“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going back on that.”
“Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.” -Galatians 2:19-21 [MSG]
Do you know what it’s like to be a slave; to be bound to something? I do. And because of that, I tried to measure my way up to God through good works. I was one of those Christians who was attending church, one who even invited others, but my life had nothing to show for it. Yeah, I loved the joy I felt and experienced in church on a Sunday morning, but you wouldn’t dare tell me to put down my drink on a Saturday night, or not hang out with a certain group of friends. After all, it was those friends that I desired so desperately to please.
There came a point where I tried everything that I possibly could to change myself. But the more I tried, the worse I behaved. I was looking for freedom in all the wrong places. I wanted to do the right thing, but I was trapped in my sin. It was weighing me down. I was in desperate need of a savior, and I longed to be set free.
At the end of myself is where I met Jesus. And that was the turning point that saved my life. True deliverance is only found in Christ. The freedom that our souls are longing for can only come from Jesus. Those things that once held me back, the things that I wanted to change but failed at every attempt, are now nailed to the cross. And having a relationship with Jesus has empowered me to live above the level of sin and mediocrity. It isn’t about rules, and what I can and cannot do, but about all that has been made available to me through Christ.
This freedom is not beyond your reach. Do you know that Christ died in order to redeem you? He put his life on the line because He knew we would need a savior. Worldly freedom is about doing whatever you want whenever you want. It’s the kind that binds you to shame and guilt. But the freedom that is offered to us through Christ is immeasurable. It’s the kind of freedom that says I’m loved despite my shortcomings. The kind that says, if God is for me then who can be against me. This freedom gives you the power to overcome! The truth will set you free!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” -John 8:36