During this season of celebration of the birth of our country, we think about freedom. We often think of freedom in a military sense—wars that are won, soldiers that come home, and peace in the world. When people can walk their streets in safety and enjoy such rights as free speech, voting, and worshipping as they choose, they are free. From this perspective, liberty is won through force and maintained through laws, judges, and people who fight against those who oppose freedom.
This is a simplistic representation of liberty, because true freedom is more than living in the absence of conflict—it is found on a spiritual level. It is freedom from the forces of evil brought forth by the sacrifice and leadership of Jesus. As Christians, we struggle for freedom—and our opponents aren’t always wearing a terrorists mask or enemy’s uniform. We often face a far more formidable enemy—our selfish tendencies, worries, fears, and even the devil who walks about like a lion seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). When we are in Christ we experience spiritual liberty through the grace of God. He is our refuge, our stronghold, and our victor in battle. He sets us free with the power of the cross and the resurrection. Only Jesus can win the battles that rage within us.
While fireworks, war memorials, and heroic tales of bravery inspire us be better citizens of our county, own our struggles and wars lead us to the arms of our Savior. When we are obedient and faithful to the gospel, he enables us to see a world that cries for true freedom and to offer others the peace that’s found in Christ alone.