Whose View of Freedom Are You Living?

by Debbie Wilson

My husband and I zipped along I-95 South, heading home from the busy DC area. Occasionally, wanna-be race car drivers cut in and out too close for my comfort. I marveled at how a tight space could hold so many speeding vehicles. But that changed when we reached an area marked, “Warning: Unmarked Pavement Ahead.”

Without lines delineating the last two lanes, the space that had safely held four speeding lanes of traffic shrank to three tentative lanes. The benefit of clearly marked lanes couldn’t be clearer. Well-defined boundaries increase everyone’s speed and safety.

I imagined traveling I-95 without marked lanes and shuddered. Then I thought of our culture. In the name of freedom, we’ve erased limits that ensure our liberty and protection. We all suffer as a result.

Have you ever driven into a parking lot without marked spaces? Even a crowded parking lot benefits from defined limits. A populated world needs clear boundaries to prosper. The Bible provides timeless parameters to protect our travel through this world. When we live within those limits, we avert needless mishaps and heartaches.

God’s instructions protect us from harm. The enemy wants to remove this guardrail. As we remember God’s character, we won’t fall for lies.

“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living” (Psalm 19:7-8 NLT).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NASB).

The Problem with Adding Rules to God’s Word

Sometimes we add to God’s standards, turning God’s protection into a heavy burden. Jesus blasted the religious leaders of His day for this very offense. The apostle Paul pointed out the fruitlessness of using man-made rules to corral sinful impulses.

“‘Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!’?Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires” (Colossians 2:21-23 NLT).

If you grew up under religious rules that turned you off to biblical standards, Jesus understands. Look at His invitation.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light’” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).

Dismissing God’s commandments brings suffering and heartache. Adding to them steals our joy and puts the focus on self-effort instead of faith. What is the solution?

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NASB).

We must welcome God’s commandments as guardrails of liberty and invite the Holy Spirit to live through us every day in applying them.

Don’t be duped by our culture—religious or secular. Biblical instructions keep our lives safe and protect our liberty.

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.

Little Faith, Big God: Grace to Grow When Your Faith Feels Small by [Wilson, Debbie]

Debbie and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.

Join the conversation: Which boundary in God’s Word do you consider essential to healthy living?

7 thoughts on “Whose View of Freedom Are You Living?

  1. When I read the question about which boundary in God’s word is essential, I immediately asked God. The phrase from the psalmist flowed through my mind: “You alone are God.” I must watch the little idols that daily pop up — facebook, TV, things that take my eyes off of God alone.
    Thank you for the excellent devotional and the piercing question.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a thoughtful, courageous, and tactful post and such a timely, appropriate illustration. Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us. I think of speech. Imagine what our world would be likely if God had not drawn parameters on what we say to others. I shudder to think of the chaos and hurt unrestrained speech would cause.

    Liked by 1 person

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