Freedom smiles. Freedom loves unconditionally. Freedom celebrates others. Freedom asks for help. Freedom hugs. Freedom gives self-selflessly. Freedom fights for others. Freedom accepts everyone. Freedom does not take offence. Freedom does not defend itself. Freedom is always available.
Unless you are in physical chains, no one can hold you in bondage. It is the things we value that hold us in bondage. Let go of fear of loss and you will have a glossy, fast, abundant life.
You lose freedom when you surrender it to the control of another, knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly. We were created to co-exist with individual freedoms that serve others through willing submission not control. Submission is voluntary with expectation of reward; control is forced, carrying threat of punishment. The intention of controlling, manipulating, intimidating people is to hold another or others hostage. They use emotional intimidation, which when coupled with poor faith or doubt that you are worth God’s deliverance; even the thought that God can miraculously pitch and part your Red Sea sends you into the deep abyss of despair, fear and hopelessness. I have learned that hurting people hurt others. Fearful people spread terror to others. Fear has no boundaries. It is in the palaces and the slums, boardrooms and playgrounds, offices and gardens, in churches and covens. When you observe controlling people you should wonder what their fear is.
No one truly lives unless and until they obtain freedom emotionally and spiritually, even if they are physically in chains. One of Mahatma Gandhi’s quotes says “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” You see, I have personally been in that position where I felt like I was boxed in without a way out. I got to a point where I felt life wasn’t worth it anymore. It is at that point that I questioned my position and options and realised that rather I surrender to God so my faith isn’t worthless. After a long period of fasting and prayer and wailing and seeking God for help, I got the most liberating answer. It was divine revelation! Didn’t Jesus say “I came to set captives free?” Or did He say “I came to set the oppressed free”. I searched up and it said more than I could ever want: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, (Luke 4:18 NIV). And in that moment I realised that if I continue to walk in bondage to fear then my faith would be in vain and Jesus would have died for nothing! Viola! I decided to take a stand. Fear fell. I purpose to walk in love and total freedom. I purpose to adorn myself with armour and become a warrior for freedom. I shall intentionally make everyday count towards the freedom of others.
The crunch is when you start to take your freedom back. Once you have given away your power, it is a struggle to take and maintain your ground. You have to battle all sorts fears: loss of loved ones, loss of luxuries, loss of status, physical harm, loss of money, starting afresh in a competitive world, polishing up skills, competing against experience, and lots more. However, a glimpse of freedom is so beautiful and so bright and so full of promise of life that it is worth dying for. Many warriors have fought and died for liberation. Once you see what freedom is like and what it has to offer, you realise that the agent of your bondage was and is fear. Mandela said “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” He said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
I am not a psychologist but I know from experience what it is like to lose your freedom and what it is like to take it back and battle to possess and maintain territory. We always assume that the opposite of love is hate. But according to the Bible, the opposite of love is fear! “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
I have not fully understood how that is, but I can only surmise that ‘Love brings life. Fear brings death. Love makes alive; fear kills. Now you can see how ‘Freedom has a face’. If you look around you can see freedom in loving people and actions. In fact, I would like to explore the notion that ‘Freedom has a Scent.” Those who can’t see it can smell it! Freedom has a Flavour. It can be savoured. Will you lay down your burden and Live intentionally today. Take your steps towards freedom. Spread your wings and fly.