Summer is in full swing and I hope you are enjoying all summer has to offer. My family went straight to the beach as soon as SFA students walked across the stage and had a wonderful time relaxing and playing with the kids.
The month of July is all about freedom and independence. The 4th of July is a wonderful celebration of the day we declared our nation’s independence. I can remember growing up with wonderful memories of family and friends gathered on the fourth for lots of eating and fireworks.
Since the topic of freedom is so prevalent this time of year, I thought I would write a few thoughts about what true freedom actually is. One of the best definitions of freedom I have ever heard comes from Bob Hamp, a pastor out of Dallas who said, “to be free is to be able to act and react fully out of who you were designed and created to be, regardless of the circumstances of your life or the behavior of the people around you.” This definition stands in stark contrast to how we normally judge freedom. We tend to judge freedom by the relative circumstances we are in. We define it based on what our culture says freedom is. For example, our culture might say freedom is the ability to choose whatever career path we want to follow. The tragedy is, many have believed if they could just get that certain job they would be truly free only to find the opposite once they have “arrived.”
The way the Bible describes freedom has nothing to do with the earthly circumstances we are in. If you can believe it, according to the Bible, when Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel, he was completely free. When Jesus hung on the cross for a crime He didn’t commit, He was completely free.
Second Corinthians 3:17 tells us freedom is not the absence of difficult circumstances, but the presence of the Spirit of the Lord. Freedom for the believer is the fact that in Christ we have the Holy Spirt living in us and through us and giving us the ability to act in submission to the Father. This is true freedom. Normally we think of submission as bondage but it simply isn’t so in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom, freedom comes as we submit ourselves fully to Christ. As we submit ourselves fully to Him we will naturally begin to live as we were created to live regardless of the circumstances.
We were never created to be independent beings. We were created to be permanently in relationship with our creator God. Our freedom comes as we allow the Spirit of the Lord to have total control over our lives.
If today you want to be free, stop looking at the circumstances of your life to change and begin inviting the Spirit of God into those circumstances. May you be blessed as you watch Him give you true freedom and rest.
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