Live Free
© 2004 By D. Eric Williams

I was in downtown Lewiston the other day, walking past a vacant building when I noticed a bit of graffiti on the wall. It was an old-fashioned style of vandalism - simple lines of a single color and quite legible. I found it refreshing, somehow, to see the building defaced in a fashion within the capability of any child rather than the elaborate creations so prevalent today (which require a Masters of Fine Arts to fully appreciate). The message was old fashioned as well: "Live Free" - with a smiley face next to it.

The truth is "old fashioned" doesn't do justice to the antiquity of the message. Living free has been the quest of mankind since the creation of the world. Adam sought to live free - to be his own god - only to discover the principal Bob Dylan would sing about a few millennium later: "everybody's gotta serve somebody."

The Apostle Paul (anticipating Bob Dylan by a couple thousand years), put it this way: "Do you not know that to whom you present your selves slaves to obey, you are that one's slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" In other words if you think you will live free by turning your back on what God commands, think again. Instead of gaining freedom you will become a slave to sin and death. Indeed, there is only one path to freedom and that is in submission to Jesus Christ.

Yet, the idea freedom is found through submission is irritating. It doesn't sound reasonable. After all, isn't freedom a matter of doing what I want, when I want and how I want? Not really. The bondage of self is the most comprehensive form of slavery; self is a ruthless master from whom nothing is hidden. The question is never "to serve or not to serve" but is "who are you going to serve?"

Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. He told us if we know the truth, the truth will set us free. The Bible also tells us the way we know we have come to know Jesus is that we keep His commandments. The path to freedom is clear.

So what are you waiting for? Break the bonds of sin and self. Take on the light burden and easy yoke of Jesus instead. Live Free.

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