I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.Psalm 119:45 (NLT)
Can I let you in on a little secret? I tend to drive faster than the speed limit. Not by a whole lot, but certainly enough to warrant a ticket if I get caught. So, guess what I do when I notice a police officer parked by the side of the road up ahead of me. Yup. I slow down to the speed limit. I don’t do it because I see the car. I do it because I know what it represents – the law. I know that if I don’t slow down, the odds are very high that I will soon be seeing his lights flashing behind me and a speeding ticket is in my future. You see, I’m not afraid of the officer, they are just doing their job. I’m afraid of the consequences; which is generally a pretty hefty fine of a few hundred dollars. And, if I get caught enough times, my driver’s license gets taken away. There goes my freedom to drive where I want to go.
In our faith journey, it’s often no different. We have license to live our life the way that we choose. We can choose to be obedient to the law (both the laws of government and the laws of God) or not. But, regardless of our choice, we are still bound by them. And, if we break them, there are consequences. For those earthly laws, it can mean a fine, jail time, or worse. For the laws of God, it means damage to our relationship with our Savior. If we purposefully keep breaking them, eventually our disobedience can destroy our relationship with God. There is forgiveness, yes. But, if we choose to not even try to live under the authority of God, then we aren’t making mistakes. We are living in open rebellion to His Kingdom.
This is why our verse today is so important to understand. The psalmist wrote, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” You see, yes, we have the freedom to choose whatever we want to do, but we are never free from the consequences of our actions. So, what is the best course to take? One in which we live in obedience to the laws. It’s only when we choose to follow the ways God says to act and think that we have freedom. How? Because we can live without fear that we are doing damage to our relationship with the King of Kings. We don’t have to worry about whether or not what we are doing is hurtful, because God’s laws are born out of love. When we follow His ways, we experience obedient freedom. We don’t need to stress over any consequences. We only need to rest in His love.