Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Walk at Liberty

Psalm 119:45- And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Society today dupes us into believing that true liberty comes when we shrug off all rules, responsibility, and accountability. The guidelines and precepts found in the Bible are, according to secular spiritual skeptics, straightjackets that prevent us from living truly liberated lives. To them, freedom is found in living a life that is free of "traditional" rules and "outdated" codes of conduct. But are they right?

The verse quoted at the top of this article teaches us that true liberty is found when we seek to fulfill God's predetermined precepts. Imagine that! That freedom is found in obedience- that is almost paradoxical! But notice with me a couple of practical illustrations that have assisted me in understanding Psalm 119:45.

In any sport, it is the rules of that sport that give us the freedom to be able to enjoy the sport. In fact, without the rules, you don't have a sport. Although it is absolutely hilarious to imagine, golf would not be a very fun sport if your playing partner just randomly decided to tackle you in the middle of your backswing. By adhering to the rules of the game, we are able to fully enjoy the benefits of the game.

Imagine with me a math teacher who has a new, revolutionary philosophy of teaching that abandons the "traditional" rules of math and embraces a more "free" approach. This new teaching method would no longer bind students to the strict, rigid laws of mathematics, but would allow the students to just experiment with numbers, and write their own equations. After all, these students should not have to endure the shackles of the Pythagorean theorem, the quadratic formula, and other binding "traditions". They should be free to express their own approach to math. But would there really be freedom? Obviously, the answer is no. There would be bondage. The students would be bound to a perpetual state of ignorance. Interestingly, the rules of mathematics are the very agents that give us the freedom to learn.

1 John 5:3 reads, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandment: and his commandments are not grievous." The truth, regardless of what more "enlightened" individuals may say, is that God has established predetermined precepts and rules for life. Life that is lived within these guidelines experiences all the joys that God intended. A beautiful picture of this is marriage. Some of the greatest joys of human existence are found in the covenant relationship of marriage. This is exactly what God intended. With marriage comes companionship. With marriage comes security. With marriage comes the undefiled sexual relationship. With marriage comes children. With marriage comes wonderful memories. With marriage comes...rules. When the rules of marriage are broken (infidelity, failure to fulfill the God-given roles of husband and wife, etc.), the freedom that is found within the marriage is greatly hindered. And the same is true in regards to our lives and God's precepts.

And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Walk in Love

Ephesians 5:2- And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."

Here we are given a very simple command: to walk in love. The love to which this command is referring is the same love found in 1 Corinthians 13, and the same love that is mentioned in Galatians 5:22. It truly is a simple command; and yet, it is a widely unheeded command.

The word "walk" is in reference to our way of life. This verse is not teaching us that there should be certain times when we love; the verse is teaching us that our very lives should be characterized by Christ-like love. I feel like I have achieved monumental spiritual victory when I have lived ten percent of my day in the love of Christ. But I am still missing the point of this commandment by ninety percent! God wants me to "walk in love."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Taking a Short Rest Before the Rest...

We are thankful that we will be heading home next week after a three and a half month long stretch of deputation meetings. Praise the Lord, before we began this particular leg of deputation we were receiving fifty percent of our needed support; now we are receiving just over seventy percent. Lord-willing, we will be home in Loganville, Georgia for a couple of weeks, during which time we will be with family and friends from our home church. When September arrives, our schedule will be full throttle until December. At that point, we will be within just a few months of leaving for Cambodia. I guess you could say we are taking a rest before the rest....of deputation.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"That Ye Love One Another"

I am thoroughly enjoying reading A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot. Her boldness for Christ and her devotion to Christ have greatly challenged me in my walk with the Lord. The following excerpt from her diary is an indictment on all of us who are co-laborers in the harvest field, and yet cannot love one another and serve peaceably with one another. I am not speaking of ecumenicism; I am speaking of like-minded, fundamental Baptists who serve the same God and hold the same convictions, but allow pride and the flesh to cause unnecessary and harmful strife.

After being told by a veteran missionary in India that missionaries "always do fall out with one another, and then make it up," this was her response, which she recorded in her diary:

"We have never lived like that (speaking of the workers at the Dohnavur Fellowship, the orphanage that she founded). We could not bear to live for one minute out of love with one another. I suppose this answer sounded simply silly to the one who knew so much better than I did about missionary life."

May God have mercy on us if we as co-laboreres in the harvest fields cannot learn to love one another, forgive one another, and serve peaceably with one another.