“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42:6-7
In the United States, during particularly heated political disagreements, you’ll hear a lot about an issue’s “constitutionality.” The United States Constitution is our country’s guardrails. It’s our safety net and our guiding path for laws. To many, it was a divinely created document. The wisdom and foresight our founding fathers had when creating it was nothing short of amazing.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Preamble, United States Constitution
The precursor to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, was a bold statement by many of the same people. For some, it was like signing their own death warrant. But the goal of both was not to create a new kingdom where one man would rule the peasants. No, it was to place God firmly as the head and the people to organize and live in His ways. Lest anyone try to convince you different, a visit to the highest court in the United States – the Supreme Court – will show images of Moses and the Ten Commandments in both sculpture and engraving form. Enshrined on the bronze doors of the Chief Justice of the court you will find these same images.
And although the Ten Commandments and the US Constitution have the commonality of “do not” in their directives, so much of what they are purposed to do is about freedom. The Constitution, unlike many world government founding documents, is about limiting what the government can do to its citizens – giving a wide berth to freedom. And the basis is that our freedoms are given by God and God alone.
Likewise, God’s plan and promise for us is about freedom. When we accept Him as our safety net, our guiding path, He removes not just the past sin, but puts us on the path to removing the future desire to sin. He takes the alcoholic and the drug addict and the sexually immoral out of their old ways and leads them to freedom. He opens our eyes to His love and compels us to live in our new selves by loving others as Christ loves us. He removes the fears and anxieties that imprison us by giving us eternal life.
I lived a lot of my life as a “woulda,” “coulda,” shoulda,” person. It was a prison of my own making. And the world was happy to hold the key. I never felt good enough or kind enough or smart enough. I looked out of my prison bars at people that seemed happy and fulfilled. I allowed competitiveness and outrage and hurt and worldly desires take control of my heart, mind and soul. I sat in the darkness of the dungeon.
By all accounts I looked to have a perfect life. A very busy and active life. But I prayed constantly for joy and peace and lightness of spirit. Yes, you got that right – I was a believer and still felt this way. And one day I realized I believed but I didn’t follow. You see, we can believe in all kinds of things but then not pay much attention to them. There are many people in the United States that understand the laws and Constitution but choose not to follow what it says. That leads to tumult and strife. I believed in God but I didn’t believe God. I read the Bible but didn’t put my full faith and trust in its directives and lessons.
Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36
The day I decided to grab hold of God’s safety net was the day He smiled at me and said, “Finally.” It set me firmly on His path to removing the old me and old lies and refocusing my sights on what God wants from me. It was freeing. My eyes are truly open and my prison bars have melted away. I have chosen not to dance around the hard lessons of the Bible, His Word. And in doing so I have found my life so much simpler.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. Romans 8:14-15
We are so good at disobedience — since the beginning of time. And we don’t like people to tell us what to do. And for many, following God is seen as taking away freedoms. It’s true, we aren’t to engage in any number of sinful behaviors. But time and time again society proves that so much of that behavior creates bondage rather than freedom.
When we follow the laws of our communities, we find ourselves in safer and calmer environments. When we follow and believe God, He opens our eyes and unlocks our prison doors. He promises a life of joy, a love greater than we can ever know, and eternal salvation.