Life and Liberty: Messy and Marvellous – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
life: vitality, vigour, and/or energy; (as opposed to) human existence or being alive.
liberty: the state of being free (from oppressive restrictions) within society imposed by authority; not being imprisoned or enslaved; the power or scope to act as one pleases; not controlled by power or need.
Scripture Reference (AMPC): Galatians 3:10-11,13-14; 4:6-7,19-20; 5:1,13.
The conservative, orthodox Jews infiltrated the new born-again Christian Jews and started to demand that they still keep the laws. In the Christian culture today, there are still restrictive rules predominantly established by church programs. Those saying, “You can be free in Christ, but you must adhere to the rules of the Church,” which places the process and the organization above relationships, not allowing you to walk free in the way that you need to be free and live in faith.
Origin of laws: Man chose to place himself as the god of himself when Adam and Eve decided that what God said wasn’t good enough and they made choices that were more than what God said. The law was designed to lead man to Christ by constantly reminding them that they were not good enough in their own choices to be a god to themselves. The only way that they could get free of their failure to adhere to the rules of those laws, was to make a blood sacrifice to cover their weakness.
Live free – by faith – in Christ: Paul says, you can’t live in slavery and freedom at the same time. The only way you can be made righteous and justified, is by faith, not by keeping rules. You have to make a choice to either live by the rules and show yourself to be good/god enough to live by the rules (which we know no one can) or you are going to live by faith in Christ.
Jesus (the only One who could keep the law) gave Himself and paid the price. When you believe in Him, you receive Him and He gives you the faith to live in Him – that’s true liberty. You receive the life of God and the promise of the Holy Spirit by faith. The Holy Spirit is the One who creates the desire in you to live free; free from rules, obligations, cultures, societies.
You can’t keep the law, don’t try to and don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that you should. Why go back to the law when it only enslaves you to the ritual? The only benefit you have by living by the traditions of your forefathers, is to not offend the cultural people that you are connected to. Jesus is the One that sets us free. He wants freedom in you. He wants you to experience a free, liberated, energetic, vigorous life. Don’t be bound and constrained by any rules, rituals and regulations, do’s and don’ts. Live through faith; live free!
You do not have to get better to get closer to God, getting closer to God makes you better.
The way to be free of habits in your life is not to try and dominate the habit, it is to allow the life of Christ to rise up inside of you and let it just cleanse you from the habit.
Human parents vs Heavenly Father: Human parents want their children to reflect their value system and image them. Parents want to impart to their children a lifestyle that they think will give them an advantage. That comes with discipline, rules, regulations and demands. Human fathers and mothers are limited to what they can do in terms of the freedom for their children, because of culture, society and/or financial circumstances binding them (consciously and subconsciously). Certain measures of performance are inevitably put into human relationships. We all have these performance metrics, subconsciously and consciously (are we fitting, moving up, doing okay, meeting the dreams, hopes and desires for the future). We live a life that is full of demands and constraints of society, parents, legacy, circumstances with so many do’s and don’ts, right and wrong and issues that we carry with us.
Our relationship with God is affected by the way that we see ourselves. We are in danger to think that God treats us the same as we raise our children. God has a completely different plan. As earthly parents we are trying to put it into our kids, as a Heavenly Father, He draws it out of us into Him. God doesn’t drive, control, dominate and demand from us, He loves us and leads us. He has placed the Holy Spirit in us, to guide us to His life, not demand or impose anything that He is upon us. He gives us all of who He is by the Holy Spirit, drawing us to freedom and liberty. The Holy Spirit in you is helping you to become the best person that you can be, all based on the scope of what God has purposed for your life before you were born. The Holy Spirit is going to teach you how to not live of this world.
Messy and Marvelous: Things are not always perfect, because we transition all the time. It’s a living growing experience and sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes other people touch the fullness of God in you and sometimes they touch all of the carnality of you. It is a messy business, but it is quite marvellous in what God is trying to get us to be – like Him. God has given us life and liberty, but it’s messy to bring us to the marvelous. We mustn’t be afraid to handle messy, as long as we give each other scope and not judge each other for the messy stuff that we do along the way.
