“Have the courage to follow your heart.”
“Listen to the little voice inside of you.”
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do.”
“You can do anything you want to do as long as you believe it.”
“I have to be free to follow my heart.”
In all of these sayings, what we are talking about is freedom and restrictions. So how should we think about rules and expectations? Should we really throw off all restrictions that are put on so that we can follow our hearts?
As Jesus was talking to a crowd of people, He said: "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." –John 8:31-32
There is an inherent relationship between truth and freedom.
There is no freedom outside of the truth. If you really want freedom, you must know the truth. Jesus says the rules are designed to set you free.
Galatians 5:1 says: "For freedom Christ has set us free"
Jesus wants to set you free, but not in the same way that culture does.
As a culture, we are pretty dialed in to how life crumbles in the presence of the wrong restrictions. It’s just that we aren’t as dialed into how life also crumbles in the absence of the right restrictions. We’re missing a key insight of Jesus’ here: True freedom is not found in the absence of restrictions; true freedom is found in the presence of the right restrictions.
When we understand what we, as humans, are designed for, then we can begin to live under the good, necessary, and life-giving restrictions that God has given us:
We are designed for love
We are designed for carrying weight
We are designed for God
One of the most dangerous aspects of “just following your heart” is that sin is present in our hearts and sin desires to enslave us.
In John 8:34-35, Jesus says to the crowd: "Truly, truly, I say to you everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever."
True freedom isn’t found in running away from God but in running to Him.
So run to Jesus, who, instead of enjoying the freedom He had in heaven, took the weighty restrictions of sin onto Himself in the cross so that we could be free.
So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed. –John 8:36