Last year I began writing a novel about absolute freedom. I asked, “What would it be like to exist in a world where every choice was yours to make, where every detail of your life matched up exactly to your own preferences and will, a world with no boundaries, with no “No.”
I wrote a hundred pages and stopped. Because absolute freedom is impossible. Even after I’d isolated my character in a world of her own making, I found the consequences of choices she’d already made hemming her in at every turn. And she couldn’t be around other people because other people made choices that affected hers.
"Absolute freedom" turned out to be just another form of slavery.
Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom and slavery. And I’ve found myself frequently wandering in the book of Exodus—a book almost entirely about liberation. I like Exodus because it’s a complicated story, because it doesn’t shy away from the darkness, and because it shows me where to find real and lasting freedom.
We live in a culture that proclaims freedom as an ultimate value while simultaneously enslaving us in addictions, greed, anxiety, comparison, and even cell phone contracts. We are a nation of slaves, groaning under the weight of our (sometimes self-imposed) burdens.
We’re so much like God’s people in the book of Exodus. And that’s good news. Because Exodus ends in freedom.
“The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
God heard their groaning…”
What I learned in the book of Exodus is that humans can’t free themselves. Not really. They can try, but they’ll most likely run from one master into the arms of another. I’ve seen it in myself—when I run from overeating into self-loathing and gym-devotion, when I quit trying to please others and instead seek only to please myself, when I give up one addiction and pick up another two… Freedom is beyond our ability to apprehend.
But with God nothing (even freedom) is impossible.
That’s why I created How To Be Free: A 40 Day Devotional and Bible Study in the Book of Exodus—because I wanted to share with you the freedom I’d found.
Freedom is beautiful, joy-soaked, and peace-giving. It makes decisions easier. It makes everyday living lighter. It’s good.
So good you have to have it.
If you’re interested, check out the How To Be Free page on my website. You’ll find more info on this daily devotional and study, delivered to your email address every morning for 40 days.
[Also, it’s just $3. Less than a latte.]