Tuesday, February 10, 2009
a better freedom
Golden Countenance, Makoto Fujimura
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
The above verse has been one of my favorites since I first started reading the Bible. I love the words Jesus chooses here, calling us His little flock, His precious and protected ones. I love the tone of the statement, full of grace and affection. When I think of Jesus saying this, I imagine Him making eye contact with one of the disciples gathered around him, maybe touching an arm or shoulder, speaking gently to them.
This verse was part of the daily office of scripture and prayer that I read this morning, and God brought it back to my mind throughout the day. As I said, I normally find great comfort in this verse. But as the day progressed it got harder to hear, because it became increasingly clear to me that (Lord, have mercy) sometimes I don't want the kingdom.
God's kingdom is exactly that: God's. It is not mine, and it does not operate under my authority or agenda. I can't control it, I can't manipulate it, and I can't make it suit my purposes. Of course, I know the right thing to point out at this moment is that God's kingdom is also glorious beyond anything I can imagine and far better than any plan or purpose of mine. But right now my inner brat is stamping her foot and saying, "I don't care! I think your plan sucks and I don't understand why I can't do things my way. I want to have my cake and I want to eat it too, so there!"
(Waiting for lightning bolt... No? OK apparently I am still alive, so I'll keep writing.)
Michael Card wrote a song called "A Better Freedom", and I will close this post with a few lyrics from it. I don't really want to hear these words right now, but the Holy Spirit can be pretty darn persistent. My prayer tonight is for the grace and strength to believe this, and Lord help my unbelief.
Christ revealed Himself to me
Enslaved my soul to set me free
I was bound to Him at Calvary
And found a better freedom
A better freedom can't be found
By those unwilling to be bound
A better freedom is not known
By those whose hearts will not be owned
But those who follow find a better freedom.