The freedom of being a christian!

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Mark Batterson makes a statement at the beginning of his “Wild Goose Chase” series (if you haven’t heard it you really missed something!) He speaks of how a zoo just isn’t the same as seeing creatures in the wild. He ponders whether churches, well meaning, may shelter “caged Christians” safe, secure but no longer free. It’s a question to ponder.

In my own experience finding Christ was the ultimate in freedom. Free of worries for my needs or safety I could go anywhere, do anything! Being “born” outside the religious system I took His words quite literally when He said, “My God shall supply all your needs,” or “the angel of the Lord encamps about those that fear Him and delivers them,” etc. I lived on the promises and He met every one, wonderfully! In my innocence I knew no other way.

The verse, “He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly” does not (as it is often misapplied) mean we’ll get rich. It means when we receive His spirit in our hearts our new (spiritual) life begins, right then, overflowing with power, joy, and love. But even the life-giving spirit of Christ can be quenched if we bottle it up and turn off the faucet through fear.

I find it strange many non-believers view Christianity as restrictive. The opposite is true. Jesus sets us free, free from sin, from fear, even from convention. I suspect many might be surprised at my mental picture of Jesus – in action, overflowing with life, joy, love and power. My favourite Easter picture (above) shows Jesus racing from the tomb, full of power, eager to begin His future work. He often makes me laugh (usually at myself) and tells me I’m too serious – a worry wort lol! He really is a “free spirit” in every sense of the word.

I love that His first recorded miracle was to save a party by turning water to wine, that children loved Him. I love how he picked fishermen – even a tax collector – for His disciples. Even more I love that he roamed the land with no home, no job, no official stamp. He even had a notorious prostitute as a close follower! He must have gotten dirty, probably smelly, definitely not a member of “respectable society”, but love and power flowed from Him, healing, freeing, inspiring. That’s certainly not the image non-Christians have of the average church member.

Have we become caged, tame Christians, docile pets of the status quo? It’s a dangerous question to pose – it was the “status quo”, not the Romans that had Jesus killed – the Romans were just the tool they used. Being a real Christian is highly dangerous, but oh the thrill of adventure!

 

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“This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.”

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Why would we choose darkness? Because we have something to hide? We all have something to hide. Light exposes every wrinkle, every blemish, every imperfection, our flawed, secret self.

Ask yourself, could I stand naked in front of a room full of people, not strangers, people I interact with? The answer for most of us is no. Then think, could I be entirely naked before someone I love and who I know loves me, just as I am warts and all?

This is the secret of embracing the light. Knowing  God loves us with such perfect love He sees past our imperfections, we can yield ourselves in total, naked, honesty. Not because we feel we are perfect or beautiful, but because we trust totally in His limitless love for us. This is true humility and only in this way can we embrace the light.

The great race.

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Lemming like they serge and flow

As to their end they swiftly go

Swallowed up by death’s dark water

Striving for the things they oughta.

Racing on, not looking up

To sniff the breeze of freedoms cup.

Copying the lives of others

TV’s glare outshines its brothers

Missing call of sun and moon,

Arriving dead much far too soon.

A rat race headed for the sea

Enslaved forever souls to be.

But if they dared to stop and look

Another path, redemption took

Why then indeed they’d once more be

Mankind of hope at last set free.leming3

Prison break.

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Trapped by expectations, she longed to gain the sky.

Folks and their opinions had quenched her urge to fly.

Encaged within her prison, she longed to be herself,

Cast off all inhibitions neatly folded on the shelf.

To cast away the costume of who others thought she’d be.

Step through bars of inhibition, wings unfolding to be free.

At last it came the season- couldn’t bear it anymore.

Broke out of limitation – to open sky did soar.

‘Twas not without a price tag, for her loved ones bore the bruise

She made upon her exit – when another life did choose.

And yet they saw the glory as she sped into the sky

You cannot bind in serfdom one who’s born to fly.

Destiny

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Like an eagle confined to a cage,
The soul chaffs for another world,
Brighter, freer world of soft winds,
Refreshing mist and high vistas.
It was never created for the cage.

When the hand of death opens
The confining door of flesh
It flies free
Seeking by instinct its true realm.