Personal Freedom — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Personal Freedom — Morning Devotions

Freedom means you are no longer a slave to your own impulses or desires. Christ sets you free from the guilt and consequences of your sin.

By Chris WittsWednesday 5 Jun 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I’m grateful to Dick Innes of ACTS International for the thoughts today about personal freedom. Dick tells the story of a lady named Anna who was born with cataracts that made her blind.

About 10 years ago she had an operation to remove the cataract from her left eye, and for the first time in her life she was able to see. Can you imagine the emotions she felt? She was even able to obtain a driver’s licence. But she found out something else that caused her great despair. She was informed that the operation technique she had experienced had been available for 40 years. During all those years, no-one had told her. What a shock to realise she could have had her sight restored 40 years previously.

Some issues could be solved earlier

Isn’t this true of other areas of life? There are emotional and relational problems that could be solved earlier rather than later. It’s largely our own failure to see these problems that stop us from finding a cure. Sometimes we have problems in issues which we refuse to face up to. Like the speaker who asked a group in church, What do you think is the number one problem church people have? From the back a man called out, Apathy—but who cares?

Sometimes we are apathetic, hypocritical, and self-centred, or blind to reality. But we each live in an imperfect world, and we have problems. Or, as someone has said, “Everyone either has a problem, lives with a problem, or is a problem”. We can go through life in denial and never muster up the courage to face up to our problem, whatever it is. If we don’t face it, chances are it will worsen in time.

We each live in an imperfect world, and we have problems.

There are problems like bitterness, anger, envy, resentment, guilt, lack of forgiveness, and many more. The problems and their root causes that we deny or try to bury, affect our lives in a number of negative ways. If we don’t talk to someone about them, we will eventually act out in a destructive way, or they can keep us from personal happiness, destroy our relationships and drive us into despair or depression.

Let’s not live in denial

So, denial is a deadly disease. It is close to the root of so much evil, for the Devil himself is the father of lies. Satan may not come to us in the form of a snake as he did to Adam and Eve, but he comes as an angel of light, as a great deceiver. His goal is to deceive us, to keep us in the dark and to stop us from finding the truth or personal freedom.

But Jesus said “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). What a wonderful thing to find truth, something we each seek for. Without access to the truth, there is no inner healing, recovery or effective way of overcoming our problems. Jesus is the only real way to finding personal freedom. Today, freedom means doing your own thing: do whatever you want, whenever you want. Why should anyone else tell me I can’t do as I please?

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The root cause of denial

What caused the problem in the first place? Why is there such a thing as denial? It goes back to Adam, when he and Eve (our first parents) failed God’s test in the Garden of Eden. They chose to disobey God and go their own way. And sin entered the human race. Man’s sin separated us from God because he is a holy and perfect God, and a God of justice. Man’s sin had to be judged, and we were separated from him in our sin.

“If the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 – NIV)

But because God is also a God of love, he gave his own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. It was this Jesus who came into the world and died on the cross 2,000 years ago. Why? Because of the sin barrier. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Jesus says, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).

So true freedom means you are no longer a slave to your own impulses or desires. Rather, freedom in Christ sets you free from the guilt and consequences of your sin. God’s Word in Romans says: “Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God’s favour and mercy” (Romans 6:14)

Encounter magazine
June 1997, p9 & p15