SIGNPOSTS. indications for the journey.step one
Freedom free to walk this road Galatians 5.1-6, 13-15
Signposts and freedom I got badly lost once. Didn’t have a clue I was lost either; didn’t know where I was going though. So I rang for help.
Problem with many of us, and not just guys, we hesitate to ask for directions early enough, and then we make the situation worse. Not just on trips but also in life as well.
There is a direction for every human life…it’s Godward.
Trouble with achieving any traction on that journey (to which we’ve been invited by God) is the number and nature of things holding us back from getting on with it; could say the number of things that get under our wheels and rob us of traction. A friend would talk about being hobbled.
Was does God say? Does He actually offer freedom of any sort, or are we in some way bound to some kind of rule or manual?
The truth shall set you free…Jesus [Jn 8.(31), 32]
But now you have been set free from sin…Paul [Romans 6.22 and see verse 23]
The law of the Spirit has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death…Paul [Romans 8.2]
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord, is there is freedom…Paul [2 Corinthians 7.13]
Live as people who are free…Peter [1 Peter 2.16]
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty…James [James 2.12]
It is for freedom that you have been set free…Paul [Galatians 5.1]
Wow!!!!! Those are strong verses in which people of faith have found strength in many places and situations. But let’s focus on the verses in Galatians.
It is clear that we are meant to be free, to live in freedom – that’s what Christ has done for us. This is not a temporary or optional state for followers of Jesus. This is how we are now to live our lives. We are not to fall back on looking for or formulating rules and regulations when freedom becomes too scary or uncontrollable, or when we need something more tangible to guide us or mark us out. Rules and regulations, which oppose freedom, can not save us, cannot lead us to our eternal destiny with Christ, they don’t impart hope. Rules bind us to a system rather than to a person who holds our future in His hands, they also negate the need for faith which is what our relationship with God in Christ is all about. This is faith that flows out of loving gratitude to the One who has saved us entirely because He loves us.
So what? No rules? No law? No restrictions on our behaviour? Is that how this looks to some of us? How can we be free if we’re not allowed to do whatever we want at any point in time?
Hear this and hear it carefully, freedom is not for us to use on ourselves, to please ourselves. The point of Jesus’ temptations was that He was potentially free to do the things that Satan was suggesting, but chose to pursue a path that was consistent with a life that was for the sake of others. His freedom was to give life to us as a gift. So am I free to do only what matters to me, to make choices independently of the needs and concerns of others? Definitely not!!! Neither publicly nor secretly. Our freedom is a gift that allows our to hear God and follow whatever He’s leading toward – which we already know is a life lived totally for the sake of others. [Matthew 25 and all that.] In the process there are all kinds of little rules, customs, traditions, mores and the like of which we are being freed. Many of these exist to ensure we don’t cause offence or disrupt a vision of social order. but what if our lives and our churches were structured around serving the needs of others?
What’s it got to do with you? As we went through this some of you will have been identifying things from which God has meant you to be free; what are they? Where did they come from, how are they limiting you from being what God has called you to be?
What expectations, what false responsibilities, what fences and walls are you being limited by, or as my friend would say, what’s hobbling you and preventing for from God’s call?
But more than that – for what has God has set you free? What does your freedom look like?
[ B i g p a u s e . . . remember thinking? ]
How would you spend use your resources of time, abilities, possessions and finances if you believed it was entirely a matter of being free to marshall them in God’s loving and liberating service? What lifestyle and life calling would it point you to?
If you can’t work that out, think of this question: what would you do if were free to do whatever you really wanted and it didn’t matter if you failed trying?
You are free…I’ll say it again, you are free; again, you are free. Christ has made you free and has filled you with His Sovereign Spirit to enable you to pursue the call of that freedom. If the signpost you’re thinking of following doesn’t say that, if it says instead “follow the rules” you’re going to become lost.
As you pray, and as you meditate over God’s Word ask for, look for, the path marked out as freedom in Christ. Walk it by faith, walk it in confidence, walk it with the Lord.