Lest you think this is an article about some sort of scheme to reduce your cost of living, let me clarify up front. Living Free is about living a life that is unencumbered by trying to find meaning and purpose in people, possessions and power. By this age, most of you have, no doubt, discovered how futile those attempts are anyway. People disappoint us (and we them). No amount of possessions is ever enough. And power is fleeting; even the president of the United States eventually loses his power. But are you truly living free – free from regrets, free from unmet expectations (yours or other’s), free from the fear of death? If not, this article, which is the first in a weekly column, is written for you.
One of my all-time favorite theologians is Oswald Chambers. Though he has been dead for many years, his words live on in a daily devotional book of his writings titled My Utmost for His Highest. His entry for December 31st, based on Isaiah 52:12, are some of the wisest words he writes in his book. They are particularly pertinent to living free in the coming year.
As for our Yesterdays, Chambers says, “At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.” Shallow security indeed. Nothing we possess today can assure us of any security in the future. 9/11 alone proved that fact for many.
“Security for Tomorrow. “. . . the Lord will go before you . . . .” This is a gracious revelation- that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.”
“Security for Today. ‘You shall not go out with haste . . . .’ As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.”
“Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”
An “invincible future”- isn’t that what we all want? It can be had, and the real beauty is you couldn’t buy it if you wanted to. It’s a gift. You really can live free.
If you have a comment or question, feel free to send an email to [email protected]. I will be happy to respond.
Dorthy Miller Shore is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University in L.A. Photo, and full bio is available on the About Us page.