We celebrate Independence Day on July Fourth. The day we became a sovereign nation declaring our independence from England. So the topic of freedom comes to mind. Have you ever flown a kite and got it to climb high into the sky with all the string out? The kite is pulling and seemingly wanting to be released so that it can be free to soar to heights unknown. Have you ever given in to that urge of letting it go free? Or perhaps the kite has escaped from your grip. What happens in that moment? Does the kite break away and continue to climb and soar? No it doesn't. It comes crashing down. The tension of being on the end of a string is what allows it the freedom to soar. As soon as it is let go gravity takes over and it dives toward the ground in a mad dash.
I guess the question that follows is, "are you on a string?" If so, who is holding your string? We long to be completely free but were created to be in relationship with God, our Creator. That is the ultimate freedom. Connected to God we are free to soar to marvelous and exciting heights. Many of us are controlled by things that are not of God. Freedom comes only as we bring these unsanctified and unholy places under the rule of Jesus Christ, so that He can possess those very places. I know it sounds almost counterintuitive but the first step in freeing ourselves from un-Godly urges, involves sanctifying these places of unholy bondage to Christ. If it's sexual, you sanctify your sexuality to Christ. If it's emotional, as with rage, jealousy, anger, fear, self-hatred....you sanctify your emotions. If it involves addiction, you sanctify your appetite, your obsession, and your body. If you want to be free in those places, they must come under the intimate and ongoing control of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:12-14, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as the instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life: and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, for you are not under law but under grace."
There is hope of freedom because of what Christ has done. Now we have an option. But we do have to stop presenting ourselves over to sin as best we can. The only way I know how to do that is to invite Jesus into those shadowy and scary places so that His power can restore me to right relationships. Our choices do matter.
The only way we can be truly free is to stay attached to Christ and rooted and planted firmly in His Word and Sacraments. Make sure Jesus is holding your string and don't cut yourself loose. You may think by doing so you will be free to soar to new and exciting heights but like a kite, only a crash landing awaits you. Find your freedom in Christ. You were created by God to be in relationship with God!