'REAL' PERSONAL FREEDOM
How a relationship with God can lead to personal freedom
and the contentedness with life that flows from it.
Now, I do warn you that my use of the terms “contentedness” and “personal freedom” may not equal your initial view of a
perfect life. Despite this, please bear with me! In know it took time
for me to grasp it all.
Like me in my years as an atheist, you may have already recognised that the state of contentment in life for which you had hoped is actually unattainable! For a starter, ‘getting what we want, and getting it when we want it’, is rarely going to happen. And oh so often, as a result, prime objectives in life do go ‘pear shaped’. We often find ourselves struggling, as a result, trying to be philosophical about it all ...
Starting to sound familiar?
Yes, so often in life we get this feeling that ‘there must be more to life than this’.
it was there, at that point in my own life, that I decided to test out
faith ... to see whether a contented, more satisfying and controllable life was likely to be mine as a result.
2 THE OUTCOMES OF FAITH
Well, what can I say? Thirty years later? Yes, obviously I have found that faith is the
answer! Even in my early days of faith, I found myself on a journey
that included a totally different way of approaching life: church
attendances, reading the Bible and spending one-on-one time in prayer
Strangely, it was no longer all about me. I was in fact walking in the
‘shadow’ of something far larger. And I found that ‘I had some new responsibilities to
meet’, yet, I also found myself becoming ...
strangely I guessed at the time ... contented and for the first time I was actually getting a ‘handle’ on life.
that ‘walk of faith’, I found that I was largely freed
from the innate bad habits and self-centredness that had tended
There was no need anymore to worry
about things that might go wrong; be overly concerned about making mistakes
(God used them to build me up); keep up with
Joneses; ‘suck up’ to
get on in life; or
be fearful of anything! He was there to guide me in all my endeavours, and when I followed that guidance he then assisted me towards the best outcomes. Of course, faith comes with responsibilities, so it is not all just ‘beer and skittles’, but the rewards to my mind are well worth it. Read the article, “Trusting God with your life” to get the big picture if you like.
Now, this is all about real personal freedom.
And I am pretty sure anyone can find it for themselves! To the unbeliever it all looks so crazy, but
if you want a real sense of freedom within your life then you just have got to try it!
3. OBEDIENCE AND FREEDOM
But, what did I mean above when I wrote that, “I had some new responsibilities to
meet”? Well ...
Primarily, we firstly need to refocus our lives away from selfishness and wrongdoing. We simply need to ‘repent’. Then we need to accept
Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. And come to love him. Honestly.
Honestly, all this is not really hard to do, once you get the message about
his grace and recognise its effect on your everyday life. Our chosen community/ fellowship of faith will lead us in this regard.
will, including Biblical directions on how to live your life: it is definitely not just ‘all about me’ as I have already indicated! God
expect us to be perfect. No, he just wants us to try to live the life he wants of us.
strangely you might think right now, really does assists us to gain that personal freedom
we desire; right there within that relationship that Jesus offers us all.
Actually, as I have stated already, it leads to a life where we are most likely to enjoy true peace and contentment. The essence of Christianity is explained briefly on this website.
As I see it, each of us can reach our spiritual
and personal ‘potential’ in life, if
we can keep in
touch with God’s plan, or intentions, for us. Note that when I say “plan” I mean what God sees as the best way for us as
individuals to achieve
most good in all facets of
our lives and attain
that contentedness in life. Note also that this potential doesn’t relate
to the kind of personal success that the media projects as desirable,
for example financial riches or fame. Personally, I do not
believe that our
lives are mapped out from the moment we are conceived, or anything
like that. In fact, for most of us I consider that God’s
plan is fluid and adjusts to our choices in life (right or
Remember that God, although pervading
and sustaining the universe from within, also transcends it. Thus, because his basis is external to
our universe’s space/ time continuum, God instantly
‘sees’ the future outcomes
of the actions we are planning. Imagine the value of having a
can do that!
And when we know how to recognise his methods of caring guidance – both day-to-day and in the long term – we can then, as indicated above,
rely on his loving assistance to help us on our way. In effect there is
little left to worry about in life. You see we can trust him on a daily basis. As I indicated above, we can even trust him with our lives. We can indeed be free!
Sure, doubt may occasionally creep into our minds to challenge our sense of freedom. Doubt has in fact been recognised as a ‘temporary’ challenge to faith for a long time. Just read about ‘doubting Thomas’
in the Bible (John 5:24-30). I offer advice on the subject in the article, “Dealing with doubts”. Do not worry when doubt, and its
accompanying sense of anxiety, gets in the way. We just need to refocus
on the Lord and his omnipotence: hand over the challenging issues to him in faith.
Again ... yes ... as I have already highlighted many times through this website, do not get the impression that life will always be ‘smooth sailing’.
God has made no such promise. Life will still have its ups and downs,
whether we have faith or not. Pain and suffering will inevitably occur
somewhere through life. Please see the article, “Suffering and Evil”.
It is true to say that we will be better
able to cope with life’s ‘hard knocks’, when they do occur, as a result
of our faith. This is because, although he may not prevent mishaps and pain occurring to us as a result of life’s ‘spin of the dice’, he is there to support us with his grace. Make no bones about it! He will be there.
Importantly though, the more we are able to
place discipline in our lives and look to God’s so-called plans for us
(with his help of
course), the more ‘freedom’ we shall achieve. And, as implied already, I know that looks
paradoxical? But it is true! It does not mean a boring life either. Again, from
experiences, there can be plenty of excitement along the
way. It is all about ‘engaging’ with him in life. Prayer and looking for his guidance are two examples of how we may do this.
Of course it is up to every one of
us as to how far to go with this faith filled approach, and at what stage in life. What I can
that true contentment, satisfaction
and real freedom grows in
proportion to how far we do choose to travel down this path.
Every day can become a close walk with the Lord. One’s
life is thus
sanctified. If we are willing to get to that stage in life, God then
becomes a glaringly obvious presence. And I do mean that!