Friday, July 20, 2007
Underground Curriculum on Freedom.
Week 2: The track
If you take a train of any kind and place it on the open road, what happens? Nothing. A train needs a track in order to progress. The train's freedom to do what it is supposed to do comes from the track. Without it, the train is just a heap of metal.
Our track is God's plan. Daily, we have to choose to follow God's plan in our lives or to jump off the track and find our own way. Unlike the train, our lives will move either way. But there is freedom in being the person God created each of us to be.
A disobedient child may choose the freedom of jumping out of the tree house, but once his leg is broken, his freedom is lost. The obedient child will choose to climb down and will then be able to run to his next activity.
There is a definite disconnect between the world view and God's view here. And it is understandable. Religion seems stifling and binding, the world offers a freedom to choose whatever we want to do or be. But that is part of Satan's lies to us. Following God does not mean following some prescribed set of rules that are solely meant to make life miserable. Jesus gave us few commands: Love God and Love Others (Matt 22:36-40) and tell people about Him and teach them who He really is and what He really wants (Matt 28:18-20). The Old Testament is full of rules that God gave his people, and some of those rules are just good common sense. But they aren't rules that are meant to rule us: God is to rule us. The whole point of those rules was to point us to the fact that we can't do it without God (Gal 3:24). The Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament were constantly being blasted by Jesus because they made the rules their god instead of looking to the true God.
Satan convinced Eve (and she convinced Adam) that disobeying God would lead to more freedom. He told her that if she ate the fruit she would become like God. She chose that false freedom over God's plan. And the consequences were severe. The most severe was simply that sin was introduced to humanity. Adam and Eve became aware of their sin and felt shame. They hid from God, something they had never felt compelled to do before, out of shame and fear. God took them out of the garden, the beautiful place God had made just for them, and they had to find their own way in the world. They had to provide their own food and protect themselves from the harsh reality of the world.
In the same way, when we choose the world's way instead of God's, we lose the beautiful life that God has planned for us, and we lose God's protection and provision in our lives.