Prior verses asked, rhetorically, why the world would rebel against an all-powerful God (Psalm 2:1–2). The purpose of their rage and plotting is an attempt to throw off the authority of God and His Anointed One. The ungodly cannot stand being controlled by the supreme Ruler of the universe and His Son (Acts 4:23–28).
Of course, the evil desire to usurp God and take His place is nothing new. Before the dawn of human history, Lucifer—the Devil—attempted to elevate himself to God’s throne. But his futile exercise of self-will led to his expulsion from heaven (Isaiah 14:12–15). Adam and Eve rejected God’s will concerning His command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1–6). Their rebellion resulted in their expulsion from the garden of Eden, death for them and all their descendants, and a curse on nature (Genesis 3:16–19). In the era of the Judges, desire to reject God’s will and replace it with self-will brought the Israelites into bondage to their enemies. Every man did what was right in his own eyes, even if it was wrong in God’s eyes (Judges 17:6).
Ephesians 2:3 indicts the world of unbelievers for choosing to pursue self-will rather than God’s will. Isaiah 53:6 says we have all gone astray like sheep and turned to our own way. Indeed, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Freedom is an awesome thing. Our nation was established to promote freedom. It is release from illegitimate bondage, something that has no right to hold you hostage. Did you know that the great news about grace is that it offers freedom? Freedom from our attempts to make our own selves acceptable to God. Freedom from the flesh to control us anymore. Freedom from something that wants to make you a slave.
We’ve all known what it is to be a slave to our impulses, to be a slave to illegitimate desires, or to be a slave to circumstances that we want to get rid of. Grace, then, is a freedom fighter. Grace sets us free from the handcuffs, from the bondage of sin so that we can become what we were created to be.
It’s Satan’s goal through the world and through the flesh to keep us hostage, to hold us in an incarcerated situation, in our own hearts and minds and lives and spirits. But the grace of God, when it’s been released in our lives, connects us with the provisions of God, so that we can experience all that God has planned for us.
This is why it is in the best interests of the evil one to keep us from growing in grace so he can keep us hostage. One of the ways he does that is through legalism, our own human attempt through the flesh to meet God’s standard. Now, we can spiritualize legalism and say, “Well I’m trying hard,” “This is my New Year’s resolution,” or “I’m putting forth my best effort,” but that’s not how grace works.
What grace gives us is a battery, which empowers something to work. When God infused us with His grace, it came with batteries. The Holy Spirit’s job is to release us to be free, but when we stop looking at and living by grace, we are literally cutting off the resource. We’re hitting the off-button on the power supply that’s already built in.
So, get all the grace you can handle, so you can experience all the freedom that God offers.