What does it mean to be free? Asa was the king. He could do what he wanted. He started well, reforming the ways of his predecessor and putting the nation’s focus back on God. As a result, it was a period of peace and prosperity. But when Israel threatened to attack, Asa developed a plan. He was free to do so, but he left God out of the plan. He never even stopped to consider what might be pleasing to God. Even when he became ill, he never thought to seek God’s help. He was free to do what he did. Sometimes I think freedom is not all that we think it is.
Paul was living under house arrest in Rome when he wrote a letter to the Colossians. Paul was not free and yet from what he wrote, it would seem Paul was more free than King Asa who could do whatever he wanted. In Colossians 1:13, Paul described something God can do that we cannot do (even in all our freedom to do whatever we want). Redemption and forgiveness – only God can do that. The central message: “God has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” (vs 22-23)
Words from a song come to mind:
I can hear the sound of freedom like a distant voice who called. And beckon me to follow where I had never gone. And though my heart is willin’, I just stood there at the wall Prayin’ somehow it would fall. But in a cross I found a doorway and a hand that held a key. And when the chains fell at my feet, for the first time I could see.
This is how it feels to be free. This is what it means to know that I am forgiven. This is how it feels to be free. To see that life can be more that I imagined. This is how it feels to be free. This is how it feels to be free, yeah.
God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Let God and be free!