Freedom is touted as the most precious American value. We talk about it as the main thing that makes this country different from so many “corrupt” nations that struggle in this world. However, we rarely sit back and dissect the purpose of the freedom that we have been given in different aspects of our lives. In fact, I bet many of us don’t even think about the fact that the word freedom refers to a specific kind of freedom in life.
America’s leading “satire-ologist,” Stephen Colbert, jokingly connects pistachios and freedom, as if eating one means supporting the other. Like most commercials today, it’s a stretched referenced meant to be ridiculous (make no mistake – I laugh at them all day long).
In America, we typically refer to “freedom of conscience” when referring to freedom. Of course, we extend that to choice of vocation, religious beliefs, political choices and such. In the book of Acts, there is a story that delves into the purpose of freedom in the Christian life. Acts 5:17-32 tells the story of the Apostles being freed from imprisonment by an angel. He basically teleports the Apostles to safety, confusing the guards the next morning who had been posted to watch the inmates.
Aside: My wife and I have been watching Heroes on Netflix lately, and this makes me wonder if Hiro Nakamura has angelic powers.
All kidding aside, this story perfectly illustrates the physical reality of this world. God gave the Apostles freedom from imprisonment. Jesus himself referred to sin as enslavement in John 8:31-38. In both cases, the freedom referred to does not understand the modern American concept of freedom. This freedom is not a “now I’m my own boss” concept (see Romans 6:17-23). We have been freed so that we might proclaim the mercy of God toward all men who will turn back to God. The Apostles were given their freedom in order that they might preach.
God doesn’t do miracles just to show off. He is not toying around in this world. He moves in powerful ways so that we might be witnesses of what He does and then go out into the world proclaiming what we have seen and heard.
Where are you going with your freedom?
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