Is it too much to say that our generation suffers from and undefined and inaccurate view of freedom? Here’s an interested meditation on the nature of true freedom as described in the bible, and especially how it meshes with our work:
To see work in our “DNA”, our design, is part of what it means to grasp the distinct Christian understanding of freedom.
Modern people like to see freedom as the complete absence of any constraints.
But think of a fish. Because a fish absorbs oxygen from water, not air, it is free only if it is restricted to water. If a fish is “freed” from the river and put out on the grass to explore, its freedom to move and soon even live is destroyed. The fish is not more free, but less free, if it cannot honor the reality its nature. The same is true with airplanes and birds. If they violate the laws of aerodynamics, they will crash into the ground. But if they follow them, they will ascend and soar. The same is true in many areas of life: Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, those that fit with the realities of our own nature and those of the world.
So the commands of God in the Bible are a means of liberation, because through them God calls us to be what he built us to be.
Cars work well when you follow the owner’s manual and honor the design of the car. If you fail to change the oil, no one will fine you or take you to jail; your car will simply break down because you violate its nature. You suffer a natural consequence.
In the same way, human life works properly only when it is conducted in line with the owner’s manual, ” the commandments of God. If you dishonor God, you are actually acting against your own nature as God designed you. When God speaks to disobedient Israel in Isaiah chapter 48, he says, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:17-18)
Can I share personally for a second? More and more, I am seeing the simplicity of God’s commands and the clear reality of relating to God by trust and obedience–it’s the only way to truly live. It’s at once the most simple and the most profound way to exist. It’s simple because it’s not hard to figure out, or esoteric, or hidden. It’s profound because it’s truly in touch with what is Real (what Is), and therefore it offers all the depth, complexity, and opportunity for exploration that true reality offers. You can explore a 3-D game world with a controller and screen, or you can step out your front door and explore the planet. Which offers more depth, variety, and experience? It’s the same way with knowing God and following Christ. We live when we obey in simple trust. We shrink and die when we seek for other ways.