Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. – Psalm 142:7 (NLT)
I believe one of the greatest challenges God gives us is the challenge to live in freedom. Freedom comes with much more accountability than bondage.
In the creation of God’s covenanted people, God called Abraham to leave the familial bonds of his native homeland and kindred to freely pursue the promise of a divine destiny. Marching to the beat of a different drummer requires freedom from the paradigms that prohibit us from pursuing the complete possibilities of our faith.
In the formation of Israel, God chose to liberate the people whom the Egyptians chose to enslave. After their deliverance from bondage, the Israelites were told that the only God worthy of their devotion was the God who had set them free. Any god unwilling and unable to set people free from institutions of enslavement is not worthy of people’s trust.
And was it not the Christ who came with the central mission to set the captives free? As our supreme liberator from personal sin and from social oppression, anyone who the Son sets free is free indeed.
Free from the natural inclinations toward self-centeredness. Free from the spiritual and psychological addictions of pride. Free from elaborate systems that attempt to lock marginalized people into permanent castes of subjugation.
The abiding connection between Hebrews in Egypt and Negroes in America has always been the shared conviction that minds and bodies in bondage can never be free to worship and serve the God of boundless compassion and limitless love.
Dear Lord, let our release from the prisons of past prohibitions, present inhibitions, and future circumscriptions begin today with this: “With God, all things are possible.” Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.