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
When many think of freedom, they think of the “freedom to do whatever they want.” That is not the essence of freedom. It is also not realistic at all. If that isn’t freedom, what is it?
Being called to freedom is being called out of slavery. It is being freed from the chains that bind. Freed from the confines of the sinful nature. That type of freedom provides opportunity to make choices other than those that are symbolic of slavery to sin. Freedom here also means freedom from condemnation. Jesus came and took that punishment to allow us to be viewed as righteous when we are clothed in His righteousness. This is spectacular and life-changing!
But don’t miss what the verse says about the freedom--free to love and serve one another. Without freedom, true love does not happen. Sometimes what looks to the world like love is actually self-service. The freedom that is being talked about here is the freedom to deny self and to truly love others. Out of that love comes service for the benefit of others.
The verse warns about how we use the freedom. We are warned to stay away from using our freedom to pursue the desires of the flesh. Instead, we are told to love others (which is entirely contrary to pursuit of the desires of the flesh) and to serve others (contrary to selfishness).
How are you using your freedom? Ask God to show you how you are using your freedom and to instruct you in the ways in which you are equipped to love and serve others. As you play this game of football, how can you focus on service and acts of love? How can you move away from the pursuits of the flesh and toward the acts that truly benefit the team? Be the team you are supposed to be, celebrate your freedom and live it out!!