It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I think we humans are exchangers. We get rid of one thing, only to need to find another. We can’t have empty hands or hearts or heads, we need to be full of something.
We can easily find freedom and then think it can be and trapped and tamed. We want to replicate it, multiply it. We have tasted the sweetness of its gift and we cannot help but crush it into something unrecognizable in order to control it.
Many times, our greatest sin is not on a memorized forbidden action list, but our addiction to the hallow shadows of the beautiful life we have at our fingertips.
Jesus redeems everything, frees everything, it’s a mystery that we will never understand. We worship and hope and live and we still cling to shadows.
Paul knew what I think we all know, one of our biggest enemies is our tendency to chain ourselves to good things to try to amplify and sustain our God given freedom. Routines, rules, lists, forms, we quantify and qualify. We want to grow and stretch and serve the kingdom in a way that is profound. We want discipline, we want to annihilate our selfishness and get as far away from the death that chains us down as possible. We want to run uninhibited to Jesus.
And yet it stops being about the walk to follow Jesus and it becomes a chase. The chase becomes more of our focus than the one we are supposed to be walking with. This freedom is an invitation to come and see a life that is bigger and beyond the possibility of anything we could imagine or attain on our own. So often we become so fearful of missing out on the freedom that we get obsessed with obstacles instead of developing a life that follows where Jesus leads.
We build walls and make rules and try so so so so so so hard. Before we know it, we have another yoke of slavery. This one looks holier, but smells just as shitty.
This is the great danger of freedom. The greater the freedom, the greater the trust. This can only be experienced in the context of a deep growing relationship. The more you trust God the less that you depend on tangible requirements. We must trust God and trust in who he made us enough to go out and become that person. It won’t look like everyone else. There is no guide for who you are, there is no mold or cookie cutter or list of boxes to check. It’s just you letting Jesus in to every part of your life to figure this crazy thing out together.
We aren’t good at this level of mystery, and this level of dependence on God. We want to be able to know what to do, and just go do it and pick up our award upon completion. This kind of thinking is a different type of slavery, and God wants us to be free from that too.
There is a whole wild free world to be discovered, on earth as it is in heaven. Will we exchange our darkness for a “knock-off holy” yoke of slavery? Or will we submit to God’s wild freedom?