Be Free!

Today in the United States we celebrate Independence Day. It has become a day for hot dogs, picnics, fireworks, and family. Americans love to celebrate freedom and talk about freedom, and feel special about our freedom. And yet, they are many of us that are far from free. To be truly free we must be free from worry, anxiety, obsessions, addictions, and compulsions. Well, then we celebrate being relatively free? Is there such a thing as partially free?

We worry about what other people think of us. We obsess over our looks. We are addicted to substances, work, oil, gambling, and on and on. We compulsively collect material goods and depression and anxiety medications are prescribed in record numbers. But we are celebrating being independent.

True independence is about being free to be who we are and not being controlled by external or internal forces. It is being on the wisdom path, the path of gnosis, discovering your soul’s purpose and connecting to the Source of All That Is. You are free when the one you most want to please is your Creator. Whom do you most want to please?

True freedom comes when you are clear about why you are here and whom you are here to serve. We were created with the wonderful gift of free will—freedom of choice. We are free moral agents with the ability to decide whom we are going to follow. The Apostle Paul talks about being a slave to sin or a slave to righteous living. We choose. It is through the Christ power that we are free to choose righteousness over sin (Romans 6).

Paul’s comments reveal an important principle. Since we live on a fallen planet, we were born slaves to sin. We have not, however, lost the right to choose our sovereign or supreme authority. We are free to remain under the control of our lower nature of appetite, addiction, and compulsion, or we are free to choose the Christ power and become “slaves” to righteous or right living.

Paul then goes on to tell us that if we choose this path we can live life in the Spirit, freeing ourselves from the power of the old way of living life without the Spirit. Through the power of the Spirit we begin to learn the path of true freedom—freedom from obsession, defeat, materialism, ego, and everything else that comes with our lower nature.

The mistake that we often make is in trying to be free without a union and partnership with the Spirit. We try to “clean up our act”. Paul compares this to living under the law. It is another form of slavery. The life of freedom is a life united with the Spirit. It is compared to slavery but of a much different nature. You become a “slave” to right living, producing fruits of the Spirit in your life of goodness, patience, kindness, joy, and love.

The path of gnosis, or the path of personally knowing and seeking God, leads you to have a greater and greater desire for the Spirit to be in control of your heart, mind, and soul. The life of servitude to the Spirit is a life that is free indeed! Imagine being free from your insecurities, your anxieties and fears, your sense of hopelessness, or the deep emptiness within. God’s Spirit fills every need, every desire, and every longing. We are then truly free.

God will never coerce, shame, or guilt you into accepting a partnership with the Divine. God always invites. I love the picture in the scripture that says, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you will open it, I will come in and live with you!” I think of God as the patient, persistent, solicitor, standing at the door of my heart, inviting me to a life of freedom and joy. All I have to do is step to door and turn the knob and say, “Please, come in and tell me about the life of freedom waiting for me.”