We search for freedom is so many ways. We think we're free because we can do whatever we please, we have economic freedom or even establishing decentralized currencies we feel can't be manipulated by a small, central group of people empowers us and gives us a sense of freedom. But do any of these things really bring true lasting freedom? Tom Brady has more money than we could dream of, all the stuff, accomplishments and a supermodel wife, but if you watch his 60 minutes interview from several years ago it seems clear to me, he doesn't feel truly free (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TA4_fVkv3c). Even with all of those things and what would appear to most of us to be the perfect picture of freedom, he still feels he's missing something. When I was younger I sought freedom, thinking money, girls and weed would make me happy, but the moment I realized I had more of all 3 of those things than I'd ever had before was actually the moment I felt more miserable and less free than ever before, because if the things I put my hope in didn't offer me a feeling of true freedom and happiness, where would I find it?
I didn't have a clue. I got to a point where if I didn't get high or have sex for a day or 2, I'd walk through campus at the University of Kentucky and ever guy I'd see I'd think about fighting them and my mind and my life got to a point where I clearly had little control anymore. I was lead to this place in my search for freedom. The Americanized version of whatever makes you happy, do it and you're free. It leads to nothing but bondage. When you take on that mindset, everything is about you and when you live selfishly, you will never experience freedom. You're a slave to your own selfish desires.
I went home that summer without a clue of how to get anything right in my life until a friend from high school who knew I was selling drugs showed up at my door one day with a Bible in his hand that he gave me and told me to start reading from the Gospel of John. I had little to no knowledge of the Bible or God and thought very little about God, so little that I don't really even know what I thought of my relationship to Him or my eternity. I began reading a chapter or 2 from John every night, I'd read then get high and go to sleep, every night for about a week when I laid in bed one night and had an incredible encounter with Jesus that changed everything. In one moment, I felt love, joy, and peace like I'd never felt before and cried tears of joy for the first time. Immediately I realized this is what I was alive for.
Everything in my life changed overnight. I didn't get high or have sex once that next week and I cried tears of joy every day and wasn't angry at all. This was my first taste of true freedom and I began to diligently seek it with everything I had. I wasn't perfect and didn't always walk in the freedom He gave me and I still struggle at times, but when you walk with God you can always abound in hope, even when you don't follow and end up not feeling free because He's a great deliverer and He's taking you into freedom. He begins to purge you of selfishness and when you live selflessly for Him, you can always walk in true freedom. When you're not living for you, it doesn't matter what happens in your life, because it's not about you or who would impose their will in a way that would make you not feel free, because they didn't give you your freedom so they can't take it away unless you lose your focus and allow them.
If you're hungry for true freedom, it's found in Jesus and the selflessness He will teach you to walk in as you walk with Him in a simple love relationship where sharing your heart and being open is more important than any religious duty that we think will make us right. His death on your behalf, for your sin already made you right, then He rose from the dead, defeating sin and death, the only things that give the devil power. Now, we believe and by His Spirit, He comes to live inside of us and we share in His victory over sin and the devil and Holy Spirit makes us like Jesus. Now the devil has no power over us, only what we give him by our limited understanding and thinking. If you want a relationship with God like I'm talking about, simply tell Him so and tell Him you receive what Jesus did for you, ask for forgiveness and His help to change and overcome. If you're on the fence and not certain about what I'm saying, I encourage you to pray a simple prayer like this, "God if Jesus really is who this man says He is, I welcome your Spirit into my heart to show me, if not, please reveal yourself to me as you truly are." Hope this is helpful. Thanks for reading.