DayBreaks for 12/02/19: Liberating Restrictions
How do you feel deep down inside, about rules? Do you like them? If so, under what conditions? You may like rules that you have for your kids that keep them orderly and under control so that the decibel level in your home isn’t higher than that of an F-18 taking off, but resent rules when they are applied to you at work or in the home or through a neighborhood association or a church. We do love our freedoms! And that isn’t bad.
There is a common misperception about Christianity – that it is a religion that is like a straight jacket – bound around us so tightly that we cannot move or scarcely breathe. Not a very pretty or attractive picture, is it? Yet it is real and it is yet another reason that many refuse to yield to the Spirit’s call to come to the cross and find the freedom that is real freedom that comes only through Christ.
How would you answer those who say that Christianity is nothing but a set of rules intended to subjugate and keep people from having “fun” and a good life? I liked the illustration Timothy Keller gives in The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism: “Disciplines and constraints, then, liberate us only when they fit with the reality of our nature and capacities. A fish, because it absorbs oxygen from the water rather than air, is only free if it is restricted and limited to water. If we put it out on the grass, its freedom to move and even live is not enhanced but destroyed. The fish dies if we do not honor the reality of its nature. In many areas of life, freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, the liberating restrictions.”
Well put. The fish was designed to be free to move, swim and live in the water. It’s the only place it can truly be free – in any other environment it will quickly die. As humans, made in the image of God, we were designed to live in a certain way, too. And we are only truly free when we find the Way we were meant to live and then remain in that way.
Throughout the centuries, people have tried many, many things in order to find freedom from demons that haunt them and emotions that eat away at the soul. The “way” of life in the gospels is the way we find true life. They are not restrictions that limit and repress, they are liberating restrictions that frees us to rise up on wings like eagles!
PRAYER: Help us to not long for what we are not meant to have or for ways we are not meant to live! Thank You, Lord, for the restrictions that free us and keep us from the restrictions that would bind and kill. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>