Two Hundred Thirty five years ago, our forefathers banded together to form a new nation. One that did not have to answer to imperial doctrine. They declared independence from Great Britan. That was put into written form in a document called the Declaration of Independence. The second sentence is one of the most recognized statements in history:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.The colonies declared that they were now liberated. Free from Brittish rule. We are now a democracy because of their bravery, tenacity and in the words of the doctrine their "reliance on the protection of Divine Providence".
We may all possess the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly and the freedom to petition, but are you really free?
There's more to freedom than just liberty. We may have claimed freedom from tyranny, but we can still be under bondage from another type of enslavement...sin.
2 Peter 2:19 states They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
Not to stand on a soapbox and point fingers...(for if I did that, I would have 3 fingers pointing back at me) but if we put anything in our life ahead of God, that is sin. If we have something in our life that we put too high on a pedestal, it can begin to control us. It might not be what we think. True, it could be something serious, like drugs, alcohol or sex...but it could be something like...television. How about video games? Are you obsessed with your iphone...or...horrors...facebook?
Many of these daily distractions are not in and of themselves bad...but it's what we do with them that can cause a problem. When we begin to think of something in an obsessive way, it can control us. It can become a god to us without us even realizing it. It's easy to do...but can be more difficult to break away from.
Peter was warning us of the tendency that humans have to let things control us. God wants us to let His Spirit control us. To have Him control our thoughts and actions. When we let the Spirit lead us, it is easy to keep in tune with what God wants us to do.
As we commemorate our nations independence this weekend, ponder on your own freedom. If you aren't as free as you'd like to be...you know Who to ask for help. He's waiting to help you take your shackles off.