the state of being free or at liberty rather than inconfinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedomafter a retrial.
exemption from external control, interference, regulation,etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
political or national independence.
personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slavewho bought his freedom.
exemption from the presence of anything specified (usuallyfol. by from ): freedom from fear.
the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedomof living in the country.
frankness of manner or speech.
general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
the absence of ceremony or reserve.
a liberty taken.
a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city orcorporation: freedom to levy taxes.
civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary ordespotic government.
the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights ofcitizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have thefreedom of a friend's library.
Philosophy . the power to exercise choice and makedecisions without constraint from within or without;autonomy; self-determination. Compare necessity ( def. 7 ).
A word that we take for granted, and a word that is used and applied liberally and without much restraint.
This word popped into my head today after a deep discussion with my husband over breakfast.
Our conversation didn't really center around freedom... and then again, it did.
What it did center around was how we are choosing to live for God.
What is freedom really?
I know how I would define it.
I know how the government defines it... and re-defines it over and over again.
I know how the "popular" opinion sees it. Media... Hollywood... and any other form of mainstream over indulged avenues define it.
And as witnessed for yourself above, I know how the popular dictionaries define it.
Honestly... I am only concerned with only one opinion of what freedom really means.
And I am wondering, at the cusp of what could be the most pivotal year of any of our lives, both Christian and non alike... what, and more importantly "Who's" definition are we most concerned with?
Freedom and liberty go hand in hand.
One sets the stage for action, the other with intent.
We may have the freedom of free speech, and then take the liberty to blast someone or insult another and use our "freedom" as our excuse for our rudeness.
We may have the freedom of religion, and then take the liberty to hate another, feeling totally justified in doing it. Our religion dictating that it is completely acceptable.
We may have the freedom of press, and then use our words to slander and lie. Disregarding the truth in exchange for the money to be made by our lies.
We may have the freedom to walk and go where we want, and then choose to use that as our excuse to be so self important that we walk all over those around us while shouting out with our every step that we deem ourselves way more important than those we are trampling on.
It can be a funny thing freedom... and then... not so funny.
I guess it's all in how you define it.
To be honest, and because I can say it here, we don't deserve any of it.
Freedom... liberty... or the so called "rights" that we steal away every single day.
Not even winking at what we are doing in the name of that freedom.
If you could sit for just one moment with a Chinese Christian who has been jailed, beaten, and forsaken for choosing to stand for their faith in God, and ask them about their definition of freedom and what their take on "life" may be... I think you may get a whole different facet to what we take for granted and maybe even be ashamed at our huge lack of self control in the matter and name of our so called "freedoms".
"They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2Peter 2:19
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive." 1Corinthians 10:23
Freedom doesn't mean doing what we want, or what we "feel" like doing....
We make up excuses for our vises and our deprave behavior and yet, I think we know that it's wrong.
I'm going to be completely honest here... because of the circles I walk in, the group I see doing this the most are the youth of today, and those of young adult age.
Why is this?
Why does it seem more and more that we are raising a generation of self centered and self important groups of people that are breeding the most selfish generation of adults that I think we have ever seen.
I know that I am walking on sacred ground here... but this word has been burning in my heart for over a year.
I just haven't known how best to say it.
I think sometimes... you just have to... say it.
And yes, I am fully exercising my own right of free speech.
I hope that I won't stand on my own two feet of standards alone. I hope by the end that you will choose to seek out why I feel the way I do. And come to your own decision of digging deeper for what God has to say about freedom, and how we choose to partake in that. And maybe, see how wrong we have been in how we have been exercising our rights.
I am not trying to come down on the "younger" generations or beat down and ridicule... but I do hope that at some point that they will willingly allow for the discipline that is so evidently lacking with blatant intent, before they find themselves in a place so dark, that they wonder how they ever arrived there.
When I see the things that both my daughter's peers are doing.
What they are engaging themselves in on a daily, weekly, and minute by minute basis, it makes me want to weep.
I just sit and shake my head.
And I have to wonder... what do their parents think about all this?
And do they even care?
Because I can tell you right now, if my daughter was parading herself around half naked and bragging about being salacious and posing in provocative ways in pictures...
Well... let's just say, that my kids have a healthy dose of the fear of God, and the fear of Mom, that they all know what would happen if they ever even attempted to act in such a manner.
