Broken Chains: The Price of Freedom

As the Fourth of July nears I began reminiscing about the celebrations from my past regarding this holiday and the reasons for the celebration.  As a child you see the “eye candy” so to speak:  the  red, white and blue flags, hats, shirts, the parades, the sparklers you shoot off, the food, the fireworks and all of the fun associated with that day.

 

As you get older you ponder more and more what this day means to you.  You focus on those who fought bravely for this country, and those that lost their life for it as well.  Freedom rings loud and clear.  There was a heavy price paid for that freedom and for the declaration created by our forefathers.  A purpose was born out of all of this, but does it still stand?  Is this just a reason to celebrate or does it mean something more, something sacred to this day?

 

Freedom is a big word, powerful, yet not equal for everyone.  Freedom means we, as an individual or a society, have the power or right to act, think or speak as we choose.  There are no restraints here in the United States – no hindrances.  Yet many third world nations have never experienced this right that many today take for granted or misuse our right as it was originally intended.

 

We actually have multiple freedoms in our country.  We have religious freedom in which we have the right to practice the religion of our choice.  We have political freedom which is an integral feature of any democratic society.  We are blessed beyond measure and we take it all for granted.  One day, however, we will lose that freedom if we continue on the path we are currently on.

 

We focus only on our needs and use our air of arrogant thinking with swelled heads as a reason to brag.  We fail to humble ourselves and realize this is a gift and not a binding guarantee that will ever cease to exist. All freedoms:  religious or political stem from the original freedom that was offered to us from God.

 

The bible mentions its stance on freedom several times.  In 2 Corinthians 3:17 for example it defines how we should view freedom.

 

     “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 

 

When we are aligned with God, we have freedom and are not bound by our sins.  Christ dies on the cross to free us from the penalty of our sins which is death.  It is confirmed in John 8:16 when stated:

 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

 

Our freedom comes by His grace and rests in His hands alone.  Without Him, we are bound and unable to be free.  Paul mentions in Galatians 5:13-14 that we are called to freedom when we accept Jesus into our lives.

 

     “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.”

 

Paul also stipulated in Galatians 5:1 the key to our freedom and how vital that key is to Christianity.  This is the groundwork laid from this principle.

 

     Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

 

In the Old Testament the Jews tried to live up to the law and constantly fell short.  They were never able to maintain freedom because of their sin.  Paul further explains this in Acts 13:38-39:

 

     “Therefore my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.  Through Him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses.”

 

Everyone is gifted from God with talents to be used to aid others and serve His purpose, but first we need to hear the call to serve Him.  A call of duty is a legal term to describe the necessity of carrying out a job or service.  One example is those who serve/served in the military.  They fought for our rights (the pursuit of happiness, the preservation of liberty and justice for all).  Once we hear His call we are set to commit ourselves and dedicate our life to Him by doing His will.  We are told in Matthew 10:7 that we are to proclaim His word:

 

     “And as you go, preach, saying “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Our duties are defined in 1Timothy 4:12:

 

     “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

 

We know our call, the way we are to react and now our title is determined, as well as, whom we are to report to as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:20:

 

“Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us, we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

 

This is for God’s glory that we are obedient and we seek to fulfill His request. We are instructed to be a witness of His Almighty power and glory as stated in Acts 22:15.

 

     “For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

 

We learn in 1 Peter 14-16 about the need to be obedient to the Lord.

 

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as He who called you is Holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written, ‘Be Holy because I am holy’.”

 

Now that we understand our call of duty we need to be aware of how to prepare for this duty and the importance of being prepared at all times.  We need to understand how to carry this request out.  In 1 Peter 1:13, Peter points out that we are to:

 

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action.”

 

Not only are we to prepare our minds, but we are to remain focused on him as we learn this in Colossians 3:2:

 

     “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

 

In Romans 12:2 we are further instructed how we are to behave in this world.

 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

 

Remember we are not citizens of this world, but of Heaven.  Having the right mindset takes time and much discipline to accomplish this duty.  We are told to persevere and watch out for stumbling blocks; such as obstacles that can get in our way and prevent us from doing our duty.  These are meant to throw us off guard so that we fail instead of being faithful to Him.  We stumble when we let worries, anxieties, and fear into our lives.  Trials will happen, we will be tested and yes, sad to say, we sometimes will fail the test.  But do not lose hope, nor give up.  He tells us again and again that He will be with us until the end of time.  He asks us to call out to Him, tell Him our problems, our needs, ask questions, and pray continuously to Him for answers or wisdom and insight.  We do this through prayer, but also by staying in the Word.  It does and will always speak to you at just the right time.  Remember “the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)!

 

We need to act on our faith.  Be faithful in all that you do for the Lord.  Today I was glancing at a post on Facebook from the American Thinker (americanthinker.com) that spoke about the declaration of Independence and it noted this about our First President George Washington:  “General George Washington was a man of extraordinary faith. When Washington first received a copy of the Declaration about a week after its drafting, he had immediately ordered that chaplains be hired for every regiment, stating his purpose was to assure that, “every officer and man, will endeavor to live and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”  It also stated this about our forefathers:  “The Founding Fathers placed everything on the line and trusted the Almighty for the results. As esteemed British historian Paul Johnson notes: “The Americans were overwhelmingly churchgoing, much more so than the English, whose rule they rejected. There is no question that the Declaration of Independence was, to those who signed it, a religious as well as a secular act.”

 

Our rights come to us from God and these rights are absolute and should not be infringed upon.  When we obeyed and practiced these rights we were greatly blessed in abundance and became a powerful nation – a force to be reckoned with.  God rewards the faithful and it is marked as righteousness.

 

So in closing be thankful for what Christ has done for you.  Heed His call, honor Him and obey His instructions.  Carry His word in your heart and keep a sober mind.  Gain understanding as we are instructed in Proverbs by fearing (being reverent to) the Lord, ask for discernment and remember He liberally gives us wisdom when we ask for it.  Freedom is a beautiful gift that comes at a cost, He paid that price, we did not; however, we need to sacrifice our carnal desires in order to faithfully serve Him.

 

Sending out well wishes to all for this Fourth of July holiday!  God bless you.

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