So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
– John 8:36
He shouted, “Freedom!” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
He growled, “Oh, my goodness. Freedom,” as he hit the gas pedal.
In a scene vaguely reminiscent of the destruction of the first set of Ten Commandments, the slab crashed to the ground upon impact with the car and shattered into pieces. The privately funded monument had been installed less than twenty-four hours earlier on the Arkansas state capitol grounds, lasting barely as long as the first set on Sinai.
The man who struck the twisted blow for “freedom” was soon behind bars.
Who knows what was in his mind that morning. Who knows what convinced him God was to blame for his troubles. People in general don’t like rules and being told what to do. Our human nature is fiercely independent, often to our own detriment. We react to God’s discipline much like the toddler who only loves the word “No” when he’s the one saying it.
A two-year-old paints an uncomfortably recognizable portrait of will without wisdom. Imagine the frustration we must give God in our determination for independence without the maturity to manage it.
The perfect father, God gives us boundaries for our safety and well-being. He gave us the Law to teach us the hazards of lawlessness. Without the Law, we would not understand transgression, justice, and our need for an advocate and a pardon.
The truth is, we are all slaves to something.
The only question is what we will serve. Satan appeals to our desire for independence and our craving to sin. But when we cross the lines God has set for us, we have not found freedom. Like the monument-smasher, we’ve simply put ourselves behind bars and multiplied our troubles.
God is our protector, our Savior, our Father. His Word is the guide to a life well-lived.
Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges? The wise person runs to the Rock. God’s Word is not a set of rules keeping us from freedom. It’s the key to it.
The burden of sin is one none of us can carry. Only the Christ can take that millstone from around our necks. Because Jesus has released us from the chains of sin, we can live in abundant freedom as we serve Him and others. The yoke of service to Him is a light one, and one we can wear with joy.
The Son has made us free. How can we repay such a lavish gift? We can honor Him in these ways:
Rejoice always in our release from captivity.
Celebrate Dependence Day every day of the year by trusting in Him.
Worship our God in everything.
Obey His Word.
Live like people who are free, indeed.