Day 27: Freedom
“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.”
Yesterday we looked at the encouragement from James to be doers of the word and not merely hearers. Today, he takes it a step further and tells us not only what God’s word gives us, but also the result in our lives if we commit to live by it. This scripture begins with what seems like a self-contradicting phrase: the perfect law that gives freedom. We usually think of the law as being restrictive of freedom. But in this case, there’s ultimate freedom within the boundaries of God’s law.
Consider what it’s like for a puppy adopted by a family without a fenced-in backyard. Because there’s no protective boundary, the puppy can’t have freedom to be outside. He must be attached to a leash at all times and can’t go past the length of that leash. But now take that same puppy and put him in a big fenced backyard. He has all the freedom his heart could desire within the boundary provided by the fence. The boundary gives him freedom and simultaneously protects him from harm.
This is what James means when he refers to the perfect law that gives freedom. God’s word establishes a boundary that gives us freedom within it while protecting us from what’s outside it. If we look intently into God’s word, continue to read and retain it faithfully, and also do what it says, we’re promised we’ll be blessed in what we do.
The word “blessed” means having a sacred nature; being connected with God. Being connected with God sounds like a perfect place to be. Our obedience to his word ensures our freedom within his boundaries and guarantees his favor on what we do because we’ve obeyed him.
Father, thank you for the boundaries of protection you establish for your children. Help us to see them as opportunities for freedom rather than constraints meant to keep us from enjoyment. Give us the grace to trust you, be faithful to your word, and obey it.