What do we do with our freedom in Christ? (2 Kings 14)

What do we do with our freedom in Christ? (2 Kings 14)

If you had been freed from prison today after a long time inside, what do you think you would do with your freedom? I suspect all kinds of ordinary things would seem like luxuries. Eating when you want to, lying outside in the sun by yourself, and going where you want for as long as you want. And when it comes to the bigger issues like what to do with your life after this point, it would be great to have so many options.

What we do when we have time and space and freedom reveals a lot about our hearts. When we can choose our own agenda, what we decide to do shows our top priorities.

After a long time of external pressure, the kingdom of Judah had a period of relative peace in 2 Kings 14. King Amaziah didn’t have to spend all of his time defending himself from other nations. Egypt was in decline and the Assyrians had internal problems that made them withdraw from the eastern border. Syria was weaker than in previous generations and posed no threat. Amaziah easily defeated Edom to the south and found himself with options. He could have progressed a religious reform agenda for the high places, or done more to care for the poor and fix the corruption in his country. Yet he did neither of these things. He picked a fight with his northern neighbour, Israel, which he obviously could not win. The war went spectacularly badly and led to Jerusalem being defeated, the temple raided, and Amaziah himself captured. And all of this was unnecessary. There was no need for him to start this war at all. His arrogance led to his downfall.

Christians have freedom in Christ. We are not enslaved to sin any longer but have been set free by the blood of Jesus. We are free to say no to temptation and yes to serving Jesus. We are free to use the resources and time and gifts that our God has given us to serve our good God.

What do we do with our freedom? Well, too often, we use our freedom unwisely. We use our freedom like Amaziah used his, for our own arrogant ends. We might choose to sin even though we know this led to the death of God’s Son for us. Or we might fill our time only with things that build our personal comfort and wealth. Or we might fill our precious God-given time only with social media and Netflix, whiling away our freedoms to algorithms and pastimes.

There is a better way. We should ask how we can serve God with what we have been given. Sometimes we don’t have a lot of choice in our lives, we just need to work or study or raise small children or struggle with our health issues day by day. But when we do have a choice, when we have freedom, we have the freedom to love God and love other people with our time and resources.

Don’t look back in regret on a life you have filled with what you wanted, realising only later that it was only what you wanted and not what God wanted. With the help of the Spirit, let’s use our freedom well for the glory of God.