Free Indeed

My three year old daughter is getting ready to transition from a crib to a “big girl” bed. This means she will no longer have bars around her preventing her from exploring the house, showing up in my face at 3:00 a.m., or waking up her sleeping baby sister. While it is an exciting development for my daughter, as a parent I am not exactly looking forward to what this new freedom could mean for sleep in our house. In my perfect world, she will stay put in her “big girl” bed as if the crib rails are still in place. I can only venture to guess what she will do if she takes full advantage of her new liberties.

God has been reminding me of my own situation over the last few weeks. As a believer, I have been set free from the bondage of sin and death through my belief in Jesus Christ. John 8:36 says,

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Unlike my experience as a parent, God did not grant me this gift so that I will continue to live as if the crib rails are still in place. My God-given liberation was not granted to allow me to serve my own purposes or continue to be bound by sin. I was set free so I can live for Him.

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).

I was set free so I can serve others in love.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13-14).

When I meditate on these truths I can let go of the earthly anxieties that bind me. My heart is awakened when I sing about the freedom I have in Christ.

So why do I continue to live as if I have not been set free? Why do I live as if I am still in bondage?

Like me as a parent, the world certainly wants us to stay asleep in our beds instead of taking full advantage of our freedom. The world definitely does not want me to awaken others to the freedom that can be found in Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he writes,

“Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in – who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery – to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you” (Galatians 2:4-5).

I pray that I can “stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). As a believer I want to use my freedom to serve my God and love my neighbors. As for my three year old? I will let you know if she uses her new liberty to roam our house and serve her own purpose, or to assist my husband and me in getting our chores done.


Allie Riley and her husband Jon have been attending Redemption for over six years and have two daughters. Allie oversees our women's Pods, is a member of the Cotswold Community Group and works for Girls on the Run. She enjoys spending time with family, being active, and sitting by the ocean (especially in Duck, NC)!