When you hear the word freedom, what do you think of?
For me, I think of slavery. There was a time for the nation of Israel when they were held in bondage in Egypt. After the time of Joseph, the Hebrew who ruled as second in command in Egypt, the Hebrew people became too numerous; so the Egyptians enslaved them. For four hundred years these people were forced to do hard labor, all the while praying for relief and freedom and rescue. And God answered. He raised up a man named Moses and used him to lead Israel out of Egypt, out of slavery and into freedom in the land He had promised to Abraham and his descendants.
What a picture that must have been: hundreds of thousands of people walking out of the city, out of the country and through the Red Sea with God’s presence leading the way. Exodus records that the Lord went before them. His presence was visible to Israel by day as a pillar of cloud and at night as a pillar of fire (Ex. 13:21-22).
God’s still in the freeing business. Daily He stretches out His mighty hand and leads those out of bondage who believe in Him and cry out to Him. 2 Corinthians says that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
Freedom is another work of the Spirit in our lives. When we accept Christ and His Spirit fills us, we are freed from sin and death. We are no longer slaves to sin, but have been made new and are given new life in Christ. Death no longer claims victory over us because in Jesus we have the promise of life everlasting which begins the moment we accept Him.
In Christ we are free.
But free for what? That’s simple. We’re free to live! No longer held in the bondage of sin, we are free to live abundantly the life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). We are free to dance and sing and worship and cry. We are free to love like Jesus does. And we are free to fall in love.
I feel like the more I learn about love and experience it and accept it, the less I realize I understand it. I can’t control it. I believe that love is a choice and I can choose to love someone. I can choose to love Jesus. I do this by spending time with Him, talking about Him with others, and letting Him do His good work in my life. I love Him by listening to Him and doing what He says.
But that’s only one side of the love coin–the choice side. As we make the choice to love through action, something starts to change in our hearts. He begins to fill our minds. He’s the first one we think about when we wake up and the thought that puts a smile on our lips as we doze off. He’s the one we just can’t wait to spend time with, the one we want to get to know better. He’s the one we’re talking about to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And where freedom is, we are free to fall in love with the One who made us; the One who created us in His image and went to the cross to save us and redeem us and make us new.
That’s the thing that sets Christianity apart from every other belief system. Christianity is based on love and the reality that we can have a relationship with Jesus Christ–a relationship much like what marriage is supposed to look like. Two people committing their lives to each other, making the choice to love each other no matter what, and in the process they find themselves falling deeper in love.
Jesus made the choice long ago to love us unconditionally. He is love and anything but love would be outside of His nature. And when we choose to accept that love and love Him back, well, we set off on a grand adventure and find ourselves longing for more of Him.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And there is love. Love that require choice, but allows our hearts to respond in ways we can’t explain. “Love so amazing so divine. Love that demands my life, my heart, my all.”
Live in His love!