"And Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.' And the Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.'" Exodus 14:13-15
“The reciprocal partnership between the Lord and us…is a mutual partnership that is brought about by cooperation rather than action and reaction. The Lord acts. We receive the Lord's action. We then function as if we were on our own. In fact, we function on our own from the Lord. The things we do that are inspired by the Lord are credited to us as our own, since the Lord continually keeps us in free choice. The free choice we receive is an ability to will and think from the Lord, that is, from the Word, and also an ability to will and think from the Devil, that is, against the Lord and the Word. The Lord gives us this freedom so that we can forge a reciprocal partnership and be granted life and eternal blessedness as a result--something that would be impossible without a reciprocal partnership.” True Christianity n.371
Freedom is among the most precious gifts proffered by the Lord. From the most ancient times, human freedom has been considered at the core of our being. And today it continues a rallying cry – and a battle cry – in a hundred languages around the globe.
We should expect striving for freedom to endure through the millennia. How can it be otherwise with what God surely sees as His pinnacle of creation? All of nature, from the rocks that appear motionless only in our crude eyesight, to the finest substances of our brains that follow the incomprehensible laws of quantum mechanics, vibrates with the effort of divine life to find free expression, expansion and replication. All of spirit, from the lowest urges of instinct to the noblest inspirations of altruism, is driven by the outflow of divine life through the human being to find free expression in love, wisdom and usefulness.
The Lord cares about our freedom because His goal is the free expression of love that completes the circle of His life. Therefore, from His infinite love, He works to maintain the possibility of humans choosing to love Him in return through their freely chosen loving action. It must be, therefore, that infinite power steadies the flow of life, assuring that there is always a choice. On the lowest level the choice is between up and down, in and out, left and right. On the deepest level it is between materialism and spirituality, evil and good, selfishness and God. Surely among the deepest concerns of thoughtful people across the planet therefore is this: how do we realize this beautiful state of life individually and as a culture of selfless, good, spirituality?
Every human being on the planet has an opportunity to find his or her unique path to realizing the freedom that is being maintained by divine power. Clearly, many people do not understand how to manage their freedom. There are countless sad stories of people who are wounded by mistaking license for freedom. In striving for power, people evilly manipulate others with false promises of freedom. It is perhaps my deepest frustration that there is no enticement that will overcome a dictator’s desire for power. And too many people mistakenly believe they know quite clearly the order that establishes freedom (which is in fact only part of the process of establishing freedom), and seek to impose it on the rest of us.
It is important that we all contribute to the realization of natural freedom, of civil, political freedom. We do this in arenas from town councils to international organizations. Every good citizen of a country works to preserve the freedom of action, speech and association in an orderly way. This work, however, is limited if we are not at the same time striving to realize our own spiritual freedom. That foundation is necessary to see clearly the nature of lower levels of freedom, protecting society from immature notions of freedom.
During our journey of regeneration, we are given glimpses of genuine spiritual freedom. We can then look back into our past and see the ignorant, wounded person, the power hungry despot, and the self-righteous leader we have been at times! At some point we recognize the slavery we have endured. For one person it was a substance that enslaved them. It might have been the need to be loved. It might have been the need to “feel” free. The glimpses of true freedom have given us hope, a promise of divine healing of love and truth, which will set us free at last.
The story of the escape of the Children of Israel from Egypt, how the Lord freed them and how they then responded and stepped out in faith is perhaps literature's greatest example of this human striving for freedom that is successful when in partnership with the Lord.
Precursor August 2007
Promise Magazine August 2007