“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
There is so much truth in this verse that I often missed as a new believer. When singing the popular song based on this verse, I would get annoyed with the repetition. My head filled with criticisms like, “no duh, we were set free for freedom. I get it. Shut up already! Time to move on!” One day though, it finally clicked. I wasn’t set free to be perfect. I wasn’t set free to perform or to make God happy. I wasn’t set free for anything other than freedom – that’s how much Jesus loved me. My freedom, no matter what I chose to do with it, was the gift He died to give me.
After that day, freedom became so precious to me, and I wished other people could see what I saw in this verse. I wanted everyone to be as excited about this gift as I was. But, in my excitement, I neglected the whole second half of the verse. Every time I would mess up, fall back into sin, or be harsh with someone, I would feel worthless. To me, freedom still meant I had to be perfect. Freedom was fragile and had to be guarded carefully, or it would break. Anytime I failed to stand firm, I became a failure. And of course, that is exactly what the enemy wanted me to believe. I messed up, so now my freedom was gone and Jesus couldn’t possibly love me. What a heartbreaking lie!
Today, I am learning that while freedom is precious, it isn’t fragile. I may fail to stand firm, but I still have a choice. Galatians asks me, will you choose to submit only to Christ, and not to slavery? When I fail to stand firm, I don’t have to give up! Satan may back me down a few steps from the summit, but slavery is in the valley. I refuse to back there.