When Scottish aristocracy can no longer afford the expense of maintaining a castle and the palatial grounds, sometimes they donate the property to the State. They continue to live in a portion of the castle while the rest of it is opened for public tours. When you tour such a place, you are carefully watched by guards and restricted by theater style barricades as you file by rooms filled with suits of armor, swords and ornate furnishings. It’s quite amazing, well worth the trip, but don’t step out of line. They are ready for you…
Imagine, if you got to know the son of the Laird, the heir. What if he invited you for a visit at the castle and said, “Come on, let me show you around.” Now you wouldn’t need to stay in line, wouldn’t need to stay behind the barricades. You could simply follow the son through the place, going where he went and doing what he did. You could even go hang out with the family in their special quarters. Doing so, you would break some of the rules established to keep the general public from trampling the place, but you would still be well within the confines of what the family desired.
A similar transformation occurs when one gets to know the Son of God and follows Him through His place. Where once we were beholden to “the Law,” all the rules and regs in the Bible, now we have been released from that and simply follow the Son. As Paul said,
“… we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6b)
Notice, in following Christ, it’s not “anything goes;” we still “serve.” However our obedience is no longer accomplished by banging into barricades and watching out for the armed guards. Instead, it is marked by the fluidity and gracefulness of paying attention to His Spirit and going where He leads.