There is a tendency we all have to protect our right to freedom. Freedom to make choices which will affect the way we live and how we live. Freedom to work at what we love best, to love whomever we want to, live wherever we like, to be free to accept or reject what is offered to us. Most of us will protect that right with great emotion and passion and will fight for it with our lives.
Interestingly, those who do not know God as their Heavenly Father are inclined to feel that their freedom is threatened when approached by well meaning and practicing Christians. They are suspicious, wary, and turn a deaf ear to the appeals of those who try to get them into a relationship with God. Who needs it? they cry. Many go out of their way to avoid a confrontation with Christians. In polite society, they are not equipped psychologically to turn away with ease. Instead they will listen with a pained expression; resigned to their fate with an edge of guilt that lingers even as they escape.
I like my life the way it is is the most common thing we hear in rebuttal. I do not want to go to church or be in bondage to the rules and guidelines of religion. I can pray at home if I choose. I can take care of myself. Everything I have, I have worked hard for and I did it all myself. I dont need some righteous christian know it all to tell me how to live. I am a good person. I dont hurt anybody. I live a good life. Religion is just nonsense. Who says that there is a God? Why are all those bad things happening to you Christians anyway? Where is your God? I am too busy working to listen or go to church. Who needs this anyway? I am free and over 21 and I like it like that
Some actually will go to church just to see. They sit with folded arms and take it all in. Without an open heart or with judgemental triads within their hardened hearts. There is nothing here for me, they cry, leaving the church.
So without God they stumble along on their own, manufacturing excuse after excuse,feeling quite content with their lives as it is, until they reach a troublesome hillside which they cannot cross such as illness and death of a loved one or a financial loss which they cannot fix. Then the non christian begins to reflect on some kind of higher power because they are then powerless to enjoy that so called freedom they thought they had and cannot now implement to change the things they want to make right. They become scared. No one can help them. Money is worthless. They realize that they are not infinite and are subject to the temporary status of humanity. Hopefully this is the time they take stock of their lives and realize that they are not free in the true sense of the word after all. Their hands are tied. They cannot prevent the troubles that fate has given them. They cannot stop the progress of change. For all of us are dependent on Our Heavenly Father to guide us, to love us, to protect us from the shifting and changing grounds of life whether it is realized or not.
So what must we do to help these souls to become free in spite of themselves? We can pray for them. We can also listen to them repeat over and over and with strained patience tell us this is not for them. And with prayer we can maybe see that tiny little hole of need open and spread over their consciousness bit by bit until the light will shine through to them. It may take time. But dont give up. And always be aware that we must be a clean example of confident christianity for them to see, acting as disciples of Christ and ministering to those who do not always realize or recognize their need.
The truth is, non-Christians think they can really take care of themselves, not realizing that even when they are so far away from God, He is still allowing them to get up in the morning, enjoy the sunshine, the birds, the trees, fellow human beings, and all the glorious things we could not produce for ourselves, for money cannot buy life or create the world which we enjoy. He breathes the breath of life in each of us. Without Him we are all as dirt. Money, position, power, and good looks mean nothing in the long term. We see this every day. The rich and famous leave as they came to this life. We read about Kings and Queens dying and leaving all their precious coffers of treasures behind. Hopefully, we as Christians we will leave behind a legacy of hope and belief in God which will be carried as a torch for the generations to come.
This recognition and re-definition of freedom can change us in two ways: Denial which dictates that we try to brazen life out and try on our own to correct the things that happen to us or the realization that there must be a better way of dealing with calamities... a haven which we can enter for true counsel and shelter...a loving retreat which fills that odd place within us called the soul... and fill it with loving hope. If this means a lack of freedom, a giving of ourselves up to God, it sure feels good to not be free. For we are not free unless we are connected to Him. We are free when we accept His plan for us.
So then are we really free as Christians? Yes, we are, for we are free to change the course of our lives and those we love with prayer. We are free to choose to spend eternity with God rather than Hell. We are free to go on knowing that God takes up our burdens and makes them light. We are free to enjoy without fear the things God has given us knowing that He will protect us and take our part. We are indeed free in the total sense of the word. Our faith makes us free from the uncertainties of this life. We are free from the shackles of hell and damnation. Free to enjoy the rewards of Heaven and the freedom of eternal life.
With acceptance of Gods plan for us, we are as the Rev. Martin Luther King said in one of his famous speeches, Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free At Last.
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