It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
Today is Independence Day. Today we celebrate our freedom. Of course, as Americans we celebrate our national and political freedom. As men and women of God, we celebrate our spiritual freedom. Christ has set us free from our bondage to sin. He has set us free from our need to try to earn our salvation, to somehow save ourselves. He has set us free from the stress and worry and angst and anxiety which so often attack us.
Hear me, Beloved. I’m not saying that those things are gone. On the contrary, sin and self-righteousness and anxiety are still very much evident in this world and, at times, in our lives. What I am saying is that you are no longer in bondage to them.
When Paul wrote the above verse to the Galatians he was talking about freedom from the Mosaic Law. Some Jews had chosen to follow Christ, but still felt compelled to meet the demands of the old covenant. Paul was pointing out that a person who has Christ no longer needs the old law, and to trying to follow it is like being a slave who, once free, returns to his chains.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that, for some of us, worry and stress operate in the same way as the Mosaic Law.
It’s about power.
The Judaizers liked the Law because it gave them a sense of control over their destinies. They had rules to follow, stuff to do, that they thought would get them to Heaven.
“But Michael, I don’t worry because I feel powerful. I worry because I feel powerless.”
Yes, but it’s still about power. About control. You worry because you know you are not in control, and you desperately want to be. Because if you’re not in control, someone else is, and there’s a part of you that just cannot handle that.
I’m in the same boat, by the way. May I steer? Of course not.
Sometimes trust seems beyond our grasp. And without trust, there is no rest.
So let’s pray for trust today, shall we? I’ll pray for you, and you for me. Maybe we can both be set free.
Today is the day to celebrate your independence.
And your dependence.
Happy Fourth, Beloved.