Could anyone ever find a greater contrast than these two opposites that James places before us – law and liberty? To the immature, liberty is no doubt seen as the breaking of the law’s bonds. The devil comes and whispers into a young ear, “Why aren’t you free? Don’t you realize that no real man is going to allow anything or anybody to keep him bound? Break your bonds and become your own master!” These are the words that Satan so effectively delivers into many young ears and hearts. It is the voice of sin, and it seems so logical. It promises something that we all desire and hold dear – freedom. In fact, it is the promise of that which even Jesus came and died to provide for us.
However, there is a dramatic, and deadly, difference between what the enemy says and what Christ says. Satan whispers, “You will be free if you will just break the law.” Jesus declares, “You will be free if you will perfect the law.” Think about the words that James penned under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. He talks here about, “…the perfect law of liberty.” In other words, the law – restraint – is not the enemy of freedom. I know that is hard to comprehend for many, but if the law were perfect, if it were able to obtain complete and total subjection of your soul, you would immediately be completely and totally free.
Does this truth confuse or trouble you? It shouldn’t, because you should know that love is the Spirit’s perfect law, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.You see, before love comes, love isn’t completely or “perfectly” your master. It is simply something that is on the outside - pushing, restraining, holding in. But, when love comes and takes control, that is when the law takes complete possession of you and captures your heart. And, it is this possession that produces perfect freedom in your life.
You are never free in a pursuit until your love of that pursuit first masters you. Then, and only then, can your will break out into spontaneous action as your heart rejoices in its own free choice. Your greatest and most glorious moment is that in which your soul’s Declaration of Independence is forever signed. It’s in that instance when you can’t help but say, “I can’t help it!” It’s that time when Love becomes the driving force of your life, the desire of your heart, the law of your life that you can do nothing other than to obey.
Perfect freedom is found in the desire of your heart, for when Love takes you as its prisoner that’s when captivity will itself be taken captive. What a golden chain! What a beautiful bondage – for freedom to be found in my bondage forevermore! May it take possession of my heart, soul, mind and strength! May it sit enthroned in the empire of my life, so that as I bow to its mastery I can learn for the first time what it really means to be free. May I find rest in Love’s restraints. When I take His yoke upon me and find rest for my soul it is then that I will see that Christ’s love is joy unspeakable and His law is full of glory and liberty!