29
Jun
15

The Joy of Freedom

There seems to be some kind of siren’s call for God’s people to return to a former way of life.  If you were not raised in the church, perhaps your call is to return to a life of sinfulness.  If you were raised in a church where an emphasis was placed on your ability to follow rules, maybe you are driven to return to rule-following instead of embracing grace.  If you were raised in the church and rebelled against God for a time, but returned to Him, you may hear the call of the prodigal.  I believe it is a call to the familiar and to be comfortable.
Following Jesus is not easy.  He calls us to a narrow road and a narrow gate.  It is a call to leave former ways behind and to embrace the new creation He’s made you to be.  The temptation is to abandon the freedom of grace for a former way of life that leads to slavery.  That slavery might be the familiar rules of your past that are comfortable and safe.  The slavery might be the prison of sinfulness.  It feels good (for a time), so you leave the home of forgiveness and mercy for a far off land of slavery to sin.  That slavery might be the old habits and addictions that you gave up so long ago to follow Jesus.  The call of sin and temptation is just too great and you end up leaving the eternal joy of following Jesus for the temporary fix of sin.
We have to resist the call of the siren of sin and instead run to Jesus for grace.  We know that sin enslaves us to guilt, shame and fear.  Grace frees us up to experience the spiritual blessings of knowing God.  Whatever has enslaved you, know that the shackles have been loosed.  The chains are off.  The jail door is open.  You can leave anytime you choose.  You’ve been set free and all you have to do is take a step back to Jesus Christ and you will find the joy of freedom once again.
Galatians 4:8-11 (NIV)
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
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