Let me ask a few questions about Freedom...

Where is the freedom in having to find a place every 30 minutes to an hour to smoke a cigarette? Where is the freedom in restricting one's choice of restaurants due to their policy of allowing smoking or not?

Where is the freedom in spending money on drugs for an artificial high to the point that it steals from the spouse and children to the point of losing one's job, one's home, one's life just for a temporary, artificial high?

Where is the freedom in waking with a lousy head and vacant memory after a night on the town?

Where is the freedom in stealing a few moments of temporary, perceived pleasure in viewing pornographic material, temporary pleasure in someone's company that is not one's spouse... ducking into dark places and hiding the relationship?

Where is the freedom in those feelings that well up inside which are caused by sinful thoughts and deeds? Or stealing hours and hours away from the family to watch TV, or talk on the phone, or pursue internet friendships?

I have heard people scoff at me for being a slave to Christ but they do not understand what being a slave to sin actually means. Where is satisfaction from buying new shoes, new clothes, new car, new anything? That yawning hole keeps begging for more things and more stuff and more of yourself until there is nothing left to stuff down the hole and still the hunger pangs pierce the soul.

There is nothing in this world big enough or satisfying enough to quench the thirst and hunger forever. It always comes back.

Where is the freedom in pursuit of material riches if it steals time away from family? Where is the freedom in busy work at church if the time spent is given grudgingly or with grumbles and gripes?

Everything listed above are joy and peace killers. There are many more things in this world that are slave-makers because we allow them to make slaves of us and to keep us in bondage... ...Things like anger, bitterness, hatred... the list goes on and on. Nothing fills that God-sized void except the Holy Spirit.

We Christians have freedom of choice in how we handle these emotions. We can either pull them around our hearts like an unfinished homemade quilt with all the pins and needles still in it, or we can rush into our Father's arms, tell Him all our woes and ask Him to take care of it.

It took the willing sacrifice of Jesus to reconcile humans to the Living God again legally. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sweated drops of blood in His anxiety but He chose to obey God's will.

Here's the wonderful thing about this kind of Freedom. When we accept Jesus as Savior -- That's the last decision we ever make on our own. We have much greater wisdom at work in us than mere human wisdom after the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts. Choosing Jesus means choosing Him as Ruler of the Heart and Mind and Body and Soul. There is great freedom in that.

This is how a Christian is known to other Christians...True Believer to other True Believers. The True Believer will desire to obey God and will be convicted by the Holy Spirit when he/she sins. Does this mean we won't have periods of rebellion and/or times of seduction into doing ungodly things? No. We most certainly will have those times because we are not perfect and we still reside in our fleshly, physical bodies.

What it means is that we will be convicted of our sin when we sin and we won't be able to sleep at night or have peace in our minds or be content. We will worry. We will fret. We will do all manner of running away from God until we recognize the sin for what it is. When we confess that sin and repent from that sin...Then God cleanses us, refreshes us, gives us peace in our hearts and minds. Our witness is restored from the shambles it was in and we are stronger in the Lord than ever before...standing strong in His grace. There is much freedom in being His slave.
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