Sometimes Freedom Looks Like Slavery


In Matthew 7:13, Jesus describes the Christian life—the path to spiritual freedom—as being a narrow road that’s difficult to find and follow. He said that most people take a different road—a road that is wide and flat, a road that is easy to find and follow. Though it is difficult, the narrow road is the only way to a fulfilling life of freedom. But unfortunately, many people settle for less than what God intends for them because they mistake it for bondage.

The biggest trophy on Satan’s wall is from the day he made freedom look like slavery. (Click to tweet)

Think about it like this:

Am I free to practice medicine? No. I am very much not.

Why? I don’t have a license, and I don’t have the knowledge required to get one.

If I decided I wanted to become a doctor, how would I go about that?

I’d go to medical school, where I would experience serious restrictions on how I could spend my time and money. I would submit myself to deadlines, fees, and a dress code—a series of restrictions (a narrow road) that would result in a degree of freedom unavailable to me otherwise.

That’s why James 1:25 refers to the Scripture as “the law of liberty.” The Word of God, though full of prohibitions and commands, directs us to the life of freedom and fulfillment God intended for us.

With the benefit of hindsight, I can look back on seasons in my life and clearly see how my commitment to or abandonment of Scripture’s truth influenced my decision making and my temperament. Seasons when I regularly made time to look to the Scriptures are seasons I lived as a person free from selfishness and full of gentleness and wisdom, because I was close to the heart of God. And I can look back on seasons when I ignored the Word of God and see how pride crept into my life. I can see how I became distant from the heart of God, how temptation became harder to resist, and how I became cold. All my regrets are from seasons when I confused freedom and slavery, neglecting the truth I knew.

One of the best ways to remind yourself of truth is to spend a few minutes each day reading God’s Word. With a modern English translation, rich study notes, and a huge variety of reading plans, the Faithlife Study Bible makes it easier than ever. Download it today from your app store of choice.


  1. says

    This was a great message to me from the Word of God, passed on by a fellow believer. Now I want to pass it on to you. I'm just now learning to use Faithlife Study Bible. The best time of your life is time spent in the Word of God. Everything else becomes smoother, even the difficult times.

  2. Darrell Balfour says

    So true Cliff .I wonder if many of us mistake reading the bible for studying the bible! When in jail after having been wiped(read backs probably bleeding and i can hardly imagine the pain) they worshipped. I wonder if when they were lost in true worship of God, did they feel their pain.Oh to get to the place of being so lost in worship that time stands still and I commune with the Father. Just my rambling.

  3. lk McCormick says

    It’s taken me years of study and mental exercises to even get to where I am today. With that being said I’m still overwhelmed most all of the time but grateful to still be moving forward in pursuit of a holy God…

  4. Bruce Brewer says

    Is the Faithlife Study Bible translated from the Received Text or from the Alexandrian Text? This makes a huge difference, since the Received Text has the most ancient manuscripts that are in agreement. That is why it is also called the Majority Text. The Alexandrian Text favors many of the heretical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church ( like Maryology- the worship of the Mary as a perpetual virgin as Christ's equal).

  5. Missy Swatloski says

    We should no longer be a slave to sin but a slave to Christ. The freedom comes from not be a slave to this world or sin any longer. We are bought with a price, the blood of Jesus and when we receive Him become a slave to Him!

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