Once Free, Stay Free (Galatians 5:1)

At the age of 17 Michael Smith was wrongly accused of second degree murder, and was sentenced to 15 years to life. While in prison he fervently fought for his freedom all the while maintaining his innocence. Then after 10 long years of fighting, appeals, prayers and waiting Michael got the break he needed. New evidence was discovered that would eventually exonerate Michael and set him free.

After 10 long years Michael would finally be able to go home to his family a free man, free from the guilt of what he was accused of, completely free. After just a few months of being home things didn’t seem right. Michael seemed distant and confused; he no longer seemed happy to be home and seemed to be stuck in a rut. He seemed to spiral down, became depressed and retreated within himself. Then without warning the unimaginable happened, Michael committed a violent burglary and was sent back to prison. When it was time for his sentencing the judge asked Michael; “why after all of these years of fighting for your freedom, maintaining your innocence, and finally being exonerated, would you commit such a heinous crime knowing you would end up here?” Michael’s response? “I just couldn’t believe I was actually free and I couldn’t handle the new life that came with my freedom, so I decided it would be best for me to go back to what I know.”

As hard as it is to believe this fictitious story and how someone would choose imprisonment over freedom, many of us do this very thing in the spiritual. We pray and ask God for deliverance over an issue, addiction or problem; but often have a hard time maintaining our freedom. Receiving freedom in God and from God may not cost us anything, but maintaining our freedom will require obedience and sacrifice on our part.

Even if you’ve grappled with strongholds for years, once God sets you free stay free. Once you are forgiven and set free you don’t have to sit back and believe the taunts of the enemy, that will draw you back into his grips; but you must constantly submit yourself to God and work at protecting your thoughts as it says in Romans 12:2a (NKJV) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Don’t believe the negativity of the world, or the whispers of the enemy that says you could never be free, but remember the words in John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Once Jesus sets you free you have the capacity to walk in complete freedom