I could remember when I was still tender, all my movements was under strict surveillance by my parents. Before I leave the house, I must tell them where I was going and before I would even go for Church programs especially vigil events, I must inform them a week before the time so that they begin then to consider if I should go or not. At that time, I misunderstood them as being simply harsh and impossible! I felt that the restrictions infringe on my rights as a human. I was punished most times when I come home late and I felt bad because those times I was only going to church and no other place.
Now that I have grown a little bit older, I am free to go where I like, sleep where I like and do what I love without being monitored. At first, I thought it was “eureka!” for me until I saw myself going where I should not go, doing what I should not do without having anyone to correct me, punish me or discipline me. If there was any worst thing I ever did, it was when I had freedom to them. Sometimes, they aren’t what I had wanted to do but I see myself doing it simply because the freedom to do it is there. I had to limit my freedom.
Today, lots of young youths make mistake because of the little freedom they have. In various campus sites, it has become very normal to see a boy and a girl living in the same one room apartment. They do so because they have the freedom to. I have seen lots of young people go as far as traveling outside the country for a party simply because they have the reason to do so. Sometimes, some of these young people regret living their lives the way they do but they simply can’t stop because there is no one to stop them, caution them or even punish them. Many young people who were given freedom walked the wrong path, not because they wanted to but because the guidance isn’t there anymore.
If you are one of such persons who seem to have gained freedom from your parents or guidance, you will end up either achieving extraordinary things or making extraordinary loss! What you do now depends on the path you have chosen to walk in. Freedom can be a blessing when it is freedom from sin and death but it can be a curse when it is freedom from living a good life. The reason why you do some of the things you do isn’t because you planned doing them, it is because you had freedom to. If you want to achieve greatness, you’ll be the one in charge of your freedom and not your desires.
For example, two Christian who are in courtship is likely not to have premarital sex if they are careful enough to limit their freedom. They may have sex even after praying in tongues and studying the bible when they are all alone in a dark or private corner but they cannot have sex when they are always around others.
Limiting your freedom begins with the decisions you take. It is you who decides how to live your life. You decide where to go and where not to go, what to do and what not to do! Jesus doesn’t want us to be free from everything because if that is so, we will do anything! In fact, Jesus never promised us freedom from himself but from sin and death. He said in Matthew 11:29-30
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, my burden is light”
Jesus wants to set us free from the yoke of sin but wants us to be under his own yoke which is easy. Jesus wants to set us free from the burdens of sin, sickness, failure and all that but wants us to be burdened with his own stuff which is light and not heavy. He doesn’t want us to be under his yoke because he is greedy or selfish. He wants us to be yoked with him so that he can guide us from sin to righteousness; he wants to guide us out of failure to greatness.
In that same manner, you must see that you control your freedom and limit yourself of some certain things. You mustn’t use that fashion style, you mustn’t watch that movie, you must not allow him/her sleep with you or sleep over in your house, and you must not eat anything that comes your way… It is not a must that you will do so many of those things you plan doing. Let your desires be subject to your spirit! Limit our freedom!
Few ways to limit your freedom
- Establish relationship with Jesus: Jesus loves us and wants to be our guide. Establishing a relationship with Jesus puts him above your parents. Even when you are free from them, Jesus will still be there through the Holy Spirit to guide you.
- Follow Jesus: As a believer, I have done lots of things that are wrong which I always end up regretting. You must understand that accepting Jesus and following him are two different things. Accepting Jesus and establishing relationship with him is what you do when you aren’t born again. Following Jesus is what you do the moment you become born again. To follow Jesus doesn’t mean to know the bible and preach it. It means to know the scriptures, live it and preach it. Bible teachers can make grave mistakes when they don’t follow Jesus… But Bible livers don’t make mistakes. That was why Jesus instructed his audience to hearken to the teachings of the Pharisees but never to follow their actions (Matthew 23:3).
- Join the right clique: As a believer, you need people of like minds around you all the time. Most times that I have made a mistake as a Christian is when I have persons of like mind around me. If you are a young independent person, it will be great to have lots of Christian friends who are always around. It is not necessarily a church member but a believer who lives the word of God. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” He also wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
- Discuss your weakness: Learn to discuss your addictions and weakness with the right people. Sometimes, you keep on doing things you don’t like simply because you are free to do it and perhaps addicted to it. The easiest way to get rid of that mess is to discuss it with believers that you trust which includes your Pastor. It doesn’t matter who you are, be humble enough to discuss your weakness… Once you discuss it with some people, they automatically begin to help check on you, advice you and see to it that you don’t do such again. James was talking about this and he wrote in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” You see that? When you share your weakness among believers, they pray for you and their prayers are very effective.
- Deny your carnal desires: The bible made it clear that our flesh is weak but the spirit is willing (Matthew 26:41). When you got born again, what got born again isn’t your flesh but your spirit. Your flesh will always want to please itself. Sexual sin isn’t a bad experience to the flesh, it enjoys it so much! Lying isn’t a bad thing for the flesh because the flesh believes it is through lying that you become free from certain cases… Your flesh desires to do the wrong thing every time. But you must learn to deny those desires and replace it with God’s desire!
- Have the right mentor: This is a very sensitive point. Most people end up destroying those they mentor. You need a mentor but you must do that with caution. A mentor is simply a helper and adviser and not necessarily a person who styles you. Mentors don’t turn you into another version of themselves; they simply help bring out the best in you. Find a mentor who is an elder. Not necessarily an old person or someone who has been a Christian for 100 years. Find a mentor who has the knowledge of God’s word and whom you have seen desired result in.
- Change your thoughts: Paul wrote in Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” It is time to change those things that fills up your head. Carnal things can only lead to death while being spiritually minded brings life and peace. Most people fornicate simply because they couldn’t get rid of the mental pictures they have created for themselves in the head. Some people engage in robbery simply because they have filled their head with the love for money and the wants of life. The carnal mind cannot please God nor live out God’s word. You can renew your mind and change your thoughts by focusing on God’s word and not that temporal pleasure! See what Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” You can only prove good and the will of God by aligning your thoughts to God’s word. Put your mind on greater things than the material things of this life. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” God wants you to live a great life!
There may be lots of other ways out there but I believe that if you can practically follow these points here, your life will not remain the same! God doesn’t want you to live in freedom of Him! Not because He wants to control you but because He wants you to live a better and more rewarding life! You can’t live such life without being under His loving yoke!
Limit your freedom! Be free from sin and death! Be free from sickness and all negativities! Ah! Yes! Be free from poverty… no one like to be poor after all. But never be free from God. God is not harsh or strict by asking you to limit your freedom; He is simply concerned about you. He doesn’t you to make mistakes; He doesn’t want you to destroy yourself! He simply loves you and wants you to follow His guidance. When you know the truth, it sets you free from the devil! But what can set you free from God? It is when you hearken to lies!
LIMIT YOUR FREEDOM TODAY!