The messiness of Christianity often leads people away from Christianity. We take our normal way of life measurements through society into the way we measure our Christianity. Don’t measure, just let people be messy and God’s marvellous Life and Light will shine through them and they will become less and less messy, but still there will be messy sometimes.
Correction: God brings a corrective process to your life, that gives you more life, energy, vigour, vitality, purpose. It’s not meant to squash you or to control you or to make you adhere to, it’s meant to liberate you. Don’t allow the slavery syndrome of control and condemnation and accusations – don’t let those rules enslave you. Because Jesus has completely liberated us. So instead of trying to adhere to a set of rules, let the pure life of God, the desire of God’s life, drive you. Let it come out of you in words, let it come out of you in spirit, let it come out of you in the Glory of Light. Don’t put on the yoke of performance relationship on yourself (condemnation, guilt, shame) – it’s not God’s language. He wants you to allow Christ to be formed in you. He doesn’t see all the stuff you mess up, because the Blood has already covered it. Don’t keep stopping your walk with God because these things keep interfering between you and Him.
Warning: Don’t use your liberty and freedom that is so great, as an excuse to live for yourself and to be self-centred. God didn’t set you free just so that you can live the way you want to live. Use this liberty, to serve one another. In order to be free from the law to yourself, you must serve one another, out of love and as you serve one another, you become free of that law to yourself and that God-like status that you see yourself in. Serving is not slavery. If you choose to do it out of your own will of freedom, you’re serving someone else, because you want to, not because you have to. It’s a whole different ball game.
Example: Pastor John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to use the example of intimacy issues between a husband and wife. If you have a relationship based on the free life of God that is in you, you don’t expect things from each other, so you don’t perform for each other, you serve each other. The joy of being together in serving each other, in the presence of God, then becomes so meaningful and great that you’re now no longer controlled by performance. The fun is in the intimacy of serving, not in the fun of the outcome, the performance. You measure a relationship by what the will of God is for you, and how the love of God inside of you serves each other.
Liberated lifestyle: In the same way your walk with God is not a contract. It’s not about a set of expectations and outcomes and performance that God expects you to have. Performance is always doomed to fail, at every level (from marriage, to the way you raise your kids, to serving God).
If what you’re doing is based on the love of God to serve, then you are liberated and free to live in the ways that God draws out of you.
I love Him, I serve Him and as He draws me, so I grow.
It becomes a liberated lifestyle. If we are in our place where we are serving God and we are free to love Him because He’s drawing us to love Him, then we serve Him. As we just keep on loving Him and serving Him, the love draws us to a higher level of intimacy. Our loving and serving Him grows into eternity. The performance of what happens, rules, obligations, right or wrong is irrelevant, taken out of it. We got to be able to put up with a bit of messy stuff to get to the marvelous stuff. In Him we can have full life and liberty
Collective Prayer: Lord, wherever we have got it wrong help us to see. Help us break free of tradition and establish into something that can be more dynamic and more free. Lead us by Your Spirit on how we do church, where we do church, and what we do church. Lead us in whatever needs to happen next, rather than us being confined to one way that church must look. To the measure that we’re not getting it right, we pray for each other that together we collectively become something greater in our transition from living under laws and rules and under society and cultural regulations and expectations and for us to be free. Thank you, Lord, that even though it’s a messy process, You have a marvellous outcome for us all.
Personal Prayer: I am a son of God, I’ve got freedom, I have got power, I’ve got authority, I’ve got stuff happening in me that is not based on regulations and accusations and condemnations and all kinds of “-ations.”
Thank You Jesus, that You help me. Wherever my relationship with You, is based on rules, performance, expectations, please free me from myself.
I thank You, Jesus, that I’m free in You. I am free to love You and serve You and live with You every day of my life. There are no rules, no laws, no regulations that come between me and my love for You. I thank You, Lord, that You strengthen me and help me to enjoy You. Where I feel all ashamed and guilty, You’re much bigger than that. You love me anyway. In Jesus’ name.