It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.This verse popped in my head the other day and it struck me as funny. Here Paul is telling us that Christ set us free...so that we would be free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
That was my first thought…”Like you need to say that?”
But then I realized, yeah, he really does…and we need to keep on hearing it and being reminded of it.
Before I was saved, I thought I was free but I was really a slave to sin (Romans 6:17). I was doing anything and everything I “wanted” to…whether I really wanted to or not. I remember moments when something would come out of my mouth…or I’d do something I swore I’d never do (again). Like eating. I ate…it was what I did. I ate a lot and I ate everything that was bad for me. For me it wasn’t a sin issue (then) but a health issue and even more a social issue. I was different and treated as such…therefore my friends were few and my admirers non-existent. I truly believed that if I was ever to be married and have babies, I had to get skinny. But I couldn’t. I’d set a goal…start a diet…decide to go walking…try to stop eating certain things or just eat less. Failure after failure. It was like I was on auto-pilot when food was put in front of me…I was incapable of stopping myself or making a good choice. I was a slave to my stomach.
I was also a slave to my emotions…they ruled me. No amount of logic could break through when I felt something. My feelings…not wisdom or good counsel…determined my actions. And so I sat in my cell, unable to get out…unaware that I was imprisoned.
It wasn’t until after I came to Christ that I realized just how trapped I was…yet for a while there, it was like God opened the door to my cell and I just decided to stay inside.
Now I was free. Now I had a choice. Now I knew what sin was and who could deal with it. I knew because of the cross I could live differently…and, mostly, I didn't. Sure, some things changed…and I was no longer oblivious to my captivity…but in many respects I was still a slave.
So I needed to be reminded over and over again “It is for FREEDOM Christ set [me] free.”
Paul knew then what I know now...sadly, we really are that dense!
But now…I believe I can honestly say “I’m Free!”
Sure, sometimes I go to the door of my cell and peek in…but by God’s grace I have yet to step inside. Those things that enslaved me before are no longer a part of my life and haven’t been for nearly a year. Am I perfect? Certainly not! But I know I am free and when my former master comes by with shackles jingling in his hand, I know I don’t have to let him take me. I can stand and say “I’m Free!” and know that my new master will fit me for the battle if the old one decides to put up a fight!