One of the things the devil quickly realized about humans is that they crave freedom and he also discovered that once they get that freedom they can’t handle it. They can’t harness and control the freedom. They throw themselves into the freedom with wild abandonment. It is only later, when they’ve seen the consequences of their running headlong into a new world that they know nothing about that they end up trapped, ensnared by the very freedom that they once loved.
The very thing that enticed them, drew them in and promised them the entire universe lay at their feet was also the thing they came to hate.
The devil knew that God had placed within Adam and Eve the ability to have an intimate, deep relationship with God. God also placed within them (to accomplish this) a deep desire for freedom. But, it was the desire for freedom (even from God, Himself) that trapped Eve and then Adam.
I was watching a TV show called, “My Generation”. It was all about the rise of British musicians, artists, photographers, actors, etc., in the 1960’s. The core of this sudden meteoric rise of these people had to do with the breaking open of the class system that pervaided England for centuries. The working class did not and could not become anything outside of their class. Especially, if you had a Cockney accent you were doomed to a fate of being ordinary. But, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones became some of the first to break through and suddenly rise to fame. They led the way; they opened the door for everyone else. Suddenly, a young girl could rise to fame as a model who came from a lower class in society. A young man could cut new and different hair styles who came from a lower class and he could rise to fame. The glass ceiling had been lifted. Those who saw what the rich and upper class had could now have a shot at having that too.
But, freedom comes at a cost. And once you have indulged in that kind of freedom there is no putting the glass ceiling back up or the lid back on the pot. There is no going back to a simpler time. There is no putting back the constraints that held the consequences at bay in place again. There was no unseeing what we saw, no unfeeling what we felt and no forgetting what we experienced. We crave freedom but cannot handle it when we get it.
Freedom both liberates us and causes us death at the same time. I think that in the spiritual realm freedom is only obtained after a death has occured. I think that is a spiritual law. I think that God is always asking us this question, “Are you willing to die to obtain this freedom?” Perhaps, God’s asking, “Are you willing to see others die to obtain this freedom?”
So, today we see that an innocent man died. George Floyd’s life was unjustly taken from him. But, perhaps because of his unjust death people all across the US have joined together to protest. They are demanding equality in from the justice system. They are demanding freedom. The implanting by God to desire freedom and work towards freedom has arisen. That is a good thing. Yet, it has also stirred up the desire to get that freedom at the expense of denying others their freedom too. The same freedom that they protest for is the same freedom they deny drivers on the road who are being dragged out of their cars and beaten. That same freedom that store owners depend upon that out of control rioting won’t cause their stores to become a scene of reckless looting. Nietzsche once said something like, “Beware, lest in fighting the beast you become the beast.” In other words, be very cautious in how you approach any unjust situation. The way you fight the beast that is opprressing you could become the way you begin to oppress others.
I think that is why Martin Luther King fought so hard to keep his protests free from physical violence. I think that is why Jesus kept his disciples from becoming an unruly military force. I don’t think that either wanted their goal or mission to become lost in a rioting mob-like frenzy.
Abraham Lincoln tried to approach the fractured United States in the same way. He tried to use peaceful means to end the conflict before it grew out of control. But, the cry for freedom was so great concerning the U.S.’s vicegrip on slavery that there was no other choice. Here again, God was asking, “Are you willing to die for the freedom you desire?” They were and they did. Even Abraham Lincoln died for it. By the end of the Civil War around 650,000 people died. There always seems to be a price to be paid for freedom.
So, how can we get back to a simpler life yet retain our freedom? How can we live by restrictions that help us avoid the dire consequences that we loath but also bring us freedom? How do we learn from Adam and Eve’s mistakes in pursuing a freedom that we can’t maintain and can’t handle when we finally get it? Jesus had the answer to these questions.
Jesus said that it was through Him and only through Him would we find the freedom we crave. I believe that is why God created us to crave and value freedom. It is one of the things that we are still willing to die for. It is one of the things we are willing to go the distance to achieve. But, our earthly type of freedom is a very limited and short lived freedom. The world’s freedom promises us everything and does deliver but certainly not to the level that we had hoped or expected. And the consequences of receiving that freedom come at a very high price. But, Jesus told us that if we die with Him, He will resurrect us to new life. If we entrust our freedom to Him by becoming His voluntary servants He will change our captivity and enslavement to a heavenly kind of freedom without the side effects. Just keep in mind that dying to self is still required and that dying to self daily is still required. Why?
Because Jesus had to pay the ultimate price for our most needed freedom. God determined that the freedom that we humans needed the most was freedom from sin. (By sin I mean the doing things contrary to God’s ways; going against God’s grain; refusing His wisdom, friendship and counsel.) Why does God think that this is the most crucial thing we need freedom from? Because, the chains, enslavement and glass ceilings of this earth are only temporary. God has promised to use those for our good. But, the spiritual chains, enslavements and glass ceilings that we have entangled ourselves in and have become prisoners of are not ones that are acceptable in Jesus’ world to come. Jesus is looking for us to do the work here on earth that we need to do to prepare us for His kingdom to come. If we want the life without death that Jesus promised us He would bring in His kingdom we must deny ourselves the freedom we want (and the rights we feel we are owed) here in this earthly life. A death has already occurred (Jesus’). Freedom has already been guaranteed (through Jesus’ death). The victory has already been won (by Jesus’ conquering of sin, hell and death).
This kind of victory doesn’t take protesting or marches. It doesn’t take demanding for one’s rights to be acknowledged and given. This kind of freedom doesn’t take aligning oneself with people of questionable character. And it doesn’t require one to trample all over another person’s freedom to obtain justice and freedom for oneself.
Jesus’ freedom is sweet and clear. Let our voices rise in proclaiming, “His freedom has come!”
THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN…..by Janet Williams….A BLOG TO SEE!