8-29-16 Do Whatever You Want (1Co 10:23)
One of the incredible gifts we receive as born again Christians is complete Freedom, but what should we be doing with this sweet liberty? Listen to this verse:
““Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.” (1 Co 10:23 HCSB)
Freedom. This is one of the privileges we humans long to have. There is an instinctive part of us that desires to do whatever we want to do, without anyone dictating or restricting our actions in any way. We clearly see this trait right from the beginning of humanity, back in the Garden of Eden. But as the above verse implies, not everything we humans want is good for us. We may want to be free to do as we please, but with our limited insight and absolute lack of foresight, too many times the choices we freely make lead to problems and heartache instead of the liberation we truly desire. We may want Freedom, and rightly so, but how we use it makes all the difference in the quality of our lives.
Freedom. As Bible believing, Jesus following, Holy Spirit filled Christians, we do have total Freedom. It is one of the countless gifts God has bestowed on those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord. But once again, the above verse gives us wisdom into how we are to use this Freedom. It is supposed to be helpful to us. It is meant to build us, and those around us, up. It’s purpose is to enhance life in general, to enrich our experiences, to aid us to have, enjoy and share the Abundant Life God desires for us. Freedom enables us to receive God’s Love, and then, to treat everyone around us with that same kind of Love. This Freedom frees us from having to have our own way. It frees us from having to be right all the time. It frees us from unforgiveness, from bitterness, from depression, from anxiety, from… fill in your own brand of bondage here. This Freedom gives us permission to be everything we were always meant to be. It is never meant to give us permission to be self-indulgent, self-absorbed or selfish in any way…if you think about it, that’s who we were before Jesus came into our lives! We didn’t need the salvation of Jesus with this gift of Freedom for any of that! This Freedom transforms us into the image of Christ. It makes the Abundant Life more peaceful, more joyful and displays the righteousness we have in the Holy Spirit.
Freedom. When we give our hearts to Jesus, we are given the right to be children of God and along with that awesome identity comes this prized Freedom. We are free from the bonds of all our sins- past, present and future. We are free from the eternal consequences of our transgressions. We are free from all the negative affects that sin attempts to imprison us with like jealousy, outbursts of anger and selfish ambitions. (See Gal 5:19-21) But I repeat, when we believe in Jesus, we become children of God. (Jn 1:12) And what do children have to do? We have to grow up! One of the signs of a maturing Christian is one who lays down his rights to follow God’s Will instead of his own desires. What should we do with this blood bought Freedom? We should be free to follow Christ no matter the cost. The Christian views are not always the popular ones. They often seem to conflict with this fallen world’s ways. They can bring about challenges that are difficult to endure. But when push comes to shove, we must decide who we are going to follow. With this Freedom comes the power and courage to step out and do the godly thing even if no one else will. And for those occasions when we fall short and act like children, praise God for mercy and grace! Again, He understands we are His children and knows all too well that children often mess up. In Christ, we have the Freedom to forgive ourselves and move forward, leaning on the Holy Spirit to help us mature further.
Freedom. Are all things permissible for me? Yes, by God’s Grace! But while I can do whatever I want to do, what I am finding, more and more, is that what I want to do is whatever God wants me to do. Even though following His Way can be uncomfortable at times, it is the most rewarding way to live. The peace that surpasses understanding is so real it is palpable. The joy so overwhelming it truly can be felt in every part of my life. And the precious righteousness- that sense of being right with God, myself and my world- is the real Freedom I have been always looking for. How about you? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think…
<>< Peace, Diane
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