Pastor's Blog: Freedom Is a State of Mind

 |  Pastor's Blog

As we move toward the Fourth of July and the celebration of our nation’s independence, the sad truth for too many is that they have yet to experience the fullness of liberation because of how they have chosen to remain in certain types of bondage. Yes, they may be free to go about their everyday life, say what they want, do as they wish. But their freedom finds its limits where they allow themselves to be constrained by imaginary shackles.

The story is told of the great American magician Harry Houdini, who famously leveled a challenge to all comers that he could get out of any locked jail cell in 60 minutes for less, provided that he would be allowed to work in private and in street clothes. It appears that Houdini was in truth a better locksmith than he was a magician.  

As the story goes, one town decided to take Houdini up on his challenge and make a name for themselves by stumping him. The town had recently completed a supposedly escape-proof jail, and the city officials invited Houdini to come to their town to see if he could break out of it.  

Houdini accepted the challenge. He was allowed to enter the jail in his street clothes. The jailer came and turned the lock, and with a loud noise, the doors closed and Houdini was imprisoned. They then left Houdini alone to make his escape. 

Houdini worked for thirty minutes, employing a long flexible steel rod he had hidden in his belt, the “universal key” for every lock he encountered. But this lock wouldn’t trip. He continued to tinker with the lock, keeping his ear close to it to hear it release. But he heard nothing. This went on for forty-five minutes, then an hour. And after two hours of strenuous effort, Houdini, exhausted from his struggle with the lock, leaned against the jail door, and to his surprise, it fell open! The city officials had never locked the door! They had successfully stumped the great escape artist with a door that was never locked, or at least one that had only been locked in Houdini’s mind.

I wonder how many of us find ourselves constrained in a similar fashion. We are locked in by things we tell ourselves that aren’t actually true. We are paralyzed by past failures that no longer hold. We have told ourselves stories that are not based in reality.  

On this Independence Day weekend, consider how you may have tricked yourself into unnecessary bondage. Revel in the release made possible not just by a document that stems from 1776 but also by a sacrifice made 2,000 years ago. Accept the grace that has covered your sin, changed your heart, and given you hope. Your future is open to you through your faith in Christ. Move beyond whatever has been holding you back and be free indeed!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).