January 15 I Wednesday
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
When we think of the land of the free, we think of a place where one is free to vote for government leaders, to own property and to embark on a new enterprise; a country where one has the freedom of religion, speech and the press, among a myriad of other things. Freedom is wonderful, while for many of us, even though we live in a democracy, we do not feel free. We feel chained by all kinds of hardships and sufferings: a marriage falling apart, a tragedy, illness, job loss, pressures of work, raising our children, bills to pay, and countless demands made upon us. We may even come to conclude that the land of the free only exists in heaven.
When Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God, we may think He was alluding to Heaven. But when the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20-21). In other words, the presence of Jesus is where the kingdom of God is.
In the Old Testament, God intended Canaan to be a land of the free, flowing with milk and honey where the Israelites would live together with Him. They would be His people and He would be their God. But the author of Hebrews recounts, “And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?…So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:17, 19). Canaan is spoken of as a land of rest but the first generation of Israelites failed to enter because of their unbelief.
Real freedom is not found in a place, nor in wealth, status, accomplishments or a democracy. None of those things will set us free from sin, everyday pressures, tragedy or death. True freedom is found in Jesus Christ alone. The land of Canaan is representative of living in the fullness of Christ. We enter Canaan when we come to the cross of Christ, ask for forgiveness and for Him to take charge of our lives. By the indwelling of His Spirit, He actually gives us His life, and takes upon His shoulders our every concern and every burden. We have a Lord and Saviour in Jesus Christ who is utterly capable, utterly trustworthy and utterly faithful. He makes His home in our hearts, breaks down every cumbersome chain and gives us real freedom in Him when we come in humble repentance.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom I have in Jesus Christ and the tremendous gift of His life within us. Help me to rest in His sufficiency.