Today we celebrate America’s Independence Day. Let us be thankful that we live in this wonderful country (yes, even with all it’s flaws and struggles). For we still enjoy more freedoms and more independence than many others in this world.

We should be thankful for the men and women who laid their lives down in past generations to give us the freedoms we enjoy today. We should thank the soldiers today who fight to keep us free.

Most of all, we should be thankful to God for true freedom that is found only in Him. For we can be free but still live in bondage. We can have the liberty to choose but still live caged lives dependent upon the approval of others.

Jesus speaks to us about true freedom in John chapter 8 verses 31-36 (NKJV):

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

I have never known slavery, never been in prison, never had my liberty forcibly taken from me with no way out. But I have been a slave to sin, to pride, to selfishness, to arrogance, to insecurity, and to fear. I have been caged by the need to be approved by others and the need to prove myself and to establish my value. I have been trapped and silenced by guilt and shame.

It is only by the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit that I have been led to the true freedom provided by Jesus Christ. His forgiveness wipes away my shame and fear. His grace lifts my eyes to meet His. And there in His eyes is love, mercy and healing for my soul. This freedom awaits you too.

If pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin, you will remain chained. If fear keeps you from running to God, you will remain in the darkness. If shame sends you into hiding, you will miss God’s knock that opens the cell door.

My friend, God wants to set you free. He wants you to experience true liberty and will break every chain that keeps you from living the life He planned for you. Yes, it is hard to be vulnerable, even to a loving God. It is frightening to turn to Him knowing that we have failed to obey Him. It is daunting to submit your life to Him knowing that He may ask you to do something that you don’t feel prepared for. But it is worth it.

God will never reject you; He sent His Son to die for you. God will always forgive when you humbly turn to Him and repent of your sins. God will strengthen and enable you to do everything He calls you to do. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is your light, your strength, your freedom.

Let the Son set you free and finally learn what it truly means to be free indeed.