But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:17-18
I have found that whatever it is that God’s Word is calling me to do that I am fearful of or sad about doing–whether it is to sell my possessions or to give more or to spend less or to save less money –I must do the thing first, and then once I have obeyed, I am set free. And I am mean liberating, dance-in-the-rain free!
When a child is trained by his parents, he is given instruction for his good. Once he obeys, he is given greater freedom.
That same dynamic is true of our relationship with God. He gives us instructions for our own good. And once we have obeyed we experience this incredible freedom.
St. Augustine said, “How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!…You drove me from them and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.”
I can testify to this: I have not once regretted doing any thing the Lord has asked me to do. With each step of obedience, He has continued to set me free. Before I have taken the step of obedience, I have feared what I might lose. But it has been a sweet experience to be rid of those fruitless joys. He has taken their place and He is sweeter than all pleasure.
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. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14