My dog has a shock collar to contain her in the yard. I call it her freedom collar because with it she is free to roam in the yard. This device uses radio frequency to set a determined area that is safe for the dog. If the dog gets close to the perimeter the collar will start beeping as a warning. If the dog crosses the line she receives an unpleasant shock. The training included placing white flags along the boundary as a visible aid. Once she was fully trained I rarely have her wear the collar. It is just as effective to place the white flags if the dog needs a reminder. Sometimes, after she has not had the collar on for weeks, my dog wanders into neighboring yards. When that happens I put the collar on her for several days to reorient her with the boundaries.
When our country declared its independence the leaders set up boundaries. They were in the form of physical territory as well as governance. The constitution of the United States of America can be seen as a form of boundaries that allow freedom. In a free society laws and commandments are intended to form appropriate safe zones. Violation of these laws result in punishment in various degrees. That is how freedom works in a nutshell.
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. Jesus was not imposing harsh rules rather providing freedom within appropriate boundaries. Knowing that our own desire would be to wander he provided a means to keep his commands. John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
We are not left to wander blindly into dangerous territory. We have been given the Bible and the Holy Spirit to provide guidance and show us proper boundaries in life. Sometimes all of us wander outside those approved areas and may receive discipline because of it. If we stay within the approved guidelines our freedom is complete.
As we celebrate Independence Day think about the freedoms we enjoy but also think about the greater freedom Jesus has provided through his loving commands.