What is True Freedom

What is True Freedom

True freedom is often misunderstood in our society. It is often equated with independence, the ability to do whatever we please without any constraints. However, the concept of true freedom goes beyond that. True freedom is living a life that is submitted to God’s desires. It sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? How can we be truly free when we have to surrender our will to someone else? Let’s look at the Israelites and their interactions with God.

From Slavery to Freedom: The Israelites’ Journey

The Israelites understood the harsh reality of slavery. They started out as slaves in Egypt, oppressed and mistreated by their captors. But God, in His faithfulness and love, rescued them from slavery and led them to a land of their own. However, despite God’s goodness and provision, the Israelites abused the gift they had received. They turned away from God and His ways, choosing to follow their own desires instead.

In their journey from slavery to freedom, the Israelites encountered various rules and regulations given to them by God. Some of these rules may have seemed trivial, such as dietary restrictions like abstaining from eating shrimp. However, it was the small rules that they kept, while disregarding the more significant ones that protected others from abuse. They became the abusers themselves, failing to understand the true essence of freedom.

Living as Mostly Free: The Unseen Slavery

After the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they were no longer slaves in the physical sense. They had a land of their own, and life seemed to be going well for them. However, there was an unseen slavery that corrupted their hearts and minds. They became slaves to sin, even in their religious devotion. Their actions were driven by self-interest, rather than a genuine desire to follow God’s will.

Externally, it may have seemed like they were thriving. They focused on improving their economy, engaging in trade and commerce both within their own community and with other nations. As long as their masters were pleased, they were left alone. But the underlying truth remained—they were only mostly free. Their hearts were still bound by sin and selfishness.

God’s Call to Turn from Selfish Ways: The Prophet Malachi

Recognizing the spiritual slavery of His people, God sent the prophet Malachi to deliver a message. Malachi called the people to turn from their selfish ways and to remember God’s faithfulness. The Israelites, however, treated God worse than their earthly slave masters. They knew the consequences of displeasing their masters, yet they forgot that God was in control and could bring about a change at any moment.

In Malachi chapter 4, God reminded them of the impending judgment that awaited the arrogant and evildoers. But for those who feared His name and followed Him wholeheartedly, there was hope. God promised that the sun of righteousness would rise with healing in its wings, and they would go forth with joy and freedom. The wicked would be trampled underfoot, reduced to ashes on the day of God’s Judgment.

The Promise of Restoration: Reuniting Hearts

In addition to the message of judgment, God made a promise to His people. He spoke of sending Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord. Elijah would restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Through this internal transformation, a reconciliation would take place, bridging the gap between generations.

Although Elijah did not return physically, John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah. He fulfilled the prophecy in Malachi by preparing the way for Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Jesus affirmed that John was the one who was to come, the voice in the wilderness calling people to repentance (Matthew 11:14). With John’s ministry, the great and terrible day of the Lord drew nearer.

The Great and Wonderful Day: Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth as the fulfillment of God’s promises. He took on human flesh, experiencing the joys and hardships of life. Jesus declared the favorable year of the Lord, proclaiming liberty to the captives and sight to the blind. His coming marked the beginning of the great and terrible (wonderful) day, where humanity could draw closer to God like never before.

Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus paved the way for true freedom. He bridged the gap between God and humanity, offering a personal relationship with the Creator. By accepting Jesus as our Savior, we invite Him into our hearts, experiencing a closeness with God that surpasses all understanding. This intimate connection with God is the pinnacle of true freedom.

Application: Embracing True Freedom in Our Lives

Understanding the concept of true freedom is essential, but it is equally important to apply it in our daily lives. Here are some practical ways we can embrace true freedom based on the biblical principles we have explored:

  1. Surrender to God’s Will: Recognize that true freedom comes from submitting our will to God. Seek His desires above our own and trust in His perfect plan for our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

  1. Reject the Slavery of Sin: Identify areas in our lives where we are enslaved to sin. Repent and turn away from these destructive patterns, seeking God’s forgiveness and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to overcome.

Romans 6:6-7 – 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; for he who has died is freed from sin.

  1. Cultivate a Heart of Love: As we experience God’s love and grace, let us extend that same love to others. Seek opportunities to serve and bless those around us, imitating the selfless love of Jesus.

Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

  1. Walk in Obedience to God’s Word: Study and meditate on the Scriptures, allowing them to guide our thoughts, actions, and decisions. Obeying God’s commands brings freedom and blessings.

James 1:25 – But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

True freedom is not found in pursuing our own desires without restraint. Rather, it is discovered in submitting our lives to God’s will. The journey from slavery to freedom is both a spiritual and personal one. As we embrace the teachings of Scripture and the transformative power of Jesus Christ, we experience true freedom in our hearts and minds. Let us choose to live in the freedom that comes from following God wholeheartedly, trusting in His faithfulness and rejoicing in the liberty He offers.

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.