“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” — Psalm 119:32
So many demand freedom, but don’t understand its meaning. Freedom means to be at “liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint; exemption from external control, interference, regulation; the power to determine action without restraint.” — Dictionary.com
When the founding fathers spoke of freedom, and carved it into parchment, their freedom was from the control, interference and regulation of the throne of England. They were not slaves, but already free men, who wanted to govern their own lives and families. But in their success, they formed a government that now intrudes in the lives of its citizens. But whose fault is that?
All of us. Sin and brokenness. The bastardization of the idea of freedom, and the notion that freedom is really the power or right to live without boundaries or consequences.
And who gives us this new “truth?” Who convinced the world that it’s good to live according to the way you feel instead of living according to what’s right? Does that sound like God? It sounds good, and it feels right, and it allows us to justify everything we do. But this false truth gives us a false freedom from sin, which is why it is so readily embraced.
But I tell you the truth, you cannot have freedom without boundaries. You cannot have freedom without laws. You cannot have freedom without truth. You cannot be free without God.
Without boundaries, we are lost. We don’t know our limits or expectations; we don’t know what’s safe or dangerous, and so we must tread carefully all our days, fearful of getting tangled in the briars or falling in a deadly pit.
As our children grow, they demand boundaries. Without them, they live in fear and uncertainty. Woe to the child who knows no discipline, whose hands are free to cause mischief.
Children are desperate for boundaries, and live in desperation without them. In adulthood, they become incapable of accepting boundaries that they’ve never known. Children live to test their boundaries in hopes of finding them steadfast. But when those boundaries move, or are not real, they become fearful and unsure, acting out in desperation, expecting everything to be untrustworthy, while still hoping someone will fence them in before it’s too late.
What is your behavior when your security is threatened or unsure? Are you at peace or are you fearful and unsure; defensive?
We all want and need to be sure of where the line is drawn, while demanding the right and the power to step over it.
That’s freedom. And that’s the freedom only God can provide. Because he and his Word are unchanging and immovable, we can live at peace when we abide in him and his Word.
Instead of treading cautiously, carefully and fearfully – watching every step, unsure where it leads – I can “run in the path of his commands” because I know the path will not change, and that I am safe to run within his boundaries.
“If you hold to my teachings you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:31-32
Only when I keep his Word and live according to his laws can I truly run free!