Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
Freedom is defined as the state of being free or at liberty as opposed to slavery or bondage.
The Israelites were held in slavery for many, many generations. (400 years according to Acts 7:6 and Genesis 15:13) When God delivered them from their captors (Egypt) you would think they just walked out into the world and claimed their freedom. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even though they had been delivered from slavery they still had the minds of slaves. They were not living in freedom.
Deliverance is only part of freedom. An important part no doubt, but still just a fragment. We need to be delivered from our captors such as addictions, strongholds, lies and fear to name a few. Then we need to receive the freedom that comes with deliverance.
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Delivered but not really living in complete freedom. Their minds often still held in the bondage of slavery. Wondering if it might be easier just to go back to slavery than live a life delivered but not really free. They enslaved themselves even amidst their own deliverance.
How many of us live just like them? I know I have struggled for many years knowing God said I was delivered from an addiction but still living in a mindset of captivity. That’s not freedom. Freedom is no chains. Freedom is the ability to live without constant fear of falling back into that trap if I take one misstep. Freedom means I don’t just throw it all away if I do make a mistake. It means I can accept God’s mercy and move forward with grace. To me it means the enemy can’t use the addiction I was delivered from to pull me back to slavery. I AM free! I need to claim it and not look back.
The Israelites wandered in their deliverance for way to many years. So do many of us! Often we’re too paralyzed by fear to know what steps we need to take from deliverance to freedom. Every time they let their eyes drift from God they would wallow in their circumstances. I’m guilty of the same. If I take my eyes off Jesus for even a brief time the enemy tries to drag me back to the desert!
The Israelites could see the Promised Land. Freedom was within their reach. They stood on the hill to look. They even stepped out into freedom to check it out. Unfortunately, all most of them could see were giants in the land. So they grumbled amongst themselves. It spread like a virus. How could freedom lie there? It was there because God promised it! So in an act of disobedience and lack of faith they turned away from their own freedom. Just to walk back into where they had been delivered out of slavery to. Stuck in limbo. Not slaves but not free.
Let’s be like Joshua and Caleb and despite the giants we face, receive the gift of freedom Christ has promised us. Accept the deliverance He has given you and walk out into freedom.
Jesus, help me to accept Your deliverance as a done deal. Never again to pick up that yoke of slavery. I know my freedom is IN You. Give me the strength through Your Holy Spirit to make the choice to walk in freedom each day. Keeping my eyes on You and Your promises! In Jesus name, Amen!