What does freedom look like?
When I think of freedom I think of jubilant dancing, arms lifted high, lots and lots of chocolate and comfy spaces with a great view. I don’t think of deserts or cliffside trails or enemies.
Freedom leads us into some pretty lean places, spacious places, and scary spaces. But through it all, God is with us. In fact, He is the one who leads us into these not so friendly, seemingly freedom stealing journeys.
But that’s the thing. Wouldn’t life get boring if all we did was sit around drinking sweet tea and nibbling on carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (did I mention it’s 3 layers of yummy goodness)? Wouldn’t it get a little bland and we’d go looking for adventure?
Usually when I go looking for adventure, I walk into some trouble that I need rescuing from. But walking in freedom with God means He leads us on adventures that can be fraught with danger and safety all at once.
He is our safety and life with him is our adventure.
But it doesn’t seem that way when we’ve been wandering in the desert and we’re desperate for drink.
It seems scary when we’re on a narrow trail with our backs pressed to the rocky cliff and our toes hanging over a precipice, and God calls us to keep walking.
We wonder if we’ve been left to die when we look up and see we’re surrounded by our enemies.
We can echo the psalmist in Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him,” when we find ourself on a seemingly narrow passage with sheer cliff face on one side and the depths on the other because verse 33 states, “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”
We will find ourselves in death defying heights or the depths of despair in this freedom journey, but also in the presence of the living God who calls the stars by name, knows every hair on our heads, and who holds us close to his heart.
We need not fear when God calls us to the desert, or waters, or fire because he is with us. He guides us with his staff and protects us from enemies. The question is, will you give up your idea of freedom and exchange for a life of freedom adventure.
Our idea of freedom is perilous because it places us on the sidelines, nibbling on bonbons while life is lived around us. And pretty soon, those bonbons become like a chain and we’re back in bondage.
Freedom is a gift so that you can walk confidently in all that God has called you to, whether it’s raising your kids, managing your employees, serving your customers, or loving your neighbor.
In Psalm 23 we have the perfect description of a life of adventurous freedom. God leads us beside still waters and through the valley of the shadow of death. He guides us in righteousness and spreads a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
He is with us and goodness and mercy follow us.
Trust him to guide you, never take your eyes off him, and listen for his heartbeat.