I’ve driven on motorways and interstates and highways, but my favourite name for big roads is freeways. It captures that windows-down-radio-up feeling better than the other words—the speed and freedom of four wheels and a smooth road combined. Freedom to travel. Freedom to move fast. Freedom to stop whenever I want to. It feels good to be free.
Of course, this freeway freedom does come with a few rules. A speed limit, for example, and lines on the road that mark my lane, and some lanes that go one way and some that go the other. Simple enough, but very important—without those lines and rules, the freeway would be a death trap. Imagine driving on a freeway with no lanes, no directions, no rules. In one way it would be even more free, in the sense that you could use the road however you wanted to. But with everyone using the road as they saw fit for themselves, no one would be able to use it well, and a lot of people would end up seriously injured. That’s why we accept the rules of the freeway. We know that these boundaries actually give us more freedom to move quickly and safely to our destinations.
The same dynamic is true of God’s commands. Demanding freedom to use the life God gave us however we see fit for ourselves is a dangerous business. If we insist on ignoring what our Maker knows is best for us, then our desires and demands will eventually crash against the desires and demands of others, and a lot of people (including ourselves) will end up seriously injured. Our Creator knows what he’s talking about when he tells us where the lines are and what lanes to stay in. His commands are not taking our freedom away.
He is showing us the free way.
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” – Psalm 119:45