One of my favorite book titles is “Paul: Apostle of The Heart Set Free,” by F. F. Bruce. The Apostle Paul writes that ultimate freedom is being freed from what enslaves us – our selfish desires. He surrendered his life to Christ and considered himself a slave of Christ and poured his life as a drink offering for others. Is this freedom? I am busy and stressed enough with family illnesses, long to-do lists and no time for friends. How do I pour my life out and why would this give me joy? We often say, “If only certain things changed in my life, then I would have joy.” Rarely do we see the need to give of ourselves more in order to experience God’s joy.
Some call it the exchanged life. Christ gave His life for us and we receive His love. We also receive His way of life and become followers of Him. This gives us joy. There is surrender and release of our rights, we are no longer trying to prove ourselves nor do we compare ourselves with others. We do not justify ourselves because it is God who justifies. We do not condemn ourselves because no one can condemn us if He has welcomed us.
Freedom in Christ also means a certain kind of slavery. Paul considers himself a slave. We all have our masters. Our masters can be our looks, applause, money, family, friends, success. No one is ever free. You are serving somebody whether you like it or not. Freedom is serving the One who is your Master and your Friend. He is your Creator and the Lover of your soul. The best Master there is. If you are willing to be trained by Him, you will find tremendous joy.
In all the issues of one’s life, this is the fundamental one. Are you experiencing freedom in Christ? Is there joy in who He has created you to be and are you experiencing daily encouragement from Him? Put yourself in a position to receive from Him. He loves you and wants you to be free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36