4th of July is one of my absolute favorites for many reasons. Summer, warmth, community, America, bbqs, lakes and boats, fireworks! But I am reminded every year that all of the celebrations rest on the foundation of a very core truth: we are free. And this freedom that we experience in our country even serves as a reminder of an even deeper reality: my forever freedom is bought with a price, and I am FREE.
We can tend to have a very immature sense of freedom when we define it as the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want. I believe that this mentality has allowed us a lot of hurt and chaos in our country and culture.
True freedom is freedom FROM something, FOR something. We are free from death, from the law, from works, from self, from the enemy, from the world, from sin. But we are not set free for the sake of sitting in that freedom or doing whatever we want.
That is not kingdom.
We are set free for abundant life. To love recklessly. To grow into our true self. To converse intimately with Trinity. To abide in perfect union. To advance Kingdom on earth.
Anything less than this is not real freedom it is bondage. It leads to death.
And something that Jesus is showing me recently is that kingdom freedom very often requires a new dependency or responsibility. That I thought that I was my most free when I was fresh out of college, single, working 3 part time jobs, able to travel and leave whenever I well pleased. But that was not actually truest freedom. I’m experiencing the most freedom putting down roots. Getting married. Committing to things. Giving up “freedom” for Kingdom Freedom. It has made every difference. You see, in the kingdom, many things are backwards. Worldly systems are turned on their head. I believe the way freedom works is one of them. Jesus says, “risk this. Surrender. Trust me. Commit to this. And watch what I will do.” And you do, and somehow you gain. Somehow you become fuller. Somehow you are more free.
So this morning I am so thankful that we are a free nation. I am so thankful for the men and women who gave their lives and fought to purchase our life. There is always sacrifice and selflessness in true freedom. Thank you Jesus for being the ultimate. I want to give my life for your dear ones as well.
And somehow then I will find it, more free, along the way.
Happy freedom day, everyone.