We are working through Psalm 119, a Psalm that so wonderfully describes the many abundances of God’s Word.
Verses 41-48 are outlined below from THE MESSAGE
Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.
I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!—
relishing every fragment of your counsel.
Look at the tremendous abundance found in following the Word of God described in these passages. Love shaping our lives, the ability to withstand attacks and ridicule from others, courage to speak freely about the abundance in life you have found by having Jesus as your Master and Teacher. All revolving around the words “And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces.”
Freedom is just a word for nothing left to lose if not found in Jesus. No politician, no government, no guru, no cultural icon can give anyone the freedom described in the words above.
Oh but you say that is nonsense. Let’s think deeply for a change. Of course apart from Jesus you have great freedoms in most countries. But is that all there is to freedom, to move around as you wish, to consume as you wish, to eat and hook up as you wish, to pursue employment you desire, to riot and protest if aggrieved, to shoot and kill if offended by another? Humanity engages in all of these freedoms and more totally bound up inside with the bondage of anger, greed, lust, rage, contempt, control and manipulation. FREE? Far from it.
Those among us who truly KNOW Jesus as Master and Teacher and appropriate the Word of God in their lives for everyday direction and guidance are FREE.
Recently I heard a story from Francis Chan a follower of Christ who was on a trip to China. He was asked by a follower of Christ what religious activities looked like in America. He told the individual that basically it was people coming together every week singing a few songs and listening to a individual talk for thirty minutes then leaving and going about their regular lives. The Chinese man thought he was joking. No Chan said that is how it is in America . The Chinese man pointing at Chan’s Bible exclaimed where does it say that in this book? EXACTLY!
Here we have a man who knows little of the freedoms described above but is totally free as a follower of Christ and His Word walking in freedom, alive with love, joy and peace flowing from a healthy soul. Clearly getting the fact of what I have been writing about in these blogs now for the past four months, religious activities have nothing to do with Jesus, the Bible or Freedom.
The Psalm above ends with a declaration of how the follower of the Master Jesus loves His commands because as he says in the next verse he sees them as counsel, in other words as direction and guidance for his life.
When we see the Bible not as a religious icon but as commands for life that give us counsel we are set FREE!
I mentioned in the last blog that after a season with Jesus as Master and Teacher we come to know Him as Lord. To me this simply means He becomes the supreme authority in our lives. Why? Because He has shown to be worthy of that distinction due to the life He has given us when we trusted Him as our Master and Teacher.
So think deeply about your inner life, how you think, feel, act, use your body, deal with others. Is it free from the anger, greed, lust, etc, described above? Odds are it is far from free and that is not a small matter for we all live in community and are in this together.How we act affects the way we live. It is time we seek out a life of love, joy and peace flowing from a reservoir of love within our souls. It is time we seek out Jesus as our Master and Teacher for all of life as we know it.