It seems very hard to see these days that people have a choice. Everything appears to be worked out, decided, or even planned for us. From politics to religion….everything has been predetermined for us….or so it seems. But what if we have a choice and that choice is the most important choice we could ever make? What if this choice is so important that it effects the way others see who Jesus is? What if it is so important that it may determine, through the choice of an individual, whether someone will ever believe in God? That choice is of true freedom. Freedom of Living in the Kingdom of God as our only source of life, self-worth, and wholeness.
We talk of freedom as if it is something that can be sold or bought during a Sunday morning service. Yet it cannot be. Just like everything else, freedom has been monetized for the purpose of religious control…or the survival of the religious institution. We are told that we will be free if we dedicate ourselves to a church organization or a ministry; as if the work we will do will take us into a better standing with God. But what is really happening is the one offering the so-called freedom wants compliance of their vision or agenda. The freedom that is spoken of is an illusion that will never come into being. It will never be experienced to the fullest. There may be aspects that are felt for a time, but it will always becomes slavery to another person…emotional and even physically, but mostly religious. You know what I mean. When a religious leader says, “Come on, you committed. Don’t let me down”. Or, “I only need people who are serious about this on my team. If you aren’t, I will get someone else”. These statements are not only hurtful but they are controlling and manipulative.
But God has called us to live in freedom. That also means that we don’t take freedom from others as well. To truly love someone means that we do not control them, manipulate them, demand a specific response from them, or even place conditions on them. The Kingdom of God is an understanding that we are living totally for the Father and allowing His love for us to guide us and direct us. So why would we not allow another person to live in that as well?
This brings me to why our decision to live in the Kingdom of God is so important. It is so important because it effects those around us in a life altering way. If we control people in the name of Christ, people see Christ as being controlling. If we manipulate people to get a specific response from them, they will see Christ as manipulating. So the decision to live in the Kingdom of God means that we need to allow God to live freely in others and work His will into their lives just as we allow God in ours. Wouldn’t it be nice if we saw others as equals in the Kingdom? Wouldn’t it be nice if people saw us as equals in the Kingdom? We need to understand that truly loving another person well could effect the way they see Christ, which could effect if they want to live in the Kingdom. We need to choose freedom. Not just for us but for those around us as well.
1 Peter 4:8 – Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.