Freedom podcast notes

Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom consists not in doing what we like, but having the right to do what we ought. Pope John Paul II

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they? – George Carlin

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. – Soren Kierkegaard

I think of this quote every time I see someone driving alone with their mask on.

Freedom has been my biggest struggle during the quarantine season. What freedom do you miss the most?

1) Freedom comes when you put your trust in the right place

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame Psalm 25:1-3

There are a lot of options we can put here.

We can put our trust in work.

We can put our hope in a marriage.

We can put our hope in money.

We can put our trust in our children. We hope they will put away their dishes. History has proven that to be a false hope.

We can put our trust in government

All of those other options that you can put your trust in will let you down. Notice what it says about God. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.

2) Freedom comes when you realize you don’t got this

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. Psalm 25:8-10

These verses say that he guides the humble in what is right.

Have you ever heard the phrase humblebrag. It means to make a modest statement to draw attention to something you’re actually proud of. It was coined by comedian Harris Wittels.

Can you think of any examples?

Meanwhile God is calling out to us saying “I know the way. Follow me and you will be truly free. Stop saying ‘I got this.’” I will be honest with you. This season is really pointing out my control issues. Anyone with me on that?

Now jump down to verse 25

My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. Psalm 25:15-18

The more I researched this word free the more I got a sense for why can can’t be totally free. Let me give you some idea of why we struggle to feel free.

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Psalm 31:3,4

Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. Psalm 116:16

The Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Psalm 129:4

The more I looked up this word the more I found this kind of imagery. Free me from my trap. Cut me free from cords. Here’s why we struggle to be free. Our world is filled with traps. They are everywhere.

There are all kinds of traps that we can sprain our ankles on. We can self medicate with substances or sex or pornography. We start work and before long we are dependent on our success for our value.

Let me give you one more quote. This one is deep.

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. – Voltaire

Let’s be honest. We have chains we revere. We revere our money. We revere our children. We revere our jobs. We revere our bodies. Each of these traps ends in one space. We lose our freedom. We are no longer calling the shots.

3) Freedom comes when stop revering our chains

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36

What Jesus tells us is truth. He doesn’t say “You need to be high to be happy.” He doesn’t whisper, “If you buy that you will be more fulfilled.” He doesn’t say “You will be free if everyone likes you or your body is just right or your kids get good jobs and marry well.” Folks, those are all lies. Those thoughts and ideals will ultimately trip us up and wrap around our ankles and enslave us. Those thoughts become our masters and they are not benevolent leaders. There is only one benevolent leader capable of leading our lives. That’s Jesus. He wants to set us free from our trap.

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36