God seems to put a high value on freedom.
What is freedom? What does it look like?
Freedom is not a location, it’s a state of being. Freedom is not about where you are, it’s about who you are.
Freedom is not the same thing as independence. You may want independence because of fear and lack of trust, but freedom is fueled by love and trust.
One of the definitions the dictionary gives for freedom is, “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”
This is instructive because coercion and control seem to be what many think is necessary to make Christians behave and grow up in Christ. Can I tell you, this is the opposite of how God works.
You will never find freedom by trying to obey the Ten Commandments. You find freedom by turning to Christ and living His life (2 Cor.3:14-18; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3).
Freedom comes from within, not from without.
We are the Church (“called out ones”), citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth (Phil.3:20). And God’s Kingdom works by faith through love (Gal.5:6), not by following rules or by outside restraint.
The only control in the Kingdom of God is self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:23).
We are free because we have already entered into the Kingdom of heaven (Lk.17:20-21; Jn.3:3; Col.1:13), and freedom is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom.14:17).
There is no such thing as bondage, coercion or restraint in heaven. And the “real” you is now seated in heavenly places (Eph.2:6).
We are now free not to sin, fully empowered to live a godly life (Titus 2:11-12), because the new nature that was given to us doesn’t sin…actually, it cannot sin (1 Jn.3:9). We just don’t fully understand our freedom yet.
To the degree that we don’t know the truth of our new identity in Christ is the same degree that we are not free (Jn.8:31-32).
The truth is, as Jonathan Welton has pointed out, we should be the freest place on earth because we have the Holy Spirit, and wherever He is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17).
Freedom is a state of mind, and you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor.2:16). And there is no one freer than Christ.
God is the freest being of all. And you are made in His image, so you were meant to be as free as God is free.
Contrary to popular opinion, God won’t make you do anything. And because He is love, and love can only exist between free persons, the freest relationship of all is between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Likewise, our human love relationships only work in a free environment where free people freely choose to love.
A bad relationship is where one tries to make the other behave and be like them; a good one is where both are free from such control.
Love arbitrarily chooses the other regardless of their response. God has already arbitrarily chosen to love you (Jn.15:15). You are free to live apart from His love or respond to it.
Christ expressed God’s love by freely choosing to die for our sins before we ever wanted to choose Him (Jn.3:16; Rom.5:8).
God does not coerce us, His overwhelming love compels us (2 Cor.5:14).
God honors you so much that He’s given you free will.
And His love is continuously demonstrated by the fact that most people on the planet choose not to do His will, and yet He still chooses to love them exactly the same, and will withhold nothing from them if they ever choose to respond to His overture.
God will never change His mind about you regardless of how you respond to Him. He will never love you any more or any less than He does right now, for He always loves you with all of His heart, soul, mind, and strength.
God has freely given you everything you need to return His love and live in freedom. In fact, He’s already freely given you everything you will ever need, now or in the future (Col.2:10; 2 Pet.1:3-4).
So, you are free to manage your side of this relationship, to access the “all things” by faith. But, if you don’t, you are free to live without His benefits.
The truth is found in a Person, Christ (Jn.14:6). And if you know Him, you will know the truth and be made free (Jn.8:31-32). But you are also free not to know the truth and live in bondage, deception, and darkness.
God manages His side of the relationship. He doesn’t manage your side.