by: Carole L. Haines
Happy Independence Day! This is how we were greeting each other just a day or two ago. We were celebrating Freedom, and O how I take it for granted. This all got me thinking, “What is Independence? What does Freedom really look like?”
Independence means-self-rule, self-government, self-reliance.
Freedom is defined as- the power to act, think, or speak as one wants without hindrance or interference. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
We have heard an awful lot thrown around lately about personal freedom, but is a person truly free, by doing whatever they want? God’s Word answers that question this way.
“Do you not know that the one to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of that same one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
I think many people are under the impression that the Bible is a book about Sin. But Sin is not even one of the top 20 most common words in the Bible.
The Top 5 Most Commonly Used Words In The Bible
2. God- 4300 x
3. Man – 2750x
4. Israel – 2750 x
5. People – 2270 x
(July 28, 2017 by The Bible Answer)
Sin isn’t even found in the top 20. But sin is what separates us from God, our demand to have our own way. We can see from the above list that the most commonly used words of the Bible have to do with God and mankind. God is a Being of relationship, aptly demonstrated in the person of the Trinity. The Bible is the True Story of God’s creation and redemption of this world, and mankind, in particular.
God does not try to save us from sin because He is a Kill-joy. No, God knows that sin leads to destruction, addiction and enslavement of ourselves to whatever we crave that is not of Him. God did not create us for these things. Having these things may feel like freedom at first, but then the vines of addiction and obsession begin to grow around us and tie us to that tree. The more we hold onto to sin, the tighter its grip on us becomes, until we are trapped and can’t cut ourselves loose. This has been my personal experience, but I believe it is a universal story. Jesus died to save us from ourselves and all that separates us from God.
The Bible is a roadmap to freedom, peace and true inner joy. Follow its road signs and guideposts and you will not be lost wandering in the Desert of Sin. Most of my freedom has been won regarding my desire to have my own way, in some form or fashion. Here is what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write regarding that truth:
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
On the 4th of July we fly our Country’s Banner, the American Flag. God is Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner; as described in the Story of Moses and the Battle with the Amalekites ( Exodus 17:8-16). Let us fly the Banner of His Love and Redemption high on the pole of our everyday lives. Only living under the Banner of God brings true freedom and Independence.