“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”- John 8:32
There are different types of FREEDOMS. As a Country, it took courage and strength and fearlessness to fight the battles that needed to be fought in order for us to secure this most treasured of earthly prizes- FREEDOM. But although we are still free as a group of individuals to pursue our desires, to pray and worship freely, to love and to cherish the beliefs that make us special as a nation, there are still many walking amongst us who are not free at all. They are walking in spiritual bondage! They are captive to an evil, oppressive occupier of their minds, hearts and souls and in many cases they are not even aware of their plight.
On the outside, they may even appear to be winning in the game of life. They may be living the American dream of fancy houses, nice cars and great careers. But if you were to ask many of these people to honestly state how they feel on the inside, many would express a far different story. They would say that they are fearful of losing of what they had worked so hard to acquire. They would talk of the anxiety and depression they feel. Basically, they would feel duped that all of the external things that they thought would bring them peace and comfort, has instead left them feeling like a captive deep in their souls. They are literally trapped in an internal prison.
I know this feeling because I was living it for the first 38 years of my life. No matter how much worldly success I accumulated or how many possessions I acquired, I eventually came to the stark conclusion that all true freedom must come from within. I could not acquire my way to freedom. In fact, in many ways it was just the opposite. The more I accumulated, the deeper in bondage I became. As the Bible verse of the day states above, once we recognize this truth, that Jesus is the only way to true and everlasting contentment, can we be set free internally. The truth of who Jesus is and what He came to do for us here on earth, is the beginning of our internal journey to find real truth and freedom. Once we recognize the fact that Jesus died on the cross for forgiveness of our sins, was resurrected on the third day to sit at the right hand of the father’s throne, and left us the ability to connect with His truth through the power of the Holy Spirit, can we begin our march to true freedom deep in our souls. This cannot be accomplished any other way than on our knees, humbly admitting our need for Him as Lord and Savior of our life.
The amazing thing is there is no hard work required on our part, only the willingness to ask Him to come into our lives to help us with our pain and separation, to recognize who He is and what He has done for us, and to humbly repent of our sinful nature and He does all the rest! True freedom begins the moment we recognize how far we fall short of the mark He set, and recognize that without Christ, we would stand guilty in our sins before the God of the Universe on judgement day. Now, we are free in the knowledge that He alone has paid our sin bill in full and there is nothing left on the tab! If that is not freedom, I don’t know what is. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, or without pain, as we grow in our knowledge of who He is and who we are, and how great the chasm is that divides us, as Isaiah 55:9 reminds us, ” As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” But it gives us great freedom to know that He has taken care of the chasm, and He understands that our sinful nature is a result of living in a fallen world into which we were all born, where sin and darkness reign until HE comes again to clean this whole mess up.
Unless we grasp that thought, we will never be free and no amount of money or success can make us feel free inside. Like all freedom, our internal freedom came at a cost, and in this case it cost Christ everything. But love has no higher calling than this, that He was willing to lay down his life in a gruesome fashion so that we could live in true freedom, knowing that we are His for eternity. For He came to this earth to set the captives free, to remove the scales that were over our eyes so that we can see the truth clearly.
After the drugs where off, the sex gets old, the gambling brings only pain where it once brought pleasure, we must finally admit that the sinful ways of this world lead only to bondage and pain. Jesus Christ is the way to true freedom. “He is the way, the truth and the life” as John 14:6 reminds us. All of our heart’s desires and all we need for happiness and contentment, come from being assured of the rest and security that comes from the loving arms of our heavenly Father, by way of His faithful Son. True freedom never comes from external circumstance, but rather from internal contentment. When will we stop striving, looking for external things to fill the void that exists in our lives? True freedom comes from within. Jesus is the only answer to our Cosmic Emptiness. May that truth set you free! Amen.