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THE FREE RADICALS

January 29, 2010
John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin.
And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
II Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Many professing Christians will believe themselves to be walking in this liberty. Indeed everyone who is born of the Spirit does walk in a measure of it. Just knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we have an eternity in the presence of the Lord, carries an incredible amount of liberty and peace. But when a person grows into the fulness of this freedom, their life will be altered in ways that will appear radical, and even “irresponsible” in the eyes of those who have never experienced it. Folks who have entered this realm continually abide close to the Lord Jesus. The fellowship is indescribably sweet and they diligently seek out the quiet spaces as to spend time with him. They trust so completely in his word, that the threatenings of this world are unable to initiate fear. They will not be moved by the enticements of this life as their affections are set completely upon the Lord Jesus and the age to come. They no longer conform to the worlds standards; nor do they weary themselves in pursuit of an ever-increasing stake in this worlds agenda.
This is a place that it’s probably safe to say that all of us are striving toward, but have not reached the fulness of. For example, over the weekend, I found myself thinking of our personal finaicial outlook and some trouble spots down the road. It caused apprehension that “should not have been;” especially over things which are temporal. Seriously! Someday; be it in a few months or in several years, we will no longer abide at this address. This is a temporal thing and fear over potential outcomes in the flesh indicate that ones affections are not as set on the everlasting as they should be. I have so much growing to do and I oftentimes wonder if I have any business bringing up some of the topics covered on this blog. Without a doubt, this forum is of a “thinking out loud” nature. This instalment offers reflections of a place that I’ve often tasted, but have not reched in full. (with the times being as they are, we need to be diligently moving toward fullness in this area)
There are some distinct areas in which we are to walk in freedom. As we grow into the fulness of Christ, this freedom will cause us to be a city set upon a hill without our even consciously trying to be one. It’s astonishing as to how dominating the fear factor is. Even those who profess to have absolutely no fear of God or the hereafter are dominated by fear. Fear of lack, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of their worldview being exposed, the list of apprehensions is endless. We are to walk only in a godly fear (which is life) and should not become rattled by the myriad of senarios before us. Below are some distinct areas of the freedom that we’ve been called to:
( 1 ) FREEDOM FROM DEATH.
Hebrews 2:14-15 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,”
For an unsaved person, the fear of death governs their life. They will work, establish a comfort zone, and build a kingdom on earth to preserve their life and make it as enjoyable as possible. Because death, for one who knows not the Lord Jesus, is the end of expectation and a leap into the unknown. Folks will go to incredible lengths to find comfort when it comes to the inevitable; even to the point of embracing a complicated array of deceptions. However, without knowing the Lord Jesus, the element of fear remains; unless one has become so hardened that they no longer have any godly fear. I remember reading the final comments of Karl Marx. He was on his death bed and about to slip away, when his maid asked for some parting words that he could be remembered by. He angrily told her to leave him alone. “Final words are for fools who didn’t say enough in their lifetime” he told her. No fear of God at all as he was slipping into a realm that he had spent his life believing didn’t exist. 
Truly the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When I was lost and undone, I had a very occultic and new-ageish view of the world. (Astonishingly, I didn’t recognize them as being such) But these ideas were hindered by a profound fear of death and a belief that God was real. This fear persisted; despite my best efforts to find comfort in spiritual concepts apart from scriptural truth. That fear kept me from pursuing paths that were calling out to me. I stood in their doorway; I entrancingly listened to every word, but was “unable to proceed.” (I was a really strange child)
( 2 ) FREEDOM FROM SIN
