“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would be also free.” ~ Rose Parks
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” ~ George Washington
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Freedom. Though it is engrained to our very core, it’s a concept that is not unique to America. It is desired by most people on this Earth. Wars have been fought over it. Countries have been built on it. Inspirational leaders have emerged all throughout history that have conjured up strong feelings of motivation that have led others to do things beyond what they believed possible. If you ask the average American what he or she treasures most about living in America, the most common answer will likely involve the concept of freedom.
But think about “freedom” for a moment. Does pure and unadulterated freedom really exist? We may be free from certain things, but can we really be free from everything? There are numerous freedoms that I have as a citizen of this country, but I must still obey the laws of this land. I am still required to pay taxes. I am still required to ensure my children receive an education. I am not at liberty to take what belongs to my neighbor, whether it be his possessions or his life.
Freedom is not a concept that has been invented by man. The Bible talks about a freedom that can be obtained from nowhere except obedience to Christ.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2 [NKJV]
Sweet freedom. Freedom from spiritual death. Freedom from a broken life; one that is so marred by sin. Freedom from the entangling clutches of Satan.
But when I obtain this freedom, now what? What does this mean? Does this mean that I have the right to do whatever I want? Does this mean that once I have freedom from sin that I may continue in that sin? In the words of Paul, “Certainly not!” In order to obtain our freedom from sin, God demands obedience to Him.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” ~ I Peter 2:15-15 [ESV]
A bondservant. That’s exactly what I am. That’s what we all are. Ironic as it sounds, we have the freedom to choose the item to which we are a servant. I may continue in a life of sin. God gives me the freedom to make that choice. With that choice comes slavery to the ruler of this world (John 12:31). Or, I may decide to be a servant of the Lord Most High, a decision that comes with eternal life.
As a child, I remember singing songs with our youth group at church. Many of these songs hold special places in my heart. However, there is one song in particular that has stuck with me into adulthood, but it never meant much until someone explained the words to me. The verses of the song read like this:
Pierce my ear, O Lord my God.
Take me to Your door this day.
For I will serve no other god.
Lord, I’m here to stay.
For you have paid the price for me;
With Your blood you ransomed me.
Now I will serve You eternally.
A free man I’ll never be.
The concept of having your ear pierced as a slave comes from the Mosaic Law of dealing with slaves. In Exodus 21, we are told that the master is to release his slaves in the seventh year, and that slave is to go free. Listen to this:
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.” ~ Exodus 21:5-6 [ESV]
Isn’t that an interesting concept? A slave has the right to go free but instead decides to voluntarily stay in submission to the master. I can only imagine that the slave will forever wear that piercing with pride. If the master needs something done that requires particular care, you can rest assured it will be this pierced slave who will be chosen for the task. Why? Because that particular servant cares. He wants to be there. He wants to serve his master with complete obedience. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have stayed.
I thank God daily that he has given me freedom. I have the freedom to choose right from wrong. I have the freedom to resist the devil and to live a life free from sin. But my life must still be in subjection to something. The two masters you and I have to choose from are God or Satan. There is no room for another.
So, to God I say: Pierce my ear, O Lord my God. Take me to Your door this day. I will serve no other god. Lord I’m here to stay.