I have always loved the story of William Wallace. Well, to be completely honest, I really loved it after watching Braveheart. Up until then, I was never aware of his story. Here was a man who was not willing to allow his land to fall under the rule of a foreign government, so he gathered 30 men and began a resistance to fight for their freedom. The line from the movie “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” has always impacted me because these men were willing to fight to the death for their collective freedom.
It reminds me of the story of how our country was also founded, and since we just got done celebrating Independence Day on the Fourth of July, I am finding myself reflecting on our own freedoms.
This year the celebration has taken on a whole new meaning for me since my son has enlisted in the Navy. I have always had a deep appreciation for our military and the freedoms they have afforded us here in this country, but now there is a whole new depth to that appreciation.
If you think back to that infamous line from Braveheart, we come to the realization that our freedom lies in something so much more than a country. Our true freedom as Christ followers lies in our growing relationship with Jesus. Galatians 5 (verses 1, 4, and 6) talks about this freedom we have in Jesus.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery… You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace… For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Jesus has set us free, and that is true freedom because we have been set free from the slavery of the law. When we try to live by the law we are not truly free, because we are bound up by the religious rules and regulations. It is only when we throw off that burden and receive the grace and love that Jesus offered us and choose to let him be our leader and forgiver, only then are we truly free.
Once we gain that freedom that Jesus has given us, we then need to realize that our lives are no longer our own, because we belong to Jesus. Then we can start laying down our rights for the sake of the task that Jesus has given us. Here is what it says in Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Our job as Christ followers is to go tell others about the good news of the grace that we have been given by Jesus and let others know that it is also available for them. As you reflect this month on your freedoms, my prayer is that you will realize where your true freedom lies and that you would share that same freedom with others.
by Todd Porter