I do not like restrictions; I love to have the freedom to do what I want to do. I actually feel like my freedom is restricted when I am tested on a matter, because of this, school was always very difficult for me. I am wired a bit differently, if given freedom I will find a way to accomplish the goal but often not in the same way that is the standard. I was also not very good at most video games when I was younger. I just don’t see things like other people a lot of the time. Because of this I have often felt like I didn’t fit in throughout my life. When I tried to fit in, I felt restricted.
I don’t feel that way anymore, some of it is due to maturity, some due to a bit of confidence that has recently been given to me. However, there are occasionally matters in my life that I feel those restrictions arise, and my freedom being infringed upon. Funny thing is, the more recent restrictions I feel and struggle with are things that are mostly learned and based on presumptions I have made. Freedom is defined by most dictionaries as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint or the power to determine action without restraint.
I wonder… how free we are in our faith. I wonder if we feel restricted more than we feel freedom. Through the centuries there have been some additions to the “rules” and worse than that there is a mindset that if I do the good things, I am closer to God. If I don’t do them, then God is mad at me. So we do the good things more, or strive to do more, at least. This gets awfully tiring. It is always asking for more and more and more. Sooner, or if you are really good, later, you either give up and go down the pathway of not caring or you end up living a life of fear and dread while trying to numb yourself to life in general.
Is this the life that God wants?
This is the easy yoke?
This is the gift of God?
This is the easy burden?
You ever think that maybe God just wants us to give up and listen to Him? Maybe He just wants us to stop striving and conforming ourselves into who we think He wants us to be, and just say, “God would you live through me.” Then stop, and listen to see what He leads us to do. I can’t even give you a definite answer as to how to receive this freedom that God gives, but it is there. It was there for the woman at the well in John 4 (Go ahead, read it) and it is here for me. I have recently gained a new perspective on freedom for the prisoners, and I believe I have been in bondage to manmade, learned theology and as I have studied recently, I am finding this freedom inspiring me to go beyond the norm, known structure of the church.
I am still learning, but with what little I know, I cannot go back. This is the direction I am heading, this is the direction I am led, and for the first time in a long time I feel a much fuller power entering my life, a power without the restriction I wrestle with so often. This freedom allows me to more fully rely on Him and rely less on myself to accomplish the daunting task of pleasing God. It is letting Him do the work, and not relying on man, and his preconceived notions about God, to transform us into the person God wants us to be.