Am I FREE to do that?

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I recall telling my mother as a teenager “I can hardly wait until I’m 21 so I can get out of this house.” Basically, I was referring to having ‘my freedom.’ Her response was “You don’t have to wait until then. You can go now!” Of course, I didn’t go. But when I left home to go to Penn State, having never been on my own, I thought I was finally “free.” I had never been away from home before. With no one to tell me what time to go to bed, or when to be home, etc., I began to experience what I thought was freedom. I laid a weak foundation for my education in that after eight weeks of a ten-week term, I realized I had spent more time exploring my “freedom” than I did on schoolwork.

What is freedom? The Oxford Universal Dictionary defines it as: “Exemption or release from slavery or imprisonment; personal liberty; exemption from arbitrary control; independence.”

When it comes to spiritual freedom, I have found the mindset of many who are either young in the faith or want to see how close they can get to the fire without being burned. The students with whom I interact want to know how far they can go. How much alcohol is too much? Is it alright to gamble? How far can they go before their behavior is considered as “having sex?” And the list goes on. They don’t seem to have a concept of the spiritual bondage they were in before they came to know the Lord. They don’t realize they were actually slaves of sin. They willingly sinned because either they didn’t know God as they thought, or they were spiritual babies, which means they continued to operate according to their human desires instead of God’s desires, as did the Corinthian believers (See 1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

Growing up, I knew far more about what I couldn’t do than what I could. There were so many rules established designed to help us be “holy” instead of teaching what I know now as relying on the Holy Spirit who lives in me. Now, I understand that when temptation knocks on the door, I seek Good for the answer. Now I know that if I obey God, I won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). Now, instead of being imprisoned by sin, I have real freedom. I’m free from the tyranny of sin and the guilt that followed. I know what it was like to live in Christ while still in bondage, as it were. Now, I know what real freedom is. I am free to do what is right!!! And I have power from God to accomplish it. When I step out of line in thought, word, or deed, there is Someone within, the Holy Spirit, who uses Word of God to pull me back in line. He doesn’t condemn me; He corrects me, cleanses me, and starts me off again. Now that’s spiritual freedom! 

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