Earlier today, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke to a joint-session of the United States Congress. It was an impassioned plea, from beginning to end, as he spoke in his broken English about the trials his people have endured for many months now. He gave poignant examples of brave men who were killed for their courageous stand against ruthless enemies. One of his imploring calls for help invoked our own past path as a nation and our pursuit of liberty. It was about then that he exclaimed, “Freedom is not a luxury. It is a necessity!”
Poroshenko was speaking not of the Ukrainians but of the Russian people, who he believed had been fed the idea that freedom is a luxury that they should not necessarily expect to enjoy. He rebutted such a view. We have such a hard time in our nation comprehending life in a land where freedom is such an elusive commodity. But, for those people, it is a daily battle!
In the spiritual sense, this stated idea is most true and important. Sin is a horrible dictator and master, brutalizing and bringing death to those who are under its power. Eternity is in the balance for us. Will we leave this life as free men and women or as slaves? What makes this so much more paramount is that it is harder to discern spiritual bondage than physical bondage. We may think ourselves perfectly free all while toiling in the chains of darkness!
Paul made his own impassioned plea to the saints at Galatia. He wrote them, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (5:1). Can you imagine a nation or even an individual who had endured torture and seen loved ones murdered now enjoying the rights and privileges of freedom but volunteering to return to that former way of life? It is unthinkable, unless we speak in the spiritual sense. People continue to run toward and embrace the enslaver of souls. To any one, we would implore, “Freedom is not a luxury. It is a necessity!”