In America today, we seem to think that freedom means that we can do whatever we want to do, but in truth, it is bondage and not freedom. You see, freedom was not given to do what you want to, but rather to do what you ought to.  Let me give you a couple of examples:

We can look at the Vets of this nation and tell people that the Vets did not bleed the battlefields red with their blood so we can be number 1 in immorality.  You see, the Bible says in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.”  Freedom is not free in the same way that Christ shed His blood on Calvary. The Vets of this nation (in the natural) and Christ (in the spiritual) shed their blood so we can walk in freedom, but with our freedom comes responsibility, and with these responsibilities, we have to make the right choices to remain in our freedom.  Freedom is not free.  What are you doing with the freedom (any exemption from constraint or control) God has given you? “The essence of greatness is responsibility.”  Greatness does not come by excusing ourselves from it!  Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”  So, with freedom comes both responsibility, and also a choice, and consequences come with the choices that you make.  If you do not choose rightly you will destroy yourself. Let me give you an analogy:

What if I drive down the street without paying attention to my boundaries with my given freedom to drive?  I drive down the sidewalks, running over anything that gets in my way, and end up running into a building.  I’ll simply destroy myself.  I have been given the freedom to drive anywhere I want, but if I am not responsible with that freedom, I will lose my freedom to drive. I have to be responsible with freedom. This is what is meant by the  “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25).  Remember, freedom is not the right to do whatever you want to, but what you ought to.  The same thing goes with a car, a gun, a job, a wife, a friend, money, etc.  Everyone is where they are at in life because of the choices that they have made.  Think about this: Divorce is the freedom from fidelity (faithfulness).  My dad left my brother and I when we were children without taking responsibility for his actions.  He chose to find his pursuit of happiness while forgetting us. This is not responsibility with freedom, but rather responsibility from freedom.  You have the freedom to smoke, but if freedom is putting a cigarette in your mouth and lighting it up, please remember that you are exchanging responsibility with your freedom to take 20-30 years off your life.  Besides, you are not your own anyways, you are bought with a price: the precious blood of Jesus Christ (read 1 Cor. 6:19 and 1 Peter 1:18-19).  But, every choice you make has a consequence! Isn’t it something how the freedom that God gives brings life in the spirit but death to the flesh?  It brings life everlasting (Romans 8:10).  You have the freedom to either choose obedience unto righteousness or sin (Lawlessness; 1 John 3:4) unto death (Romans 6).  Freedom never comes at the expense of conscience (with knowledge; a God given instrument to discern right from wrong in spiritual matters).  When a man won’t listen to conscience, it is because he does not want to take advice from a stranger.  Jesus said in John 10:27 that “My sheep know My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  He is the light of the world.  John 3:19-21 says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” 

You see, your conscience condemns you when you are breaking God’s Law (The Ten Commandments), the perfect Law of liberty (James 1:25).  But intellect and reason will justify what conscience condemns.  Let me give you an example:  You are driving around the lake and you see the hottest girl you have ever seen (in a guy’s case).  I mean, there is more cotton on the top of an asprin bottle than what she is wearing!  Your reason says, “Go ahead.  Look!”  But your conscience (the Spirit of God) says to look on a woman to lust after her is committing adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:18).  Reason again will say, “Look!”  The Spirit of God says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes, for I have made a covenant with mine eyes, like Job did.”  You see, God is perfecting your spiritual conscience by the leading of the Holy Ghost.  “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).  “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).  What makes men free is the truth, and the Spirit of God will always influence you by grace to make the right choice as to free you up.  Sickness, shame, and sin are the results of being led of the flesh.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”  Again, it is the truth that makes you free.  When you are going the speed limit, there is freedom.  You don’t have to worry about anything because you are obeying the laws of the land.  But when you are breaking the speed limit, you are constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure there is no police around; and that is not freedom, but bondage.  You are not free until you are mastered by a greater one than yourself.  God has never set men free who make the choice to stay in their lawlessness. He sets men free in His will, not outside of it.  When Moses and the children of Israel were set free from bondage after 400 years, God didn’t lead them into the wilderness and say, “Okay, go ahead and do what you want to do.”  On the contra ry, He led them to Mount Sinai and tied them to the Ten Commandments to prove whether they loved the Lord with all their heart, mind, souls and strength.  John 14:21 says, “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and manifest Myself unto him.”  When the children of Israel kept God’s commandments they prospered, but when they disobeyed Him, they were brought into bondage.

The road to freedom is when you are yielded and mastered by God the Father.  Galatians 5:13 says, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”  You see, you are not truly free until Christ is all in all through you.  Galatians 2:21 says, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”  1 Peter 2:24-25 says, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”  When the Vets bled the battlefield red with their blood, as Christ did on the cross, He entrusted us to magnify the Law and bring them unto Him in righteousness. 

I end with this: A man went across the ocean to retrieve some wild animals and bring them back to the United States for the zoo.  On the way back, in the middle of the sea, a little bird worked his way out of his cage and flew away.  The little bird looked behind him at the ship, thinking he was finally free. However, as he kept flying, all he could see was an endless ocean, and no land at all.  He then realized that if he did not make the choice to fly back to the boat, he would die in the middle of the ocean with no food or shelter.  So, the little bird flew back to the boat, back to safety, back to the place that would bring him to land, to freedom, to a home and shelter.  So it is when we walk in the perfect Law of liberty, and are responsible with the freedom God has given us. Because it is Jesus Christ that is the Captain of the ship.