Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Does Freedom Mean Absence Of Rules?

When I was a teenager, we had an exchange student from Sweden live with us for a year. We were the same age and the best of friends. However, our cultures were very different. Legally, she was allowed to drink alcohol as a teenager, sunbath without clothing, and have a boyfriend spend the night. This was not the case with me. I suppose she found our culture very restrictive.

I remember the day she became angry and frustrated by all those restrictions. She accused Americans of being “freedom frauds”. To her, freedom meant being allowed to do whatever her heart desired. But is that freedom or anarchy?

This is true of our relationship with God. We are free as Christians, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules.

"Everything is permissible for me"-but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"-but I will not be mastered by anything.

-1Corinthians 6:12

In one of my favorite books, “The Freedom Of Obedience: Choosing the way of true liberation” by Martha Thatcher, She describes it this way:

“…A jet drew its frothy white stripe across my view. And with that image came a sudden awakening: The jet flew because it conformed to the laws of aerodynamics. Conformity to structure had given birth to the freedom of flight!

For centuries man had sought that freedom. He had made all manner of logical and outrageous devices to leave the ground and glide on the wind. When did his dream become reality? When he understood and submitted to the God-made laws concerning flight. When he did it God’s way, man was free to fly.”

Trying to fly without those rules would only leave the plane grounded. Where in your life do you need freedom? If you are a true believer in Christ, he has set you free. But we can choose to walk in prisons of our own making. Where are you today? Are you grounded, trying to fly by your own logic? Or are you soaring with-in Gods structure?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When God set me free

I remember who I was when God set me free. I remember what it was that broke me for the Lord. I found myself in a deep pit. One of my own making. I remember how I felt like I had black tar seeping through my organs. I had a physical sense of my spiritual sickness. I hated what I had become, but because I didn't know a way out, I felt trapped. Much like a fly who is cocooned in a spiders web.
On that great and glorious day that the Lord set me free, there was no one there. No one guided me into the kingdom. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and my will broke. I remember being in my apartment, crying my very soul out to the Lord and feeling suddenly like I just had to be at a church. I went in the middle of the day to a church up the street from me. I banged and banged on the door until someone let me in and I asked between sobs if I could pray in her church. She looked at me a bit bewildered but let me in. Though I was crying and obviously in turmoil no one came to counsel me or pray with me. But the Holy Spirit was there and he gave me the first sense of peace that I had had in a long time. I felt like I had finally come home.
From that day on my whole life changed. I had grown up ocassionally going to church, but this was when God set me free and I really gave my self wholeheartedly to God. He sent godly women to counsel me and disciple me in scripture. But the most powerful thing I can tell you about that day is that I can barely recognize that girl in my memory. It is like it happened to someone else. It has now been about 18 years, and God has done so much healing along the way.  What can I say? God is faithful to not only heal us but transform us by the renewing of our mind. (Rom 12:2) He can set free anyone, redeem anything, and reach you anywhere. What an amazing God we serve.
In light of this I want to know from anyone who might happen upon this new blog Where were you when God set you free? Did a person help you? Or was the Holy Spirit your only counselor?