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  • Dan Wilson

Are You Free?

There are endless directions you can go with this question. Free from what?

Debt? Anger? Addiction? Illness? Worry? The list goes on and on. I wrote about identity last month, and as with identity, there is only one place you can find complete freedom – and that is in Jesus.

“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22 (NKJV)

This verse uses a word that causes us to rebel down deep inside – slave. The reality is that we are all slaves to something. The truth is whatever you think about most often is your master. Scripture tells us that we will either choose to serve God as our Master or we will choose the world, and by doing so, we choose to serve Satan. Pretty blunt, but that’s how Jesus put it.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:13 (NKJV)

Anything we choose to pursue, to attempt to possess, in the end, possesses us. And it often happens quickly. Drug and alcohol addiction are common examples. But subtler, and easier to defend, is the pursuit of things, or in a more general sense – wealth. After all, we need to work to support our family. How can it be wrong to work hard and amass wealth? The answer, of course, is that it is not in itself wrong, unless and until it becomes the object of our worship.

Often, I hear people say they don’t believe in that “church stuff” and all the behavior it entails. Praying. Worshipping. Giving of time and money. They would never want to be restricted to those things. Yet they will spend their time and money on a house, an expensive car, a motorcycle, a boat and truck, and all the trappings. The truth is it is hard work to have that kind of fun. The initial investment, the maintenance, and upkeep, again, none of these things are wrong on the surface. But if it becomes the center of your life, it has, in fact, become your master. When these things demand much of your time and attention and resources – they have you instead of the reverse.

No one likes to think of themselves as a slave to someone or something. But let’s talk about the options. There are only two. God says you can either serve Him and if you choose not to, by default, you are choosing to serve the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Jesus says,

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Jesus is not talking about a harsh, task-master kind of relationship. He’s talking about joining you to walk your daily walk and take on every challenge that you face together.

There are many examples of what would appear on the surface as restrictions that are, in reality, only healthy and necessary in order for you to be safe and productive. Think what it would be like to drive without traffic laws. No stop lights or signs, no yellow lines or guard rails. No speed limit. Not a very comforting thought.

Can trains move without tracks?

“Trains cannot move in a controlled manner without tracks. That’s like asking how far a car can drive on its roof. While it is possible for a car to end up on its roof while moving, the fact that it is moving does not make it any less of a crash.” Author unknown

I recently adopted a chocolate Labrador, and his name is Ruger. He’s generally obedient, that is until he is not. When he sees a squirrel or a rabbit in the yard, he absolutely forgets all directions and bolts like a racehorse. And, of course, I’m doing my best to control him. I am trying to give him the most enjoyable life possible based on what I think is best. I limit his food, walk him on a leash, and take him to the vet, none of which he likes. But I’m not doing it to cause harm; exactly the opposite. I’m doing it because I love my dog and want him to have a long and happy life.

It occurs to me that our relationship with God is, in many ways, the same. God, in His infinite perfection and wisdom, wants the best for me, but almost every day, I see something shiny, and I take off chasing it while He is trying to reign me in. His reasons are never to punish me or to just cause me pain. His motives are loving and pure. They are to keep me safe and to help me live the most productive and enjoyable life possible. Exactly like my motive with my dog, Ruger. And in both cases, when we start running in the wrong direction, at worst we can get hurt, and at best we will find ourselves missing out on all of the life that God had planned for us, and all of the accomplishments that He wanted to bless us with.

Back to two choices. Who do you serve, God or gods? One way to process this question is to consider that submission to God (big G) gives you access to His infinite storehouse of resources to meet every possible need for your time here on Earth.

“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:10-12 (NKJV)

Satan may make some promises, but he can never deliver on the true freedom and peace that God provides. Why would we short-change ourselves and serve someone who has a limited ability to satisfy our desires and whose actual motive is to cause harm?

“The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ll agree that any responsible parent wants the best for their children. You would never let your child run into a busy street to chase a ball. You’d grab them up. Would they understand that you are trying to keep them safe? Maybe not. But it would not stop you from doing what you know is best for them. And if you are a Jesus follower, then God is your parent. His wisdom is perfect, whereas ours is in comparison quite limited.

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?” Luke 11:10-12 (NKJV)

God has wonderful plans for your life here on Earth.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

If you are not living the life of complete freedom that God has for you, I have good news. There is help. Infusion Ministries has books, videos, summits, and one-on-one counseling using God’s word to help you identify and overcome every stronghold. What’s holding you back from living a life of complete contentment and freedom? As I heard one of our counselors say, “The question is, how free do you want to be?” Addictions, unforgiveness, marriage struggles, parenting challenges. There is a solution found in God’s word for every situation that you face.

Go to EPIC Videos on our website to learn more with sessions for each step furthering and understanding your identity and Freedom in Jesus Christ.

[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park.]

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