If I asked you if you’d rather be free or bound up, what would you say? If you had the choice to be completely yourself, free from persecution in any way OR tied down and burdened under a law, what would be your answer? This seems pretty obvious, right? So why is this decision so hard for us to make? You may be thinking, uhh it’s not. Well what I am saying is, we are faced with a lot of false pictures of freedom everyday. We have a lot of false “teachers” out there painting pictures of life in ways that appear beautiful on the outside but in reality there is a lot of ugliness that actually lies beneath. But don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely a beautiful life out there, we just have to be careful where we look for it.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” – John 8:32.
“Good feelings will not free us. Ecstatic experiences will not free us. Getting “high on Jesus” will not free us. Without a knowledge of the truth, we will not be set free.” – Richard J. Foster.
We will inevitably be seekers of things that give us temporary “freedom” until we understand the freedom that Jesus freely gives us. The only way to understand is to study his word. If you want to know more about Chemistry, you study it right? If you want to learn how to do anything better that is beneficial to yourself, you research it, ask questions about it, practice it; basically study it until you understand and can apply what you learned.
For example, say you have always wanted to be a doctor. “Why do you want to be a doctor?” someone asks. “Well, because I really want to help people to feel better.”
So, you want to be a doctor. Now what? Do you just say you want to be one and then you are one? No, of course not! You have to study medicine for a very long time before you are prepared to take care of people in the ways that being a doctor requires. What I am trying to say is that the only way that we can truly be transformed into the person we long to be is by letting Jesus come into our hearts and show us the truth. He gave us his words in the Bible for us to study, not to burden us or to bound us in laws. He came to do the opposite. To set us free. The more we study his word, the more we are transformed and we start to taste real freedom. But with anything, to understand and learn, we must take time and study.
I wanted to share an excerpt from a book called “Harvest” that I am reading. This book has absolutely amazing stories about how people have been transformed by Christ. If you want to understand the power of Jesus, this book has some amazing testimonies of just what I was talking about. People literally seeking freedom in every way they thought possible, which never fulfilled their deepest needs, and then coming to Christ and realizing what they had been missing for so long.
A man named Skip, now a pastor in New Mexico, grew up in Southern California, was a surfer, did drugs, and basically sought the temporary pleasures that he thought would bring him happiness. “Skip had tried everything–all the thrills of Southern California, from drugs to surfing to rock and roll–and it left him bored and frustrated. None of these things gave him their promised happiness. Skip could find no clear hold on what he should do.” He had also experimented with other forms of spirituality and psychic powers. He goes on to say, “And the psychic channels were like a minefield…For every item of value he came up with, he had to sort through heaps of garbage that came along with it”
Skip finally gave up. One day after stumbling upon Billy Graham on TV and listening to him talk about the freedom that can only be found in Christ, he gave his life to Christ. He had never wanted to commit and remembers thinking. “Lord, you’re getting a rotten deal. I’m giving you all this crudeness and meaninglessness in me. And you’re giving me eternal life in return and blessing me. I would have to be an idiot to turn this down.” “He was kneeling and praying. In a mere moment, what seemed like a million-pound weight was removed from him.”
I wish you could read this whole story. It is amazing how God changed his life for the better. As much as we think we have it all figured out and we know what will make us happy, ultimately God is the only one who can truly set us free. We can be free to be ourselves, we won’t have to carry all the weight of past hurts, fears, rejections, etc. and we can have faith that God will lead us to the place of most joy (that is real and everlasting).