My chains fell off; my heart was free!

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.  (Exodus 8:1)

After Pharaoh refused to listen to God after the first plague, He commanded Moses to go to Pharaoh and say to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me’“.  The reason given for God’s demand that Pharaoh release His people is to enable them to serve Him freely.  That was the purpose of His people.  And it was the purpose of His rescuing them.

Now, in the reality of the new covenant, this remains the same.  Christians were in bondage to sin, and He might as well have commanded sin, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”  We have been released from our bondage, but not primarily for ourselves.  We have been released so that we could be enabled to serve Him.  Galatians 5:13 spells this out, using our love for one another as an example: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  We were freed so that we might serve Him.

However, this doesn’t mean that He freed us only for Himself.  Jesus says in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  In God’s perfect goodness and wisdom, our serving Him is the most delightful pleasure man can enjoy.  And so while He causes all things for His glory, He also does it for our joy.  There is no greater gift than the freedom to serve the living God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As Charles Wesley put it, “My chains fell off; my heart was free!  I rose, went forth, and followed Thee!”

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