What have we covered so far in Freedom Fridays?
PSA: I Am Not a Superhero
And today: Act Like a Free Person
It may seem pretty basic, but part of learning to walk in freedom is choosing to act like a free person.
We’ve already talked about freedom being a one-time gift and a process. 2 Peter 1:3 says that “His (Jesus) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” Everything we need – and not just for life, but also for godliness.
Galatians 5:24 says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (or sinful nature) with its passions and desires. It doesn’t say “are in the process of crucifying the flesh” or “will someday master crucifying the flesh”, but it says it has already been crucified!
Lest you think this is a typo of some sort or a copying error, remember Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Jesus Himself said in John 8:36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Galatians 5:13 says that the reason God called us was to be free, not so that we would struggle through life, just barely holding on till heaven.
Romans 6:6 says “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” Verse 17 says we used to be slaves to sin, and verse 18 goes on to say that “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
So now that I’ve bombarded you with Scriptures stating that we are now free and no longer slaves in our sinful desires, you may either be feeling 1) empowered or more likely 2) defeated and discouraged. Either way, please keep reading! There is a way out of the cycle of sin.
If this is really true, if I’m really a free person, why do I continue to act as if I am enslaved to sin?
Shouldn’t it be easier, when we are faced with temptation, to just say no and walk away? Why did Paul even talk about, in Romans 7 directly after writing all these verses about not being a slave to sin, his struggle with doing what he didn’t want to do?
I remember a former pastor of mine sharing a story about elephants. I used to think it was about chickens, so if you heard me speak, this is the story I used to share about chickens. But my husband said it was actually about elephants and now it makes a lot more sense!
So, back to the story. In the circus, a common way to train elephants is to tie them with strong ropes to a sturdy pole. The elephants are tied to the pole when they are very young and quite small. Naturally, they initially fight being tied to the pole, but eventually resign themselves to the fact that they cannot get free.
As the elephant grows, the pole and rope stay the same size. Though the animal has everything in him that he needs to break free, he stills acts as if he is in bondage to this pole & rope. The elephant is so used to being enslaved to the pole that he never takes the time to try and see if he could be free.
We as believers often act the same way. We are so used to responding to the desires of our flesh that we don’t realize we can make different choices. We can act like a free person.
Let me share another analogy. Imagine that a person who has walked with a limp his whole life finds out there is a procedure available to correct that limp. He has the surgery, but he is so used to walking with a limp that he needs to undergo physical therapy to relearn how to walk.
Therefore, we as believers should not be surprised when we fall into old habits and patterns. That’s why I call it “learning to walk in freedom”. We need to proactively make choices to act like a free person.
And with that, stay tuned for the conclusion of this next week 🙂