At the time this article was first written, we had recently celebrated Memorial Day and were turning towards the 4th of July. There is a lot of discussion and appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy. Those of us that live in the United States are blessed with many freedoms. We honor those that have fought, and, for some, have made the sacrifice of their natural lives, so we can have these freedoms. But what is true freedom in the Bible and how can you have freedom and victory in your life?
My hope and prayer is that, as you read through this post, you can see how we have the greatest freedom that can ever be afforded no matter where you live or your current situation. Learn about true freedom in God.
Freedom in the Bible is Freedom “FROM”
We have freedom to vote, freedom to practice our religion, and freedom to live our lives as we choose (within reason and without causing harm towards others). In the United States and many other countries around the world, it is a freedom to. While this is something we should be thankful for, freedom to is not the greatest of all freedoms.
As followers of Jesus (or Yeshua in the Hebrew), we are given freedom from. Amongst these are freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from death.
Freedom From Fear
As my grandmother was coming to the end of her natural life, she turned to me and said “be not afraid.” The song was one of her favorite Irish Catholic hymns and, in the chorus, it says “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me, and I will give you rest”. The song gave her comfort in times of loss in her life and gave my family comfort at her funeral.
“Do not fear” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible.
As we trust in him, he will lead us to places of safety. He knows how to direct us away from places where we will stumble.
God loves us and will be there for us in times of trouble and turmoil. We have a choice. We can trust in our own ability and fear the outcome, or trust in God and be rescued.
Freedom in the Bible Comes With Trusting Him
There was a time not too long ago when I was going through a negative employment situation and at any time I could have been unemployed.
I began looking for work before my employment ended.
Each day I prayed and trusted that I would be placed in the best situation. For months I was always the runner up for jobs and I must admit, I was frustrated.
But finally, the prayers were answered and, in retrospect, where I ended up was a much better situation than some of the jobs I would have gladly taken solely for job security purposes.
God took care of us because I did not fear and I put my trust in Him.
The timeline for the answering that prayer was His timeline and not mine. If you are waiting to be placed in a better situation, be patient, do not fear, and place your trust in him and at the time that is right you will be rescued.
1 John 4:18 states:
God is perfect love. We live without fear because our punishment for sin has already taken place through the blood of Yeshua. So do not be afraid. We have this freedom from fear when we wholly trust in God and live in his love. As Josh Baldwin from Bethel Music sings “‘Cause my fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love.”
On the topic of freedom from fear, I do want to address the fear of God. After all, the Bible DOES reference the fear of the Lord.
Should I be afraid of Him? Well, it depends on your definition of fear.
According to Miriam-Webster dictionary, the most common definition means an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. However, if you continue to the third selection it says that fear is profound reverence and awe especially toward God.
When you refer to fear and God, what you are really referencing is reverence and awe.
In Hebrews 12:28, it says:
We should fear God in awe not trembling, doing so through our worship and knowing the awesome power of our creator.
There is a statement inscribed in many a synagogue on the doors of the ark where the Torah scroll is housed. It says “Da lifnei mi atah omed” or “Know Before Whom You Stand”.
Know before whom you stand! Treat the Lord with the reverence due Him as the Creator and the Author and Finisher of our faith, but do not fear Him in the way we view the word “scared”. He loves you!
Freedom From Anxiety
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. An estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults had an anxiety disorder in the past year. If you do have anxiety, you are not alone.
In Philippians 4:6-7 we hear:
Because Jesus is with us, we can have freedom from anxiety in the face of painful and difficult situations. The more we commit ourselves through prayer and the study of his word, the better prepared we will be.
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Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:34:
Jesus warned us that living for personal gain will only lead to great anxiety (or as Notorious B.I.G. wrote “Mo Money Mo Problems”). God promises to provide for our needs. Therefore, those who learn to trust God have no need to worry.Because Jesus is with us, we can have freedom from anxiety in the face of painful and difficult situations. The more we commit ourselves through prayer and the study of his word, the better prepared we will be. Click To Tweet
One note of caution. I am not saying that general anxiety disorder is not a real thing or that you should not seek professional help. I am mostly speaking about the anxiety that comes with worry.
Many that suffer from anxiety also benefit from professional counseling. I encourage you, in addition to committing ourselves to trusting in God, do not be afraid to seek out professional assistance. If you need guidance in that area, I recommend you visit with your Pastor or Rabbi or your physician to see if they have referrals to medical/mental health professionals who will understand and respect your faith.
Freedom From Death
According to statista.com, about half of the U.S. population is very or somewhat afraid of death. One of the benefits of being a follower of Yeshua and the promise of freedom in the Bible is the promise of eternal life.
We learn in Romans 6:22-23:
Jesus frees us from the spiritual death we deserve for our sins. That is Biblical freedom! It frees us from the punishment that would be inflicted upon us at the end of our natural lives for the sins we inevitably commit as imperfect humans.
Later in Romans 8:1-2:
If we accept God’s offer of forgiveness and believe that Jesus died for our sins, there will be no condemnation. We also need to recognize that we need to look outside ourselves to God for the power we need.If we accept God’s offer of forgiveness and believe that Jesus died for our sins, there will be no condemnation. We also need to recognize that we need to look outside ourselves to God for the power we need. Click To Tweet
Freedom in the Bible – What Do You Do With Your Freedom “TO”?
What do you do with your freedom to?
If you are fortunate enough to live in the United States or other countries where you have a lot of freedom to, do you use it to live the life how YOU want to live it?
Or do you use your freedom to love your neighbor, worship our God with reverence and awe, and share the good news with others?
The former can lead to fear, anxiety, and spiritual death upon natural death. The latter affords you the ultimate freedom. Freedom from fear, anxiety, and spiritual death.
By trusting in the promises in God and, because of the sacrifice of his only son Jesus, we are blessed to experience the most meaningful freedom of everlasting promise.
Be sure to get your FREE SOAP Bible Study Workbook below as my gift to you!
Dr. Dave Ferreira
Dr. Dave Ferreira is Diane’s wonderful husband! He is an Administrator in Higher Education and is the founder of a not for profit charity. Dave has also owned a traditional business and is well versed in business start-ups, grant writing, and non-profit formations. He is the author of the book Insider’s Guide to College Etiquette. Dave is also very active in his congregation.
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.