Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:12-15
There’s this old Darrell Evans song that just sings this verse, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” Then it says, “there is peace, joy … where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!”
I’m going to sound un-patriotic here, but until recently, I think my idea of freedom was this self-serving idea of “do whatever I want to do” instilled in me by my American heritage. You know, I grew up knowing that I have my “rights” . You know, my “rights” from the Declaration of Independence to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….among other things that are complicated by hundreds of years of Supreme Court decisions that nobody really understands …
While the founders of this country had some lofty ideas – and it’s probably good, in a government setting, to set forth ideals that will allow a person to live and do basically what they want – this mind set is completely wrong for people personally. Or, at least, it’s wrong for Christians to have the idea they have these “rights,” personally.
Freedom, in God’s economy, is not the right to pursue what makes you happy. It’s freedom from the bondage of sin. Freedom to know our Savior and pursue the road He has set before us. And that road, many times, is ceding my wishes and needs and rights to serve other people.
People who drive me crazy. People I can’t stand. People who are just plain wrong. Even when I’m really tired and cranky and broke.
This passage in 2 Corinthians really points out how different God’s economy is. The Spirit of the Lord is freedom, which we experience when we finally understand the message of Christ. We experience this freedom when Christ unveils our minds and when this happens, God starts transforming us to become more like Jesus and our faces, our lives reflect Christ who selflessly laid down his life for human beings who hated him. God’s freedom leads, not to more ability to pursue my own goals, but the ability to lay down my wishes, wants and desires to serve others and find joy, peace and fulfillment in that service. Because it is serving God.
Freedom doesn’t champion my rights, but others’ needs.