"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19
The scriptures relate sin and slavery to one another frequently, and I think that it is interesting, since we so often look at obedience to God as limiting, or as bondage. Interesting to think about... that obedience brings freedom and rebellion brings slavery. :)
I think it is kind of like taking a class. We enroll in American Literature 101 and find it stifling. We hate the books that we are assigned to read and hate attending class and listening to the boring lectures. We have freedom... we can skip class, read comic books instead of the assigned reading, and eat pizza with our friends when the rest of the class is having a study group. Absolute freedom... except, if we are English majors, all that freedom has gotten us into a lot of trouble. To have the freedom to graduate, we have to pass the class. We have the freedom to choose a different major... but eventually, to graduate, we will have to attend classes, participate in discussions, and pass classes. To have the freedom of taking graduate courses, we first have to get an undergraduate degree. To learn Shakespeare, we have to actually read it. If we reject all of our options in college, pretty soon we have limited choices. If we've always wanted to be professors, we probably won't enjoy our options at this point. It's like slavery... we are tied to a future that we don't want. And the only way back to our ideal future is to re-enroll and take the classes. When we are dead-set on hating college, then this scenario seems desperate and hopeless... but what we sometimes fail to realize is that we also have the freedom to choose to love the journey. The classes can be intriguing, despite the instructor. We can find joy in what we are studying, and learning can be exciting... and when we do pass the classes and get the degree, then there are so many more possibilities open to us than there were before. We have gained freedom that we never would have had otherwise... freedom to be what we have always dreamed of being. Life is like that... and although I know that we don't all want to be English professors, what we DO want to be can be found through God. He can make us more than we could ever be otherwise... and he teaches us more and more, and with every lesson, we gain new freedoms... new possibilities. When we reject God, or reject learning the lessons that he offers us, then we are effectively limiting our choices.... limiting who we can become and what we can do with our lives... and eternities. When we are in the middle of a desert we have freedom to walk in any direction at all... but if we don't walk towards the oasis, then eventually we will run out of choices. God is that oasis... water to soothe our parched throats, and to fill us to overflowing so that we can complete our journey. Let us remember today where freedom lies, and not go wandering out in the desert just because the oasis is so limiting.