Called to Freedom (May 14, 2013)

…Opening To…

Words written fifty years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, can have as much…power today as ever they had it then to come alive for us and in us and to make us more alive within ourselves. (Frederick Buechner)

…Listening In…

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. (Galatians 5:13; context)

…Filling Up…

The old guitar case has fourteen verses of scripture taped to it. The one at the top of the case is Galatians 5:13. The words that grabbed me at the time I pasted it to the case were, “You were called to freedom.” And these words still grab me today.

What does this mean, to be “called to freedom?” Well, if we are called to freedom, it means there are points in our lives when we are not free. Things that are not God, but which we mistake for God, can enthrall and enslave us. We sacrifice our freedom when we mistake a created thing for the Creator, when we devote ourselves to something unworthy of devotion. This might be wealth or the need for dominance or the seductive power of a video game or alcohol or drugs.

When we choose these things over God, we put ourselves into voluntary confinement. But God calls to us in this prison. God speaks the words of freedom to us, and reminds us that when we serve God, we are truly free. That is why this verse seems paradoxical. We are called to freedom and called to serve others. True freedom, therefore, happens when we choose to serve each other out of love. When we make this choice, we access a portion of the love of God that is given freely to all, and thus we find freedom.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you grant me free will so that I can choose freely to follow you. Help me make that choice each day of my life, that I may discover how you are calling me to serve others. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, with your words on my lips and your joy in my heart, ready to share both with all I meet.

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