A Culture of Freedom

Every person who has ever lived longs to be free. There is something within the human spirit that longs for the freedom to be all that God created us to be. Fighting against freedom are sin, selfishness and worldly systems. People put themselves and others under yokes of bondage that oppress and stifle freedom.

A culture that honors the Lord is a culture of freedom.

The freedom that most honors the Lord is freedom within the guardrails that God puts in place. When we stay within those guardrails, we find there is incredible freedom, joy and life!

Unfortunately, too many nations and cultures today do not practice freedom. The leaders of those nations serve as dictators or oppressive regimes, closely monitoring the words, actions and even movements of their people, hindering their people in many ways.

So what does a culture of freedom look like?

Freedom to worship God. Freedom of religion is a fundamental freedom discussed throughout the Bible. God delivered His people out of slavery in Egypt. One of the reasons that He did this was so that they could freely worship Him. In our country and every country, God desires that the people of that nation be free to worship Him.

Woe to the government that seeks to force its people to worship false gods or tries to hinder its people from worshipping the true and living God. God’s people will worship Him. We pray that in our nation and every nation around the world there be the freedom to worship God without fear of oppression or attack.

Judges 6:8-10
8  The LORD sent a prophet to them. He said to them, “This is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I brought you out of Egypt and out of the place of slavery. 9  I delivered you from the power of Egypt and the power of all who oppressed you. I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10  I said to you: I am Yahweh your God….’”

Freedom to live in peace. The Hebrew word shalom is a powerful word to describe the peace, contentment and wholeness that God gives to us and that He desires for all people. We should seek peace in our land, peace between people, and peace in our hearts. A government that promotes distrust, violence or discord, or one that is hyper-intrusive into the lives of its citizens is not promoting peace. We pray for the freedom to live in peace.

We pray for our leaders. One of the reasons that we pray for them is that we might lead a peaceful, quiet and tranquil life. Hear the words of Paul, writing a letter to his friend Timothy in the first century, instructing him how to pray for the government leaders in authority over him. Notice the “so that” mentioned in verse 2.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 
1  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2  for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Freedom to live for Christ. We pray not only for the ability to freely lead a quiet and tranquil life, but also for the ability to freely live for Christ!

We have heard recently in the news of examples of citizens of our nation being forced to shut down their businesses because they refused to operate in ways that violated their personal convictions as followers of Jesus Christ. Special interest groups have persuaded government officials to write and enforce laws that oppress Christians in many ways, all under the guise of tolerance. The sad reality is that the “tolerance” of which they speak tolerates all views except views that honor Christ, and they seek to force Christians to act in ways that violate their religious convictions.

We pray for the freedom to live for Christ. As followers of Jesus, we will live for Christ no matter what the consequences. We recognize that not everyone shares our viewpoints on all things. With love for God and for all people, we look to God’s Word and seek to live by His principles. We simply want the freedom to live for Christ without threats or intimidation by others, or even worse. This is another reason that we pray for our leaders, so that we may live with godliness and dignity. Hear this passage again, paying attention to the end of verse 2.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 
 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,  for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Freedom to spread the gospel. The gospel of Jesus is good news. The good news is that God loves us so much that He made a way for us to experience abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven. He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin on the cross. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead as the eternal conqueror over death, our guarantee of eternal life. Forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin is available to anyone who will turn away from their sin and surrender their life to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Eternal life is available to everyone who will trust in Him.

This is good news for all people. We are Jesus’ witnesses, sharing this good news to all who will listen. In our nation and every nation, we pray for the freedom to share this good news with people both privately and publicly. This is one more reason that we pray for our leaders. Notice verses 3 & 4 below.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2  for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3  This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4  who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Freedom to worship God. Freedom to live in peace. Freedom to live for Christ. Freedom to spread the gospel. Whether we have these in our nation or not, as followers of Jesus Christ we will always be free. We are eternally free.

John 8:36
36  Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.

_____________

Editor’s Note: This is post #2 of 7 in the series We God’s People are the Conscience of the Culture. Click the links below to view the other posts. 

7 thoughts on “A Culture of Freedom

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