Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peace Too

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” Mahatma Ghandi

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
Helen Keller

"We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Therein lies the truth, I wish to be free. Freedom means: " ... the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence: the quality or state of being exempt or released, usually from something onerous."

My sense of freedom is directly associated with my sense of frustration. My sense of peace or lack of, is directly associated with the sense of imprisonment to my life.  Does peace exist without freedom? How do we define peace in the absence of freedom?

“You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X

We cannot be truly free as long as we fear. We will fear as long as we remain independant; as long as our life is contingent upon unforeseen and undetermined circumstances; as long as we feel powerless in this life; as long as we feel unprotected and vulnerable to the random and arbitrary. We will never understand how lost and forlorn our situation until we see a safe position. We will never be free, until as a man we accept the inherent need to rest in the security provided by a higher power. Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Truth will be found in the knowledge that is learned by obedience and comformity to God's will. The doctrines and practices of the Christian faith as revealed by Jesus in His words to us will free us from the slavery to evil passions, corrupt propensities and a grovelling and complaining view to life.

The strength of truth is found in the experiential application of faith in that truth and is proof of its power and efficacy. There is a difference between sin's power acting in the life of an unbeliever and the tyrannical and insidious usurping ability of sin to affect, inflict and infect a believer. The issue is one of dominion, the undisputed right of conquest and subjugation as it contends for dominance in the lives of believers and unbelievers alike. One taken captive, an unwilling victim, longs for deliverance, whereas a person who abandons themself to life will never realize they have sold themself into slavery. We were purchased and the price paid bought our freedom from the guilt, penalty, love and dominion of sin. Sin and prevailing lusts linger on; holiness is seemingly a scant, eked out provision of God's grace and we must be mindful of allowing sin to paralyze, mute and putrefy our walk. Perseverance in obedience is the fruit or evidence of genuine faith and belief. “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.” The habitual adaptation of truth to life required by discipleship to Jesus Christ will surpass all expectations of succour, strength and security. Genuine, real freedom is only a reality when enslavement to passions, fears and habits are broken. Galatians 4:3, "...we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world." 

Authentic freedom is a result of the authoritative command, "If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (in reality)." “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture..." Dietrich Bonhoeffer Galatians 5:1, "Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom."
This is a permanent, manumitted freedom and is founded upon our indefeasible adoption as a son of God. John 1:12, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.” Serenity is tied indisputedly to spiritual liberty, that freedom which enables the temporary and carnal greivances of this physical life and the distress of this world's affairs to be firmly placed in the context of the eternal. The ultimate bondage is not political or economic but spiritual bondage to sin and rebellion against God. Therefore the ultimate freedom is the redemption of our souls and the freedom to live life in communion with God as an adopted son, as an heir, as a servant of God.

"He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
and all are slaves beside."               -Cowper

Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

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