Monday, May 14, 2007

Free as a Bird

A.W. Tozer once wrote:

“In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth; God is pleased when we're pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker's praise without anxiety.”

Do you agree with Mr. Tozer? Is God pleased when we’re pleased? If you look at the lost world, you see many people who are living life like they please and are pleased to live it that way. For the most part, the irreligious live their lives like they want. Sure, they may have a moral sense of right and wrong, learned from their parents, that causes them to avoid certain situations. They may also choose to do what is right in order to avoid consequences, legal or otherwise. But, for the most part they are free to live life like they choose. Is that kind of life pleasing to God?

What kind of life is it that Christians are called to live? Do we have freedom, as Tozer puts it, to soar and to sing our maker’s praises without anxiety? If you ask the average Christian if he is pleased with the life he lives, what would be his reply? He might intellectually agree with what Tozer wrote, but is that how he lives his life?

I don’t really want to make this about Grace Vs Legalism, even though living in legalism can be a big source of anxiety, but I will write in terms of God’s will. God’s will, not in a general sense, but His specific will for our lives. Many Christians are very anxious in their relationship with God and His will for their lives. They live in great fear of missing God’s will. They believe that if they don’t hear God right, they will make the wrong decision and choose the wrong path and their lives will be ruined. They are paralyzed with fear, not knowing which way to go. Is that kind of life pleasing to God?

I don’t believe it is pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. We are to live our lives by faith. The opposite of faith is unbelief. Unbelief tells us that, although God has a will for us and expects us to do His will, He is either not powerful enough to make His will know to us or He expects us to work very hard to figure it out. Faith tells us that, not only does God have a will for us, He wants us to know His will and not only does He want us to know His will, He wants to be the impetus in bringing it to pass.

In light of this, how does God want us to live our lives? In a sense, just like the lost person! I know what you are thinking. I am not saying we should live our lives in sin, following after our own lusts. I am saying that we should live our lives like we desire. We should be pleased with our lives and should be anxious for nothing, especially in our relationship to God. This is in spite of any unpleasant circumstances we may find ourselves in. I know it sounds strange to hear that we should live our lives like we desire and, even then, be pleased with it. This is where faith comes in. Do you believe that God is all powerful and in control of your life? If you don’t, then what comes next probably won’t help you.

It begins by knowing what is true about you and your relationship with God. As a Christian, your sins, every last one of them, have been hidden behind the back of God never to see them again (Isaiah 38:17), they have been cast into the bottom of the sea (Micah 7:19), and they have been flung as far as the east is form the west (Psalm 103:12 ). Your debt of sin been removed from the books; wiped clean. You are a child of God and He always has your best interest at heart, He is always with you and will never fail you. Approach Him with boldness, as a favorite son would approach an earthly father who dearly loved him. God is well pleased with you, so delight yourself in Him.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)

By faith trust Him to be the Lord of your life and He will lead you, guide you and direct you.

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:6)

Live your life by your desires and, by faith; trust that it is God who has given you your desires. Live your life in freedom and without any anxiety, choose to trust Him and you will soar above the things that might steal your peace and joy. Worship Him and dwell, in thankfulness, on His provisions and His promises. Let your desires determine your path, trusting that those desires came from Him. Have faith that He is big enough and faithful enough to take you where He wants you to go and to place you on the right path, even if you chose to start down the wrong path. Trust God with your life, and sit back and marvel at where he takes you, singing His praises all the way.

10 comments:

Shequinn said...

This changed my life!!!!! Thank you SO much. I am sitting here right now, blown away because my daughter and I have talked and talked and talked about this. I told her that this was written for her. :o) She's turning 17 next month and has been struggling with this very thing. We have been liberated today. May God richly and most abundantly bless you in your life's journey!!
All the best,
Sheryl Q., fellow Grace Walker

Gary Kirkham said...

Sheryl,

You are very welcome. I heard an illustration of this the other day. I had meant to include it in the original post, but forgot. Imagine you are on a train or an airplane going to a certain destination. While you are on the train, you are free to move about the train. You can move from one place to the other and, for a time, you can even walk toward the back of the train in a direction opposite the train is traveling. You can eat and sleep while you are riding the train and carry on conversations with other people. You might grow tired of the trip or become annoyed with your neighbor. You may feel the train moving or you may become accustomed to the motion and have no feeling that the train is actually moving. As long as you stay on the train, it will do its work to carry you to your destination.

The Christian walk is much the same. If you abide (rest) in Christ and trust Him, He will take you where He wants you to go. We are free to live our lives completely free from anxiety. We are free to thank Him and praise Him without worry that we are headed down the wrong path. We may choose to head down the wrong path for a time, but He will work in our lives to turn us back onto the right path. The trip won’t always be pleasant. Sometimes we take our eyes off of Him and make some poor choices. But God is faithful even when we are not. He will never abandon His children….He paid too high of a price to have you.

It has been several years since I have read it, but Steve McVey wrote a chapter in one of his books on this very subject. It was quite good. If memory serves, it was in “Grace Rules,” chapter 7. It was helpful to me and I pray it will reinforce what God has already revealed to your hearts.

In Christ,
Gary

Gary Kirkham said...

Sheryl,

I just noticed the "Quote of the Day" from the front page of my blog. Coincidence?


“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)


In Christ,
Gary

Shequinn said...

Hi Gary,

WOW, another fantastic illustration!!! Thank you so much for sharing and for telling me about the chapter in Steve McVey's book. You are such a blessing and encouragement. You also have a true gift to communicate in your writing. It has a flow that's refreshing. I have a question I'd like to ask you. Would you object to me sharing your posts with others, if the Lord puts it on my heart? If you do give your permission, I am happy to credit you with whatever I share.

Ahh, the quote of the day....it's right on time! He's so awesome!!!!

Have a fantastic day,
Sheryl

Gary Kirkham said...

Sheryl,

I have no problem with you sharing anything on this blog.

In Christ,
Gary

Shequinn said...

Thank you so much Gary!

Blessings,
Sheryl

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an opinion about "the way of the master show"?
uses the law.

Gary Kirkham said...

Anonymous,

I assume that you are talking about a television show. I have not watched it. I have heard of "The Way of the Master," in regard to evangelism. I don't know that much about it. In general, I don't like "canned" approaches to sharing my faith.

In Christ,
Gary

Anonymous said...

Way of the master is recommended by Ravi Zacharias, John macArthur Jr , Joni Erickson Tada and Josh McD so i assume it must be more than a canned approach. Yes?
It seems the law has a place to show a person his sin then they are brought to Christ. Seems biblical. just wanted your thoughts if you knew the gist of the program.

Gary Kirkham said...

Anonymous,

What I mean by "canned" is a prescribed approach, a set of steps you follow when you talk to someone. A one-size-fits-all method for witnessing. I prefer to be led by the Spirit when I share my faith. For example, when I got saved I didn't need someone to read the Law to me; I already knew the Law and I knew I stood guilty before it. Jesus told His disciples that after He left them, He would send the Holy Spirit. What did He tell them that His Spirit do?

"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16:8

Yes, the purpose of the Law is to point people to Christ. Someone in my church gave me the book, The Way of the Master," but I haven't read it yet. So like I say, I don't know that much about it. The person that gave me the book is very enthusiastic about it. Maybe I will get around to reading it sometime.

In Christ,
Gary