On the morning of January 24, our pastor preached about rebounding after we stumble. He touched heavily on the seriousness of sin and issued this statement:
“Sin begins as a thought, which leads to an act, which leads to a habit, which leads to a lifestyle, which leads to death.”
We are not to be in bondage to sin. There’s a popular notion that living a life of holiness is a form of legalism. This idea has been further engrained by those who do take a legalistic approach to holiness and issue a strict set of guidelines. But true holiness isn’t bondage and when one is free from sin, the ulurements of the world will lose their influence over us. When we are filled with the Spirit and have living water springing up from within, the things that we once viewed as being “the necessary ingrediants for a good time” will be exposed. We’ll see the former things for what they are; agents of bondage and death. Our lack of attachment to worldly things will not stem from a legalistic set of regulations, but from an authentic “loss of interest.”
( 3 ) FREEDOM FROM WORLDLY FEAR.
Matthew 6 31: 34 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
To completely trust the Lord for everything; regardless of physical conditions. When we grasp this, we’ll stand out while the world is going nutty around us. I often hear comments such as “I don’t know how you can stand working here” (I hear this often at work) or “I don’t know how you guys can handle Matthew.” (Our oldest son, Matthew, is autistic) People view circumstances that are, or would, drive them out of their tree, and wonder why we can handle it. They see potential senarios on the horizon and become so fearful that they simply “cannot think about it” and wonder why we are not likewise fearful. When we begin to understand just how temporal this world is, how long eternity is, and what our primary mission is in this life, senarios and threatenings will not move us to apprehension. Regardless of what transpires, these agents of oppression lose their voice the moment that we step into eternity.
( 4 ) FREEDOM FROM RELIGION AND TRADITION. There are two sides to this and both will probably foster disagreement. The first is traditions of the world; be they conformity to holidays, dressing in accordance to the present trends, doing certain things at certain times, or what have you. Either way, the prevailing trend of “being like this” or “doing that” confines us to the perimeters of what the world considers to be “normal.”  
This mindset is likewise widespread in the church as too often we conform to the expectations of others instead of seeking the Lord and being transformed. In many venues, the teachings of men, who have been soundly indoctrinated prevail, while the flock clings to their every word. The undiscerning are encouraged to “get with the program” instead of diligently seeking the Lord Jesus before whom we all shall stand. Without a doubt, the Lord grants teachers and pastors according to his will. But each of us must be individually atuned to the Holy Spirit and prayerfully searching the scriptures. Not using the theological lens or list of standards that we were presented with when we began to fellowship with the church down the road, but in a diligent quest for understanding from on high. (Jeremiah 33:3 and james 1:5)
When we begin to walk in the liberty of Christ, we’ll become a threat to those who have elected to remain within the comfy confines of religion or take comfort in their theology. But the fellowship with the Lord and peace will be “out of this world.” Not to mention the fellowship with like minded saints. One reason that CR and I talk so much is that we engage in discussions that few seem to be interested in. Our conversation always rockets into the realms of the everlasting. Ponderings about the deep things of God, ponderings of events soon to unfold, concern for the priceless souls all around us, and an eternity where we shall forever be in the presence of the Lord. It’s astonishing to see professing saints become “uneasy” and seek an exit strategy when some of these topics arise. (especially prophetic considerations from a post-tribulation rapture standpoint)
Well, I have to go because this post has exceeded 1700 words. Lord willing, I’ll try to make it around over the weekend. I often wish that we were all in a single geographic area, but that’s probably a selfish desire. Each of us have a position in this temporal world that only we can occupy. Besides, we “will” be in the same place when our testimony here is completed. How important it is for us to maintain an eternal perpective. Until the next time, blessings always in Jesus name.
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7 comments

