The Scariness of Freedom

Freedom brings responsibility, which few like! If I am not free, if all I do is what someone tells me to do, I am not responsible for anything that happens due to my obedience. This is comfy.

Freedom, however, means I am accountable for what I do. This is a scary thing, but it is also a relief! I can finally do what I want. I don’t have to keep serving what someone else says to do. I can eat what I want for supper and go to bed when I want, more importantly, I can get up when I want.

If my free choice of what I eat makes me obese and unhealthy, I’m to blame though. If my sleep habits keep me from daily work, I’m to blame. This is where freedom can’t truly be good until someone knows how to use it.

Jesus tells us that when we know the truth (and He describes Himself as “the Truth”), we will be free, as the truth makes us free.

When we serve sin, we pretty much know what we’re going to get–vanity and death. But your flesh will enjoy itself until right before the death-bed. Christ wants to set us free from self and sin, bring us into true life and joy.

This is cool, sounds wonderful, until you realize the uncertainty of it all.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

I have quoted this verse many times, it’s one of my favorites. It was a life-changing day when I truly saw this verse for the first time. Who is like the wind? I have asked this question many times after reading this verse and the answer I get 90% of the time is “The Holy Spirit.”

But read it again. Who is like the wind? “Every one that is born of the Spirit.” All believers are like the wind–you don’t know where you came from or where you are going.

If that isn’t a definition of freedom, I don’t know what is! Poets use the wind as a metaphor for freedom. This is what we are in Christ. Free. We no longer live for ourselves, which means I have no idea what I’m doing!

This may be scary except that we know we serve a good God. We know we must live within this paradox of servile-freedom, which makes no sense, except it does. We no longer live for the temporal, the seen, the physical and fleshly. We now live for the eternal, unseen and spiritual. This sets us free from what the world around us is enslaved to. Enjoy this.

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4 comments

  1. jesusandthebible

    You allude to Jesus’ words in Jn. 8:31f. about knowing the truth and the truth making us free. Jesus is telling some Jews who listen to him that his words are the truth and will make them free, if they are true disciples and continue to hear him and obey him. When they respond that they have always been free (as a people), Jesus says they are still slaves of sin. Then he begins to point out to them their sin, as they start slandering and plotting against him (Jn. 8:37f.). In contrast to their words of slander and hate, Jesus freely speaks the truth about himself–and about them.
    In Jn. 3, Jesus is again talking to a man who misunderstands his words. Jesus’ words are about being born of the Spirit, and Nicodemus thinks only in terms of being born again by his mother. When Jesus uses the wind to explain, the Greek text uses the word pneuma for wind, the same word it has used for Spirit in the previous verses. So probably the 90% are right that Jesus is saying the Spirit is like the wind. But you are right in pointing to Jesus’ focus on “the one born of the Spirit” (in 3:8). I think the one born of the Spirit is portrayed by the sound of the wind. The one born of the Spirit who speaks the truth (through the Spirit of truth, a phrase found several times in Jn. 14-16) is like the sound of the wind/Spirit.
    The freedom here comes from the source of one’s words; the sound of the Spirit reveals truth that seems to come out of nowhere. Where do these strange words come from? Because one sounds different from all the other teachers, one is free from parroting the teaching of great teachers like Nicodemus. Because the Spirit focuses on the one true teacher, Jesus and his words, the one born of the Spirit understands and speaks the truth that will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment (Jn. 16:7-15).

  2. jeff

    well said. Freedom from sin, freedom from man’s tradition/religion, freedom from bondage to Satan, freedom from selfish living, on and on the list goes.