Free people walk differently than captives do. Free people hold their heads up, backs straight, and look into the eyes of others as equals. Prisoners, defeated by addictions, painful circumstances, illness, political oppression, or walls and bars, have a different gait. There is no eye contact. Heads down and slumping posture reveal hopelessness and chains weighing them down. Often invisible ones.
Those who walk in Christ have freedom no matter where they are. No one can take away the relationship we have with Jesus. It is deep within our heart where no man, jail, evil, or disappointment can reach.
God followers through all of history have understood this—even in hunger, persecution, captivity, and defeat. I like the vivid word picture in the Message version:
I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom.
Freedom is spacious. Room enough to move and breathe. God gives us that room. He gives us freedom from guilt and shame, freedom to be ourselves, freedom to love without an agenda; freedom to grow, learn, succeed, rejoice, and dance. Plus so much more!
Funny enough, the more we obey His commands, the more room we have. My friend Roy equates that with how we act as parents. When our kids are disobedient and disrespectful they’re going to lose freedoms. But when they’re obedient and cheerful, we generously give them more freedom. They can be trusted with it.
I can’t help but wonder: are we carrying ourselves like free people? Or do we needlessly slump under a load of care? I know all too often I pick up those old shackles and put them on, from the prison cell where Christ set me free.
Freedom can be lost if we don’t appreciate what we have. Jesus said it this way:
“…‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’” (John 8:31-36).
Are you striding through life with confidence, free in Jesus? If not, seek Him and ask Him to release you from what holds you captive.
Hold to Jesus’ teaching.
Have you gone back to your prison cell because of old habits, temptations, shame, or a desire to “earn” His approval by punishing yourself? He’s already unlocked the door. Come out into the open and celebrate your freedom!
Know the truth, and refuse to be enslaved again to sin once He has set you free.
Walk with your head held high and experience the spaciousness of God’s great love for you. Rejoice in the spiritual freedom of having your sins forgiven. And if you live in America, rejoice in a land where we can worship freely, share our testimony and the Bible with others, vote, move about freely, and work, learn, grow, and create!
Happy 4th of July!
#fourthofJuly #freedom #confidenceinChrist #walkingtall #nomorechains