Freedom is not the absence of rules;
it is the release to actually follow them with great joy and satisfaction.
I am concerned that many of us who claim to follow Jesus are mistaken, having watered down the truth of the gospel to fit personal desires. In our desperate search for love and meaning, have we forgotten truth? Has the tyranny of legalism caused us to swing so far that we have forgotten that surrender and obedience are part of God's equation?
I know this seems abrupt, but as I sat reading the Psalms this morning my spirit was stirred. I appeal to you to search the word of God. He does give us guidelines to follow, not because He is a dictator or control freak, but because He knows how we operate best. God's laws come out of His unfailing love. They are liberty for each of us. In them, we find who He is. In them, we find blessing. Freedom is not the absence of rules; it is the release to actually follow them with great joy and satisfaction. When I am free in Christ, I no longer want what I had.
I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! (Psalm 119:1-8)
Did you know that if you read four chapters a day
in your Bible that you will get through it in one year?
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah"
Mark 8:29 (NLT)
I had just listened to a challenging sermon on the fear of God. If I am to fear God rightly - out of respect, honour and love - then I need to know Him. Hearsay is not enough. Something inside of me must engage with who He truly is.
So, I got to thinking ... I've respected & honoured others before; my husband, my granny, Billy Graham, the Queen. Now, I haven't (obviously) had relationship with all of these, but I have held them all in high regard. But maybe this is about more, more about living and dieing. Who would I live for? Who would I die for? Or even, who would I allow to live with me and give me life? Who would I allow to give me advice and guidance, so much so, that if they said so, I would do so. Hmm, this hits a much deeper chord, doesn't it?
We are now in the territory of the "me" - the territory of rights. This is where fear dwells, both the healthy and scary kind. If I do not know who God is (who He says He is and has proven Himself to be) I will never fear Him rightly. I may panic (wrong fear) when He tries to enter "my spot" or just be indifferent - not being aware of His presence and understanding His intentions.
I can look to my past, but I cannot lean on it
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5