Freedom: Something we all love and long for.
A promise which men and women have given their lives for throughout history.
Picture William Wallace, having spent his life to secure the freedom and independence of Scotland, now being killed for it. He is given the choice to cry for ‘Mercy’, and die a quick death, or to endure ongoing torture until his death.
The end of Braveheart shows it well.
On the other end of the spectrum is Slavery.
An evil, repulsive concept, a disturbing part of our history, and ongoing reality for some.
So why would anyone actually choose it?
‘Who?’ you might ask?
You, I would say! And I!
Spiritually speaking, when we ‘choose’ to sin, we choosing slavery–spiritual, moral and emotional–slavery.
We sign up for it!
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” (Romans 6:16)
In other words, when we ‘throw off’ the shackles of morality, faith, and obedience to God, we may think we are being ‘free’. Instead, we are actually choosing to become slaves of that sin we’re giving in to.
The Holy Spirit prompts us about this. He warns us within our hearts (IF we are believers in Jesus, the Spirit lives within and helps us know what’s in and what’s out of bounds). Yet, we overrule Him.
That drink you’re having–even though He’s prompted you not to.
Is that leading to Freedom…or slavery?
That image you’re looking at, even though the Spirit is prompting you to look away…is that leading to Freedom, or to slavery?
That money you’re spending on your ‘wants’, even though the Spirit is saying no…is that leading to Freedom, or to slavery?
That dessert you’re downing–again–despite your health issues…is that leading to Freedom, or slavery?
THIS, I believe, is where the motive behind our struggle with sin is exposed. That is that we have bought the same lie that satan told Eve back in the garden: “You surely won’t die!” (Genesis 3:4)
God had given them ONE prohibition, and satan was trying to convince them that God was ‘holding back’ on their legitimate desire. They ‘deserved’ the forbidden fruit…God was being ‘stingy’…the threatened discipline was not real.
“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” (Genesis 3:6)
She bought the lie we’re still buying–that choosing our own way, even if it means going against God’s direct Word–leads to freedom. Of course it doesn’t–it leads to enslavement.
We need to really challenge ourselves: Do we believe–Really BELIEVE–that God is good, loving and wise? Do we believe Jesus when He said “I have come to give them Life–to the Full” (John 10:10)?
IF SO, then we need to willingly allow Him to lead us. We need to challenge our ‘flesh’ when it cries out for ‘freedom’. We need to pray and ask God to give us wisdom to know the Truth from the lies. We need to submit ourselves to Him–willingly, enthusiastically.
THEN we will experience the freedom of being led by God–who loves us and cares more for us than we can possibly imagine. Then we will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when we’re tempted, and we will experience freedom and victory!
That is what He wants for us.
Don’t settle for the temporary satisfaction that sin promises–you’ll only experience further enslavement. Rather, submit your desires and temptations to God. Allow Him to lead you to freedom!