Fear is the passion of slaves. —Patrick Henry
Fear is a rope that binds freedom. It’s hard to dance when my feet are bound. It’s hard to share a meal when my hands are tied. How can I follow when I’m unable to move?
People fear freedom because it’s been taught that freedom leads to sin. This same teaching says that freedom and grace aren’t gifts at all—but snares waiting to separate them from God.
And so they stand, feet together, arms at their sides, watching as others move and groove to the rhythm of God’s grace.
What is so insane about this fear is that it’s rooted in an unspoken belief that we can actually perform—or live—in a manner that deserves God’s approval. This fear whispers, “If you stand right here and march while those others are dancing, God’s going to recognize your sober approach before His throne and will be more pleased with your marching than He is with their dancing.”
And just like that, I enter the arena of being my own savior and eradicate the need for Christ. Paul recognized this and was quick to set the record straight.
“By the works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16b)
Self-righteousness isn’t going to make me acceptable to God. Marching isn’t going to catch God’s attention. Standing firm and refusing to live a life empowered and free by the Spirit of God is a form of self-inflicted suffering. This will not convince God of my holiness.
If I am not justified by what I do—and if there isn’t an award for refusing freedom—then who is stopping me from cutting the rope and living free?
Freedom doesn’t lead to sin. Freedom is a gift from God, through Jesus. The very idea that freedom leads to sin suggests that God gives gifts that inflict harm. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Lord, I lift my bondage to You and ask You to cut the ropes of fear. Through the freedom of Your Spirit, I will praise You. Performance has been for my glory. Freedom is for Yours. I accept Your invitation to dance. Amen.