  1. Hey, Timbob

    Good post. You’re running along the same lines of a dream I had a few mornings ago. I don’t know if I’ll post it or not–I might be too chicken, and parts of it are of limited application. But it involves a lot of what you’ve said about conformity, particularly conformity to parts of what we call the church. I find it troubling. I don’t like saying things that will upset people (my fear of man showing, I suppose.) If God wants me to, I will, but I’m holding off a bit to see what He might say.

    Regarding the post-trib rapture thing, in my circles, it’s popular not to believe in the rapture at all. Mid-trib is more acceptable, while pre-trib is escapist.

    We’ve been promised persecution. I think that promise is about to be fulfilled on the western church–not from strangers, but from our own countrymen. This is irregardless of when or whether the rapture occurs.

    After trying to believe in the other views, I’m settling back into pre-trib. This is what I believe God is saying to me (I could be wrong). I believe in my spirit this is the correct view. I doubt many in my church would agree with me, and that’s okay. We love one another anyhow.

    It doesn’t matter. We will suffer persecution, and God’s grace will bring us through anything He allows us to experience–whether A tribulation, or THE tribulation.

    I’m ready to accept it from Him if He tells me that we’ll go through the tribulation. That hasn’t always been the case, but I’m comfortable with either way. (That amazes me.) I just think He and the word are telling me otherwise. Not trying to convince you or anyone else–it’s just my view. 😉

    Love, Cindy


  2. Good morning Cindy. Thanks so much for stopping by. One thing is for certain; especially when it comes to the prophetic, is that we all see through a glass darkly. We see bits and pieces of things to come, however, witout seeing the whole there’s much room for speculation. One can only imagine how much different our theology would be if John had been permitted to record the utterings of the seven thunders.

    As for the rapture, I could very well be wrong and there are passages that seem to support all three popular versions of “when.” I think that what troubles me the most is that many professing Christians are so in bed with the worlds system and oblivious to what they may face in the days ahead that they see no need to be prepared spiritually for times of trying. And whenever talk arises of persecution or tribulation, they get that glassy look in their eyes and quickly search for an excape from the conversation.

    CR has been impressed to do a prayer breakfast with some folks from his church wherein prophetic events are the topic. He also mentioned how several weeks ago, he was in the pulpit briefly for a certain event that had nothing to do with prophecy. In the course of his words, he went took an unexpected detour into the new world order and persecution coming to these shores. “I could feel the disbelieving stares and afterwards, one could hear a pin drop” he explained, (Or words to that effect)

    Strange times in which we find ourselves, and yet the primary thing is to be in close to the Lord Jesus who will be with us no matter what we may face. I’m convinced that one of the biggest dangers today is the conformity to the default image of what an “evangelical christian is.” I couldn’t find words to adequately convey what was on my heart concerning this. As such I’m hoping that you will be posting about this. This will sound strange, but oftentimes a thing will be on my heart but I’ll not be able to frame it. Then someone else will write or speak about it in a way that details it perfectly.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Your comments are always well thought out and encourage pondering on very important issues. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  3. Great post . . .

    your statement – ‘not stem from a legalistic set of regulations, but from an authentic “loss of interest.”’ – so true. I’m finding as you grow in a relationship with God there is nothing legalistic but all you do you do simply because of a love for God and others.

    You made some great points here – how many wonderful freedoms we have in Christ – and I’m discovering more all the time because the truth sets you free.

    Rachel


  4. Hi Rachel. It’s a freedom that defies explanation; at least in a way that’s widely understood. I’ve been in many venues where songs and proclamations of being free are made, and yet the yoke of tradition is firmly in place. Our pastor refers to this as a “laundry list” of dos and dont’s where one is continually urged to conform to the congregations consensus of what a Christian is like. However, if a person gets close to Jesus, the exterior issues will take care of themselves.

    This is definately an area in which all of us are growing and I have a long way to go in several aspects. But we see this place in scripture and know that when we arrive, we’ll have a powerful testimony while doing exploits. (Daniel 11:32)

    Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  5. […] friend BB has suggested dabbling in cinquains, and my ever edifying brother in Christ over at Grace County is once again drawing our attention upwards, here I shall attempt to […]


  6. Pretrib Rapture Trivia

    Who’s the “Protector of the Principality of Pretribulatia”?
    Edward Irving? John Darby? C. I. Scofield? Tim LaHaye? Someone else?
    Media figure Joe Ortiz knows the answer. It’s in his “End Times Passover” blog. The one dated Dec. 29, 2009.
    If you’re Calvinist, you’re predestined to see his blog. If you’re Arminian, you can choose to see it.
    If you find out you already knew the answer before seeing Joe’s blog, you have a chance to win the grand prize which includes:
    Sixty pounds of plaster for each family member.
    An umbrella stand made from a stuffed python.
    And 3000 yards of used dental floss.
    Whew. What you miss if you’re not computer savvy!


  7. Hi Geoffrey. Thanks so much for stopping by and alerting me to this site. I’ve placed it on the blogroll and pray that others will check it out. We are truly in an age like none other and most of us cannot grasp the events that will soon prevail in the physical realm. We need to be in close to the Lord Jesus because we simply cannot navigate these times from afar. Thanks again.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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