Today America celebrates its 240th birthday; our Independence Day. Before you head out to your barbeques, swimming, and fireworks I wanted to share with you a quick word on freedom.
In America, men and women have fought valiantly over the last two and a half centuries to earn and protect those freedoms that we so readily enjoy. When it comes to our spiritual lives we walk in an even grander freedom because of what Christ did.
I remember the day I committed my life to Christ. I was at an Assemblies of God summer camp in Roaring Springs, Texas. It was hot and miserable. I remember the message clearly, but without going into detail I committed my life to Christ that day. In just a couple weeks (7/16/97) I will celebrate serving the Lord for 19 years!
Freedom. That day I gained freedom, but like many others around the globe I regularly picked up a yoke of slavery to various sins, to the thought that I have to earn God’s grace, and slavery again to my flesh.
Paul reminds the Galatians with these words,
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1
It almost sounds redundant to say “it was for freedom he set us free,” but that is exactly why Christ came. He wanted to set us free from the bondage of religious structure. He wanted us to have freedom in our relationship with Him. He wanted us to walk in freedom from sin.
Why then do continue to pick up the yoke of slavery over and over again?
Christ destroyed the yoke of religiousity and structural religious code, yet we continue to try and place a yoke of slavery on believers if they don’t gather the same exact way that the “norm” does.
He came to bring freedom in our relationship with the Father, yet we continue to try and place a yoke of slavery on believers by telling them they must meet certain requirements, or uphold specific ideals in their life. They must adhere and pledge allegiance to a specific set of doctrines to be part of a “church.”
He wanted us to walk in freedom from sin, yet we continue to pick up a yoke of slavery to the very habits and sinful actions that destroy our spiritual life.
We are not free so that we can go on sinning, rather he set us free so that so that we can be free in His Spirit. If we present ourselves to the obedience of sin we become slaves to it. (Romans 6)
Friends, as we celebrate our national independence day today, let us remember that it is for freedom that Christ set our spirit free. Let us walk in that freedom, no longer placing a yoke of slavery upon yourself or our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us no longer run back to the sin that so easily entangles. Let us not run back to “Egypt.”
Let us walk in the liberty of Christ and enjoy fellowship with Him without hinderance.
Afterall, it is for freedom we are free.
When was your spiritual independence day? Share it in a comment below. I would love to know how long you’ve been serving the Lord.