Right now, the US military is serving in 150 countries around the world. When adding the US Navy’s presence on waterways across the world, there are not many spots on the globe with no presence from the United States military. Forward deploying troops like this takes a lot of energy and a lot of attention away from US soil. It has caused a lot of discussion from military strategists. The debate has gone on for decades about the price tag for deploying military personnel versus the protection and prevention that this provides to our nation. The debate rages about the price for this forward projection of military forces and the protection that it actually provides. If you want to see where the US military is currently serving, check out this link: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/04/us/table.military.troops/.
Forward deploying the US warriors comes at a huge expense to the national budget. No matter what you believe personally about the price this adds to the national budget, almost everyone wants a strong military to protect them in times of danger. We want the military to be ready to respond the instant our nation is attacked. This debate forces lawmakers and strategists to determine if the bang is with the buck. However, I have yet to meet a person who didn’t believe our freedom is worth fighting to defend. Sure, it costs a lot of money to keep these brave warriors deployed around the world, but I’m convinced our freedom is worth the price tag!
There’s more to the price for this protection than just money. Imagine if you can, the pain and struggle that military families go through when these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines or Coast Guardsmen are sent away from home for months or years. Many military families are paying these great sacrifices for our freedom as well. Our founding fathers realized that purchasing our freedom as a nation wasn’t cheap. Many Americans today also realize the high cost it takes to keep the freedoms we’ve been granted.
Freedom isn’t cheap. In fact, it can be extremely expensive. Did you know that this is a biblical concept also? Someone must fight and die, in order to gain or keep your freedom. Here are three specific areas of freedom which must be fought for:
Freedom from struggle
I want my children to grow up in a peaceful world. All of us want better for the next generation then we experienced. No one wants to live in a society that is constantly in conflict. However, wars are not just the result of powerful government leaders fighting over land or power. At the very basics of human nature, war begins in the human heart. The Bible states that the struggles which will ultimately lead to nations going to battle against others begins inside the human heart.
In James 4:1 the author asked a rhetorical question. Where do all human struggles come from? The word struggle in this verse can also describe war. James answers his own question… from inside the human heart! We struggle with one another only because there is already a struggle going on inside of us. Therefore, the first step to real freedom is to recognize the real essence of the problem. The source of our struggles come from within us- because by our nature, we are all sinners.
Freedom from sin
The struggles inside us are the result of sin. Ultimately, no one will ever be totally free until we are free from sin. The book of Romans in the Bible explains the seriousness of our sin condition. There are plenty of people who act like their little sins are no big deal. Maybe you’ve had someone tell you, it was just a little, white lie. This is completely contrary to what the Bible teaches about sin. There are no little sins. All sin kills according to Romans 6:23.
All sin is a really big deal to God. Romans 3:23 puts all sin in one category- deadly. In case you’re not familiar with the Bible and don’t understand what the word sin, this verse makes it clear that failing to live up to God’s expectations of us is sin. Anything that doesn’t measure up to God’s standard for perfection is sin, which means all of us are in deep trouble with God when it comes to sin! We cannot be totally free people until we are free from our sin condition. Jesus makes this clear in John 8:31-34.
Freedom from self
The problem with sin is that you can’t wash it off, nor can you give money to a church to buy your way out of the consequences of sin. Did you know, you can’t even pray hard enough to make your sin go away? Because the sin problem is within your heart, the only way to fix this problem is to get a new heart. In order to become totally free, you must become free from yourself! This is what Jesus is describing in John 12:25. True freedom is found only when you realize the problem is within you. True freedom is found when you become a new person. That’s why Jesus uses the language of being born again in John 3:3.
You need someone to fight for your freedom. We need warriors stationed around the world right now fighting to keep our nation free. You also need someone fighting for freedom in your heart. Jesus paid the greatest price for freedom by giving his life on the cross to make us free form the price tag of sin. He offered his life as a ransom for you. His sacrifice settled once and for all time the price of your sin. His Holy Spirit is pleading on behalf of Jesus’s people to remain pure when facing temptation right now (Romans 8:26-27). This is why only Jesus’s people can be totally free.
If you are living in bondage to sin, if you are realizing for the first time that you need to surrender your soul to Jesus Christ, I want to invite you to do that right now. You can cry out to Jesus in this very simple prayer: Dear God, I need your help. I realize I can’t be free from sin without your help. I believe you sent your Son, Jesus, to Earth because you love me and want to spend eternity with me. His death on the cross paid the penalty for my sins. I need his power to live a life free from sin. I believe his resurrection guarantees me the promise of eternal life. I surrender my soul to you today. I place my future in your hands. Amen. If you’ve just surrendered to Jesus by praying like this for the first time, our church would like to follow up with you. We’d like to encourage you and help you get plugged in to a good church somewhere. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.