How and why is this okay?
I want to stick an exclamation point on the end of that one, but I think you already get my point.
And how is it that my young son is already being told that they can't believe that his parents haven't let him see a rated R movie or won't let him play the grossly and disgusting violent video games that their parents let them play?
WHY is that okay either?
And why are we accepting this as mere rights of passage, and allowing the perverseness of this world to be the way that we have decided it is all right to live our lives by?
Our children are listening to depressing music, being entertained by unrestrained media... and we wonder why we have a generation of depressed and unrestrained young adults?
Our teens are overindulged and overexposed and we wonder why they are having sex with every "relationship" they are engaging in, and most disgusting to me, joking about it, and considering it "normal".
Our young adults are being so mainstreamed that they enter college taking every delusional thought spouted out of our professional academia and calling it the truth... Even if their version of truth is dysfunctional and completely far fetched lies.
Lies that have been created so that we can try and feel good about ourselves, and not have to live under any ones laws and ideas but our own.
And if you haven't woken up yet... it's God's laws and His ideas that they are most opposed to.
Ones that we have gotten and stretched so far from that we are shocked when someone points out that what we have been believing and chosen to believe all these years... IS WRONG.
We as Christian parents... teachers... pastors... and leaders.... need to understand something....
If we don't begin to understand how far we have come... we will never get back to where we need to be.
Where we should be.
I realize that I am going to step on some toes.. I realize that I may even be offending in a major way.
I can't apologize.
Not if I didn't care.
Because I do.
This isn't for my opinion alone.... although a lot of it is just that, my opinion.
But look for yourself.
But look for yourself.
Go on your own quest.
And see where it takes you.
Do you really think that where we are.. where we are going... and where we are headed is the direction that is going to end up good for anybody? For any of us. For you?
Do we think that we will be exempt from judgement just because we only partly engage?
How is it that we as Christians have so freely adopted such distorted mentalities?
I believe that a voice is calling out in the dessert... and it is getting louder...
I've said it before...
If I didn't think it was vital that we listen, I wouldn't wast my time.
I think we need to be a little grieved at the condition of our world... our country... our state... our cities... our communities...our churches... and our families.
I think we need to start re-thinking our stand if the "Sex and the City" mantra is one that we are spouting from our "Christian" homes.
I think that we need to be careful that when we poo poo a particular song in our child's listening library that we shouldn't be too surprised when those children enter high school and college and decide that "casual" relationships and profanity are okay.
When we decide to let our kids "do" what all the other kids are doing... I guess we shouldn't be shocked that they are deciding as adults to get hammered at the college party, or placate yourself with the knowledge and hope that they are just getting "buzzed".
Or that when we fail to solidly set the standards of our homes and live by the belief systems that we say we go by, that our kids are so easily turned to the popular belief systems and are walking away from the faith that we "thought" we were raising them with.
I know that I am on the verge of what the world has so lovingly labeled judgemental ism...
I hope you know that I am standing in judgement of myself as well.
Because if I haven't and don't... then I stand to reason like so many are doing right now.
Basing my actions and deliberations on what I think is right... and what I think is wrong.
If I am not measuring my life, my every motive and intent on the bylines of God's Word, than I am standing the chance of major error, and major default.
I am wrong way more than I am right.
Please listen when I say this.... I am not exempting myself form this post.
If it wasn't for the convictions that have been hitting my heart with increasingly greater impact and tenacity... I wouldn't be writing this at all.
I have failed... I know this.
And I am working hard to correct the areas that I have been fighting God on.... and keeping Him out of.
I am treading the pond of my own mistakes, and I am weary from not allowing God to come in and clean up the built up of scum that I have let plaque up my life.
I am not trying to be self indulgent.
I am being honest... real... and I am trying to convey that as children of God, we can not continue to pick and choose... and just decide which of God's standards we are going to obey, and which of the worlds that we want to adopt.
All in the name of "freedom" of choice.
I believe with everything in me... that the day of compromise is drawing to a close.
Teams are being chosen, and lives are being weighed.
You may not like it... and you may not even want to believe me.
And that's your choice.
Freedom dictates it.
But I am going to caution you.... freedom does not mean the liberty to live by our own standards of judgement and conceit.
