A wide open space
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NIV)
I wonder what picture the word ‘freedom’ conjures up in your mind? For some it may be the film “Braveheart” and the longing in William Wallace’s heart for a free Scotland. For others it may be a desire to escape somewhere on your own without any responsibility or worry. Whatever picture we have in our minds freedom is something we all long for.
Freedom is quite difficult to define. Many people will say it is about having the right to do as you please but it is bigger than that. Freedom is not doing as we please but being totally uninhibited in the life that God has planned for us. Freedom has boundaries which are there to protect rather than restrict us. A train appears to be limited by the railway track but it is the track that provides its very means of freedom. The train can go nowhere without the track. A car would not be able to move freely on a railway track as the rails would inhibit its movement. A car needs a road, a train needs the rails. Freedom does not mean we have to be in control. Instead it means that we are able to hand control over to God, who ultimately is the only one able to fulfil all our desires.
Jesus knew what it was to be free. He was not bound by the restrictions of humanity. Although he had stepped into humanity his life was a richness of extra-human activity in which miracles became the norm. On one of his first public appearances he turned water into a very generous quantity of excellent wine. He fed over 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two small fish. He walked on water. He could turn a disastrous night’s fishing into a bumper catch. He could pay his taxes by finding a coin in a fish’s mouth. He healed the lame, the lepers and the blind. He told simple stories that confused the wise and set the listening heart totally free. But true freedom goes beyond the miraculous. It is freedom from bondage to addiction and performance and from the need to be ‘right’. It’s freedom to forgive and love others whatever the cost. It’s freedom from fear, selfish anger and the need to retaliate.
As we learn to live as the children of God we will understand more clearly what it means to be true citizens of the heavenly kingdom here on earth. When we start to leave our orphan ways behind and allow our lives to be filled with Father’s love, we will leave a life of slavery and bondage and enter into the glorious freedom of the sons of God.
His Kingdom is our inheritance and it is a life of freedom!
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