This is a follow up to the sermon, ‘Don’t Hold Back – Part 4 – JESUS’, preached on September 30, 2018.
On Sunday, we talked about the idea that Jesus gave everything – even to death – to secure us complete freedom. But, this freedom still asks something of us. Still requires something from us. So how is it truly freedom, if it has a tag?
It all comes down to the definition of freedom and how it relates to our identity. Let’s say that I want to be secured financially; I want to not worry about the next day, the next dollar, or the next meal.I have many avenues available to me – I can budget and sacrifice financially, in order to make my finances into something stable; I can take another job, working extra hard in order to secure the extra financial flexibility; or I could perhaps knock off a bank, flee the country, and become an international, rich fugitive.
And each choice has a consequence attached! We give up one thing to get another – we give up flexibility for stability; we give up time and other activities for flexibility; or we give up our very freedom for riches! And all of life is like this – making trades, giving up one priority for the next. Because deep down, we can’t ever truly make our lives complete. We can only shuffle the gap around.
But in Jesus, he brings a new, all-powerful, supernatural option to the table. He calls us to not even worry about our finances (Matt. 6:33), trusting in God to take care of us and provide for us. He gets to the root of the matter, and fills the hole we tried to patch using worldly means. But it requires an identity shift, a personality shift, on our part. We need to stop making our lives about the here and now, and start making it about the who and eternity. Because as long as we are a slave to the temporary, we can never be free.
They say that God is more interested in who we are becoming than in the right or wrong choices in a situation. And I believe this. Not to say that God doesn’t care about our choices! But rather, that the primary goal is heart and identity change – making us into the kind of person that walks so connected with Him that all the holes are filled, and we are free from the chains that hold us down. God offers us the kind of freedom that sinks in and lasts – but it changes us in the process.
So stop shuffling the gap! Choose to follow God where He wants you to go, and become the kind of person He wants you to be. Because real freedom is not found in the right finances, or the right job, or the right marriage – true freedom is found being connected to the God who made us to be sustained by Him.