It really means to walk in the liberty that can only be found in the freedom of walking, listening, and obeying the only God who has ever existed above all others. And acknowledging that His way is not one of compromise... but one of strength... justice... truth... love... and rightness.
The only way that brings peace, and purpose in anything that He sets out for us to do.
Just sit with that Chinese Christian that I spoke about... I dare you.
And if you don't walk away completely wrecked... than nothing I've said will matter anyway.
The original meaning of freedom in the Greek form, according to Strong's Concordance:
Strong's Greek Lexicon Dictionary/Concordance
Interesting don't you think?
I find major contradiction with the Dictionary.com definitions.
One seems "self" centered, while the other, seems less so.
A deep and concrete example of how far our society has come today... and how far we have found ourselves from God's original design for what freedom really is... what it should be.
God wants our freedom... but only when it is found in Him.
God want our liberty... when we are functioning in the rights of rightness.
Grey isn't the color that I believe grace was ever meant to be.
I believe that God's grace brings peace... not confusion... it's brings joy... not despondency... it brings forgiveness... and not bondage... it makes us free... and not slaves to our sin.
It is clear and it is pure.
It is not clouded and it is not defined by our happiness, comforts, or how we "choose" to believe about anything.
I ask again...
Where are we?
We need to look back to see where we have been.
And we need to understand where we are headed toward is going to get darker unless we begin to turn on the lights.
It begins with us.
It begins with even just one.
You might only have candles around... use them.
Strike the match to your despondency, and ask God to bring His light into your situations. Even into those areas that you may be keeping hidden.
Begin to understand where we have failed Him... knowing that right judgement doesn't bring condemnation... but profound love for our well being.
And living under God's "law" is the opposite of oppression... it is the true meaning of invigorating freedom.
The freedom that the world has tried to sell us has been a bunch of trashy goods.
And until we reject it... we will continue to live in it.
Mucked up and dirty... and not understanding why we are still in the same place that we were yesterday and the day before.
It might mean the loss of compromise... but it will mean the beginning of knowing just what you really have been created to do.
It might mean giving up the "things" that you have learned to love... and even come to rely on for your comfort and happiness... but in losing that... you will gain a comfort and peace like you have never known, and a joy like you won't be able to describe except by what you exude for the whole world to see.
You might lose what you deem important. Your ideologies... your "rights"... and your needing to be right... but what you will gain is the Truth that has stood longer than any of your self important excuses. And the same Truth that will still be standing after you and I are long gone.
"Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves." 1 Peter 2:16
It might sound strange to say this... but we need to desire for God's correction.
My heart has been this, "God empty me of me. And fill me with what can not be taken away."
Holding back is what has gotten us in this mess in the first place.
I don't want to hold back anymore.
Not from Him.
I want to willingly let Him have all of me.
And being honest... as I so obviously am always... It is scary.
But courageous has always been a word that I have wanted applied to my life.
I guess I better start living up to that.
But I will cautiously say this... I only want to be courageous, if I am living for Him.
I only want to live courageously if it means that I am following after His heart, and the heart that He holds for all of our generations.
I want to grieve over what grieves Him.
I want to rejoice over what brings Him joy.
I want to love like He loves. Excluding no one.
And I want to understand, and fully hold the conviction, that if I am not living 100% sold out for Him... than I am not really living as I should.
I'm not sure what today will hold... but I pray that for this brief moment in time, that I have sparked more in you than indignation and refute.
I hope that you will seek Him more fully... and desire not even anything my opinions have set out to convey... but that you would desire to KNOW for sure... for yourself... exactly what it is that God is wanting.
From you and for you.
I am praying for an unquenchable desire for us all to dig deeper into His word. And a desiring to be in His presence more fully than the presence of the things that we have filled our lives with.
And ultimately... for the future generations that we are directly impacting without even knowing it, and are watching us closer than we realize.
I don't know.....
I don't know much of anything... and I profess to understand even less.
But this I do know.
I know Who my God is.
I know the standards that He has set for us.
And I know that above all else, that He is a jealous God... and we belong to Him.
I don't want to take myself away from Him....
Even if He's given me the freedom to do so.
...until another tomorrow.
"I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts." Psalm 119:45
"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners," Isaiah 61:1
"But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do." James 1:25