What it means to be free is on full display as war continues in Ukraine. A few short weeks ago, Ukrainians were free to enjoy a life similar to the rest of Europe – Families could play in the park, go shopping and stop by a pub to get a meal. It was business as usual. Then Russia’s leadership, showing no respect for Ukraine’s freedom as a sovereign nation, decided to invade.
What has been cliché in America – “Freedom is not free”, has taken on new meaning as we watch a proud people defend their nation against an unprovoked attack. Some reports have called this Ukraine’s ‘1776 moment’ in that they want to be free of Russian rule for good. And just as France provided critical support for some pivotal battles during the American Revolution, Ukraine seeks support from other free nations as well.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. … For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. – Galatians 5:1&13. Freedom is granted through Jesus the Christ and His obedience to the Father in this world all the way to the point of death, even death on a cross. The cost was high for our freedom but the Lord willingly paid it in full. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36. Free from the yoke of slavery to sin. And … having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:22-23. Evil is continually at work to stir up guilt and despair to the point of hope being disparaged. Dads need to have the full armor of God on, particularly the breastplate of righteousness in place and the shield of faith positioned well to extinguish any arrows coming in. The call is to stand firm in the freedom of Jesus the Christ, rebuke evil and walk in the hope that is the love of God poured into us through the Holy Spirit.
Major destruction has been inflicted on the cities and rural areas across eastern Ukraine. Casualties are mounting for both soldiers and civilians. And the number of women and children fleeing the country now exceeds two million. Evil is at work to stir up despair but the leadership is standing firm against the attacks. May the Lord reveal Himself in this time and glorify His name.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and the freedom You offer. In that freedom, I too often choose sin and grant evil too much influence in my life. I confess, repent and in the powerful name of Jesus the Christ, rebuke evil. I embrace fully the freedom that is the resurrected Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my life. In that freedom I will stand firm against evil with the full armor of You on. I pray for such an epiphany for every dad across our nation, in Ukraine and around the world. That is the dad You call men to be and that’s the dad kids around the world need to see. Amen.
A faithful father embraces freedom in Christ and stands firm against evil.