Slaves vs. Free
I know of people who have experienced the harshest prison conditions known to mankind who were some of the most free people who ever lived and I also know of people who have never seen the inside of a jail cell but who are some of the most imprisoned people who ever lived.
What does this reveal? What it reveals to me is that natural freedom is not the highest level of freedom. Don’t hear me wrong - the physical freedoms that many a soldier has fought and died for are very important and I do not diminish their value or the value of the sacrifices which were made for them. I am grateful to God for the country that I live in and for the shoulders of those I stand on who paved the way for all the many freedoms I have grown up in and experience as normal. But there is a freedom, an even greater freedom, which cost a higher price, of which I want to share about in this blog.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1 (written by Paul who was frequently in prison because of his faith in Jesus Christ)
With the focus of the coronavirus shifting from the fears of the virus to the fears of government overreach and with many people still as polarized in this country as before COVID 19, my mind has drifted to imagining a post COVID 19 world - and if I’m honest, I imagine a dystopia more than a utopia.
What is true freedom?
Whether we exit this global pandemic into a dystopia or not, I know of a freedom that no person can ever take away from another person - no matter the imposed restrictions, no matter physical torture or even death.
True freedom is a spiritual state of being. Human beings are spiritual beings. While we live on earth, our spirits are limited by our physical bodies but our spiritual freedom is not. The question is - are you truly free?
This world has LOTS to offer us and there are a million things which can captivate the soul (soul = mind, will, and emotions). During this quarantine there are a million voices shouting at us, vying for our attention. Who do you find yourself listening to? And why?
The spirit realm has a voice too! Unbeknownst to many, the voice of spirits is also known as (aka) thoughts. Which thoughts have been speaking the loudest in your mind? Do you realize when a thought has been planted in your mind? Do your thoughts always produce peace, joy, and love for others?
The Spirit of Jesus Christ, also known as The Holy Spirit is the ONLY Spirit whose fruit is peace, joy, and love. Other fruits of The Holy Spirit are patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
If the thoughts which run through your mind are not producing the above mentioned fruits then it is time to question the voice behind those thoughts. Only God’s voice, through His Holy Spirit, will produce good fruit. Other spirits seek to produce fruits such as fear, hate, suspicion, judgmentalism, and much, much worse.
Do you feel good internally when you hate someone? Is it how you imagine internal freedom? One of my heroes in life and of my faith, Corrie Ten Boom, survived Ravensbrook, one of the worst concentration camps during WWII. Her beloved sister and best friend died at Ravensbrook as well as her father and other family members. Her family ended up in concentration camps because they hid Jews in their home during WWII.
Another of my heroes in life and of my faith is Immaculee Ilibagiza. She survived the Rwandan genocide by hiding in a tiny bathroom with several other women for 3 months. ALL of her family members were brutally murdered during the genocide including her beloved brother and soul mate who was hacked to death with a machete.
The reason these two women are my heroes is because DESPITE the hell-on-earth conditions that they lived through, DESPITE the wrongful imprisonment, DESPITE the great losses they incurred - they both came to know and give RADICAL forgiveness and SUPERNATURAL love. They both faced their enemies, people who had abused and murdered their family members, and they extended forgiveness and love to those people.
AND THAT is what TRUE FREEDOM looks like. These women suffered some of the worst imprisonments this life has to offer and yet because of The Holy Spirit within them - they are two examples of the most FREE people who ever lived.
Natural freedom IS a treasure and should be cherished and defended - but spiritual freedom is truly priceless, it cost God His only begotten Son, and can never be taken away from the person who receives and keeps it.
May all of us find true freedom in Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.