What is Freedom? by Mayada Naami
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
(Galatians 5:13, NIV)
In Galatians 5:13, we are told to use our freedom to love and humbly serve one another, rather than indulge in the flesh. In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit of God called Satan. Eve indulged in the flesh thinking she would get more than what God already provided for her. That is how the enemy deceives us still today. He tells us we are missing out on something that God is withholding from us. That’s a lie Satan wants us to believe and if we believe it, we will never have peace. We will always pursue things to satisfy our flesh, and those who are living in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
(Romans 8:5-8, NIV)
We were bound by sin and now we are called to freedom. We are freed by Christ. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will not leave you nor forsake you, but He will let us go if we choose to sin (separate ourselves from God) like Adam and Eve chose to do. God allows us to choose. He does not control us. He gave Adam and Eve His own authority over all things when He created the world. I believe that if we are in a deep relationship with Him and go to Him for every conflict and every lie the enemy tries to tell us, we can walk in confidence knowing that the father of lies has no power or authority over our lives. That was God’s will from the beginning, and He never changes. We were created in His image, and He is consistent and does not participate in evil.
Before the fall, Adam and Eve were in perfect relationship with God. They had no fear, no depression, and no anxiety. There were no murders, no sickness, no jealousy, and no envy until Eve doubted God’s Word and she chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She also gave the apple to someone else, in this case, Adam. Adam was influenced by Eve, who was deceived by Satan. Still today, we see this pattern in many of our modern-day relationships. We were created by God for relationship—first to be in relationship with Him—and then to one another. Satan wants to come between us and our Creator. He wants us to turn away from God and turn toward him. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God delegated back to man his God-given authority that Adam and Eve had yielded to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Jesus authorized His disciples and all believers to go out in the world in His name and use His power—His love—to defeat the enemy. Our authority and dominion have been restored in Jesus. We are free from bondage when we do not indulge the “flesh” and serve one another humbly in love.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.“
(Galatians 5: 16-21, NIV)
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