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Free to Thrive Devotion 1

A New Definition of Freedom

“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.” Galatians 5:1

A New Definition of Freedom, by Andrea Lennon

Today’s culture needs a new definition of freedom—a definition based on biblical truth. Believers in Jesus Christ grossly misunderstand freedom when they buy into the world’s definition of freedom by thinking that freedom means independence from any limitations of time, money, relationships, and consequences. This misunderstanding occurs when a believer thinks that they are free when they are able to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and have the resources available to make things happen.

According to the Bible, freedom has nothing to do with earthly things. The Bible teaches that freedom is found in Jesus Christ. In fact, for the believer, freedom is living a life of total abandon to Jesus Christ. We are free to thrive when we are liberated from the effect of sin and self so we can live the life of abundance God created us to live.

Without a doubt, there is a difference between the world’s definition of freedom and the Bible’s definition of freedom. The world defines freedom as independence from any limitations in our daily life. The Bible defines freedom as complete dependence on Jesus Christ. Only as we depend on Him are we truly free to thrive!

In Galatians 5:1, the apostle Paul spoke directly to the freedom issue. Paul stated, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Do you hear the certainty in this passage? I do. The daily question for the believer is not, “Is freedom available for me?” The true choice is, “Will I walk in the freedom Christ provides?”

Walking in the freedom Christ provides occurs as we walk with Christ. This means embracing the truth that we are on a journey that has a very definite destination. The destination is not found in this world. Rather, the destination is found in our real home with Christ in heaven. As we walk with Christ towards our heavenly destination, we experience a willingness to surrender to the things of Christ—and we are set free to thrive.

The second half of Galatians 5:1 teaches how we are to embrace the freedom Christ provides. Paul states, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Paul makes a crucial point in this phrase. In order to be free, we must stand firm by living according to the truth in the Bible. Living according to the Bible forces us to forsake every lie rooted in our lives.

When we live our lives based on a lie, a yoke of slavery controls the direction of our lives. One definition of a yoke is a device laid on the neck of a defeated person. For just a moment, imagine yourself carrying a yoke. Try to feel the weight of the yoke as it presses your head down and your shoulders forward. Think about the fact that once a yoke of slavery controls your life, you are living a defeated life!

Today, I wonder if you are living a defeated life. I wonder if you have bought into a lie by embracing the world’s definition of freedom. As a result, are you walking around in a state of defeat? If so, I have good news for you. Christ sets the believer free! Therefore, your freedom does NOT hinge on the world’s definition of freedom. Your freedom is NOT dependent on comfortable situations or circumstances. It does NOT hinge on available resources like money, power, or influence. Your freedom was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The choice you now face is this: “Will you walk in the freedom Christ provides?” I hope your answer is “YES!”

Without a doubt, our culture needs to embrace a new definition for freedom—a definition based on the Bible. This definition calls for believers to surrender to Christ in every situation faced. In order to live in the freedom Christ provides, we must surrender to Christ’s plans and live His way, not our own. We must have ardent loyalty to truth and look to heaven as our real home. Simply put, freedom must be found in Jesus Christ. Dear sister, forsake the things of this world. Forsake the world’s definition of freedom and embrace the freedom that comes in knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ!

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