Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

My dog Cocoa hates getting baths with a passion. He shakes from head to toe and whimpers, begging to be free. He doesn’t know what freedom is, but he sure enjoys having “freedom” from control or freedom to do things that he wants to do. (Like digging in the trash when no one is around). Being free from the bathtub might spell freedom for Cocoa, but freedom from ever bathing would not be freedom in the end. Fleas and ticks would embrace the freedom to flourish in the environment of his unbathed fur, which would definitely not feel like freedom to Cocoa ultimately.

Maybe we can learn a lesson from Cocoa. Those things that we think limit our freedom may be freedom for us, and we just don’t know it. Perhaps we have to recognize freedom to be able to walk in it. Paul told the church in Galatia that they were (past tense) already free. But it was up to them to stay free. We are easily deceived by the enemy of our souls who longs to enslave us again. Accusing our souls, he thinks he can trap us with the law again, but those who have been set free are free indeed. Free to live the abundant life and to avoid the trap of sin.

We don’t have to give up our freedom, yet many do. Perhaps we’ve believed a lie or two about what freedom really is. The world/enemy of our souls says we’re free to sin—do whatever feels good. God’s word says we are free from sin. Freedom to indulge the flesh is not freedom at all.

Christ purchased complete freedom for us with His own blood because He loved us so much and wanted to save our souls from the damage that “freedom of the flesh” does to our souls.

As we celebrate Independence Day here in the United States I am struck afresh by the celebration of freedom. Many citizens exercise freedom that goes beyond God’s boundaries. But it is the preservation of true freedom that makes any nation or human being flourish. Legislating sin will never make it right in God’s eyes and God longs to set us free from sin, not enable us to sin.

Whatever country we live in, we are bound by its rules or laws. Some nations have righteous laws that are built on biblical principles and some do not. But wherever we live, we can experience true freedom in our souls when we live for One and not for self.

Happy 4th of July, all. We are FREE!!! Hallelujah!!! Let’s celebrate freedom for our country and freedom for our souls. Freedom from sin and freedom to worship our great, kind God. The greatest freedom of all has been given to us. May we recognize this precious freedom and never take it for granted. And may we help to set others free, too.

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