Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Living Free

"If God is God at all, he must know more about our needs than we do; if God is God at all, he must be more in touch with the reality of our thoughts, our emotions, our bodies than we are; if God is God at all, he must have a more comprehensive grasp of the interrelations in our families, communities, and nations than we do." -- Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

The excerpt above comes from the fantastic book I am working through with my discipleship group here at Auburn. I am loving this book because it is thought-provoking and contains inescapable truths gleaned from the "Psalms of Ascent" in the Bible. I have been living in the Psalms as-of-late and have found this second read of Peterson's book to be so helpful. I encourage you to grab a copy today. You can find used and new copies online.

This particular excerpt comes from the chapter on service. The beautiful thing about the way Peterson thinks is that he always surprises you. His chapter on service (and Psalm 123) is more about freedom than anything else. He speaks a lot about how we as Christians talk about freedom, but not many people "feel or act free" (65). Why is this? Why do we continually allow ourselves to be enslaved by other people or things (legalism, money, etc.)?

One of my favorite hymns is "Make Me a Captive, Lord" by George Matheson. It is not a hymn you hear everyday, but the words speak right to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to be held captive only to Christ and not to the thousand other people and things that seek to enslave us. The first line says it all, "Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free."

I long to be held captive only by Christ and to really live free. Free from so much concern about what others think. Free from legalism. Free from the temptation to judge or compare myself to others. Free from the idea that I am somehow Lord of my own life or that I have all the answers. Free to live fully in the knowledge that God is God and I am not and that is a good thing. This is what God desires for me and for you. I pray each day we move a step closer to the full realization that it really is "for freedom that Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1).

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