Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Serving in Freedom

The past few days I've just been trying to allow myself to relax spiritually. That is, not being so quick to do something out of compulsion or constant anxiety and obligation. It's easy to get caught up in the thinking that since Christ is in me now, I can do all things, therefore I must do everything.

Not that I don't want to do things when asked, but I just don't want to do it from a heart of trying to prove myself to my Father or to make Him like me. I want to learn to do the things He wants done because I love Him and worship Him. I don't want to be a slave to good works or trying to earn grace. The word grace means unmerited favor, so why am I trying to merit God's unmerited favor? You'd be surprised at how easy you can slip into this. It looks holy and nice but it's from a heart of unbelief in the work of Christ. Do I believe He made me accepted in the Beloved or do I have to, by constant working and keeping busy, make myself likable before God? Screw that.

When one starts to think he has to consistently go to his neighbors house everyday for at least 4-5 hours in order to sort of get his time in, thats when we become lifeless. Thats when our living in worship toward God becomes dead religious works. If I feel compelled to do something out of a sense of unworthiness, then I just don't need to do it. I want to learn to say no to people. I don't have to be some chauffeur bustling around with an anxious heart trying to please this God who is never satisfied. And rightly so. All our righteous works are as filthy rags.

"We were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through LOVE, serve one another."

Notice it doesn't say through guilty and obligation serve one another. It says in freedom and love.

Get off that treadmill of guilt and refuse to listen to people who would seek to manipulate you into the bondage of religion by guilt and shame. You say you believe in the work of Christ alone. Live like it! Complaining of ourselves with constant anxiety in our hearts that we're not doing enough for God is not faith. It's slowly drifting back under a covenant of self-centered performance. We're to be Christ-centered disciples. How are we to be Christ-centered if we're so self-centered! We're also not employees. We're sons and daughters. Quit living like an employee.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?"And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."


Aida said...

Great post and exactly what Father is teaching me right now.

I'm starting to listen for that "should" word. As soon as I start thinking that I "should" do something, alarms start going off in my head. If it's a "should", I know it's not from my heart so I'm learning it's okay to say no and not do those things.

Wow! Has that lesson ever been freeing!

Bino Manjasseril said...

Awesome! Very encouraging post, brother.

We're also not employees. We're sons and daughters. Quit living like an employee.

I am adding this to my list of favorite quotes.