WHAT PRICE DO I PAY FOR FREEDOM?
We all want to be free. What does that mean to you? If you love the God of Abraham, freedom comes by walking in obedience to Him. To be able to do that you must first know Him. You must be born again by inviting Jesus Christ into your heart. To know Him you must spend time reading His inspired Word written down for us in the Holy Bible. This is where true freedom is.
God wants only the best for us. Satan tries every way he can to deceive us; his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. Some have unknowingly tried to make the God of Abraham like pagan gods by worshiping an "image" of whatever they have made Him out to be. Instead He is our Father in Heaven who wants to know us personally and develop a relationship with us a personal relationship.
Serving God is not following a set of rules, nor is it just attending services to fulfill an obligation. Serving God is an honor and a privilege. He loves you and me with a love we can't understand. We have to use our faith to receive it. The more time we spend getting to know Him, the more we are drawn into His presence and the more our spiritual eyes and ears are opened to His ways and His truth.
WHAT IS FREEDOM?
Freedom means different things to different people. God has a plan, a pattern for our lives a road map, if you will. He didn't just toss us in this world and tell us to sink or swim. If you belong to Him, He is with you always and will never, ever leave you. He will walk with you through whatever comes your way. He doesn't always remove the pitfalls but He does pick us up and dust us off when we fall down. He sets us back on our feet and stays with us, continuing to guide us.
If you are a believer in the God of Abraham and you want to live a life dedicated to Him, you are expected to walk in obedience to Him at all times. You can't know His will for your life if you don't know Him. We make it so hard on ourselves. The Bible tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That doesn't mean we won't have problems. If becoming a Christian meant being free from all problems . . . well, it just doesn't.
CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES
We face a world full of choices and decisions every day. Some are easy most are not. Let's discuss the ones that have us really bound tightly. We have a problem and we take it to God in prayer. We tell Him the problem and then tell Him what solution we need. ???? Hummmm, it really doesn't work that way. We can certainly tell God what we want and how we would like the answer to come. Then comes the hard part. If our minds are set on only receiving our answer the way we want it we may be in for many disappointments. Preconceived ideas generally set us up for disappointment. The Bible tells us that God's ways are higher than our ways and that we cannot fathom the depths of His understanding. In other words, He has plans for us that we can't even understand, let alone ask for. We ask Him for something based on our limited knowledge of how things should be worked out.
GOD IS FULL OF SURPRISES
The most exciting thing about God is He is full of surprises. His answers will always be the right ones. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Also understand that when God answers prayer it isn't always a "yes". It can be "wait" or . . . "NO"! Oops not what we wanted to hear.
THIS IS WHERE FREEDOM COMES IN . . .
If you limit God to what you know and what you can see you are possibly setting yourself up for a great fall. You are also in danger of becoming "bound" Encarta Dictionary defines bound as ". . . obliged to do something or behave in a particular way". Two definitions from the Thesaurus for "bound" are "obligated" and "constrained". That is opposite from "freedom".
Now, let's get to the freedom part. It's a matter of the Spirit being in control yielding our Spirit to God for His guidance. He loves us like we love our children. He wants the best for us and has the ability to make it happen. He also has the ability to "see around the corner" He knows what is coming, we don't. His answers sometimes aren't what we want to hear. Yielding to God is not always easy. It means yielding (submitting) to Him. Many times it means we don't get our way. This is where trust comes in. If you will notice, when you let God have His way you are putting your trust and "faith" in Him. Remember, faith is the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Scripture also tells us that without faith we cannot please God.
NOW FOR THE HARD PART
When God answers with "No" or "Wait" or leads you in another way, your emotions (soul) kicks in and you want to dig your heels in have it your way. You can. But when you do, you have lost your freedom. Say what? You heard me correctly. When you pick and choose which of God's directions you will follow, you are not actually being obedient.
Let's say you pray that God remove you from a situation and you tell Him how you want it done. He answers by sending just what you need to be removed from the situation, but it's different from the terms you told Him you wanted. So, instead of following God's plan and being removed from the situation, you hold out for doing it your way. In the meantime tension builds, stress becomes harder to deal with and everything turns out to be a mess. Then, the "way out" God offered you may not still be available or even if it is, you have delayed your freedom by trying your own way first. If you had done it His way immediately, you could have avoided many of the problems and most of the stress.
That is sort of a simple way of saying it, but I think the message is clear. We have freedom of choice God gave us a free will. But, we have the honor and the privilege of having His Holy Spirit as our counselor and our guide to give us the perfect solution to our situation. It doesn't mean we will always immediately like the way God has shown us. But, as we step out in faith we will eventually see that His ways are better than our ways and He has a reason for wanting us to follow the map He gives us.
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