeing short-term activity?
The road to freedom does not mean infringing the rights of others; it is finding that personal inner road that leads to a freeing sense of self, totally focused on being one with God.
Songwriter and singer Charlie Daniels wrote:
A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.
Do you feel free right now? This is a great day for beginning the road to personal freedom. Right now, this very moment, is an exciting moment in the history of our lives IF we choose to make it so. We choose to walk with God and not be held down captive, and enslaved by our problems.
H. L. Mencken said, “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that humans have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of a human can flourish only in free air………”
So we celebrate our inner freedom today from oppression and limitations, so we can grow and change and develop as a spiritual people. We love to experience all the things God has already provided for us. We cannot do that if we are not thinking freely—if we find ourselves in bondage, if we are holding ourselves back or limiting ourselves.
In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
The spiritual truth is that you have God with you every moment of the day and night, that knowledge and awareness will make you free.
Let’s define freedom. Do we think freedom means we can do anything we want to do? We have heard people say, “This is my life and I’ll live it as I please! You can’t tell me what to do with my life. I’m a free person. How dare you try to limit me?” I can remember hearing teenagers say something similar.
Frederick Douglass wisely said, “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”
Think of the story of the prodigal son. The son said, “I want to be free. Give me my inheritance so I can go about my own business and do what I want to do.” [paraphrased]
As the biblical story goes on, we read about all the mistakes that this son made, UNTIL he came to realize the truth. He was not free but enslaved with gluttony of power. Giving it all up (at least the struggle) and going home created his personal freedom.
Gandhi spoke these words, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”
Human life does make mistakes, and that is okay as long as we learn from those mistakes, correct our course direction, and rise higher. That is our progression toward freedom.
Many times, we see freedom as the opportunity to spread our wings and express our own individual, personal self, irrespective of where it takes us, and no matter what it means to us. A person, being paroled from prison, might say that he or she is now free. Of course he/she is free; he/she is no longer incarcerated and can move about the nation, and do the things he/she could not do while in prison.
Adolescents, leaving home for the first time, surely, could say they are free. Can you identify with that? I could. When I was young, I knew I was ready to go and I said, “I’m free.” My father and mother didn’t know nearly as much as I wanted them to know. (It’s amazing that, as I became older, they became wiser.)
There are times in our lives, especially in our early years, when we want to do our own thing, so we say, “I want freedom. I want to get out of this house. I want to do my own thing. I want to make my own mistakes.”
As the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, surely, they must have felt free from the bondage they experienced in Egypt. Truly, they felt free.
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
I want to give you a working definition of freedom. Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. Freedom is a quality or state of being without thought or restraint, bondage, limitation or repression, having a sense of complete well-being. It is the result of regulating one’s life according to Divine principle—not according to what anyone else may think or say. Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people receive when accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior; and people are as free as they want to be.
We can be free from bondage, and we can be free from what is known as slavery. Let me give you a working definition of bondage: Undue attachments to thoughts in lower personal consciousness (or another way to say it -in our limited thoughts).
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Now let me give you a definition of God’s Truth: God’s Truth – That which is, has been, and always will be; the straight and narrow path on which our Holy Spirit directs. That which harmonizes with God’s Divine standard.
“You shall know the truth and that truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
In the past, we have found ourselves in bondage. We can be in bondage for so long that we get used to it. We’ve always acted a certain way. We’ve been limited, so we get accustomed to being limited. It’s like being in a prison cell and not knowing that we are in a cell, and not knowing that the door to that cell is unlocked. We stay there, exist there, and function there, not knowing we can change and do wonderful things with our lives.
Often the one thing that is missing is that wonderful personal relationship with God.
There is an innate desire in each of us. It is like God knocking at our door saying, “Listen, My child. I’m here! You think you have it made now. If you put your hand in My hand, I’ll show you things you haven’t even dreamed of. Come to Me now. I will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings.
Freedom is not being free to do the things we should not do. Freedom is doing the things that are in our best interest, and the best interest of God and others. We are free to actually live, move, and express ourselves as a child of God. That’s the freedom we have!
The life we thought was so great is nothing compared to the life we have available to us now. We can have a wonderful relationship with God. We can feel the whole Spirit of God active in our life. Nothing in the past has ever been greater, and nothing ever can be. This is it.
“None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.” Pearl S. Buck
We can change NOW. Freedom lies in being bold. We can redirect our thoughts and actions, right now, at this moment. Would you like to do that? Would you like to look at a new approach to your life and experience more freedom? Would you?
Pray and ask for guidance and strength. When we want to redirect our lives, when we really want to move beyond the status quo, when we want to make a drastic, dramatic, definite change in our lives, we need help. We, definitely, need God’s perfect help.
When I say God and I are one, I want it to be a real experience. So I ask God to have His way in me now. We need strength and courage to break any habit or any pattern.
Only you can say what you are imprisoned and chained to.
The bold step is to take the change one day at a time. Persistent constant progress is what we are looking for instead of many starts and stops. With God’s help even the turtle crosses the finish line and many times wins the race. If we want to be free, we have to be patient with ourselves and take it one step at a time. Look at the Israelites. They took forty years and moved ahead patiently (well, kind of patiently). I’m not saying it’s going to take us forty years—it could be much sooner. The forty years for us could be just any amount of time moving toward our freedom. The less we resist, the quicker will be the results. We must take it one day at a time, and sometimes, we must take it one moment at a time, or one hour at a time.
Study about God’s Truth and the fact that we are all children of God. We are all free, and God is the Source, and everyone else in our lives are channels.
Give thanks every single day of your life; thank God that you are free and unlimited now.
Let’s have a moment of prayer.
Thank You, God, for the Truth. We know the Truth, and the Truth is that we were not created to be limited. We were not created to experience sickness, poverty, habits or addictions that hold us back. We are free, God, to see Your good and to work toward that perfect Good, and to see and experience the good in others in our world. We are free to be optimistic. As this day continues and as our lives unfold, our commitment to You and to ourselves is to rise to that higher level of understanding, action, and interaction, whereby this freedom that we are will become an everyday experience that always leads us to the ultimate truth that is You.
Thank You, God. In Jesus Christ’s name. . .Amen.