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'REAL' PERSONAL FREEDOM

How a relationship with God can lead to personal freedom
and the contentedness
with life that flows from it.

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1.    INTRODUCTION

Now, I do warn you that the way the terms contentedness and personal freedom are applied in this article may not equal your initial view of a perfect life. Despite this, please bear with me!

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’.

And 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. Strangely, it was no longer all about me. I was in fact walking in the shadow of something far larger. 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.

Through that ‘walk of faith’, I found that I was freed from the innate bad habits and self-centredness that had tended to drag me down.

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 the Joneses; ‘suck up’ to anyone 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 EQUALS FREEDOM

But, what did I mean above when I wrote that I had some new responsibilities to meet”? Well ...

Primarily, we Christians need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. And come to love the Lord. Honestly. Honestly, this is not really hard to do, once you get the message about his grace and its effect on your everyday life. Follow Gods will, including Biblical directions on how to live your life: it is definitely not just ‘all about me as I have already indicated! Aim for holiness rather than worldliness as best you can. God doesnt expect us to be perfect. No, he just wants us to try to live the life he wants of us.

This obedience, strangely you might think right now, really does assists us to gain that personal freedom we desire. 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 doesnt 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 Gods plan is fluid and adjusts to our choices in life (right or wrong).  

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 guide who can do that!

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 lifes 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 lifes spin of the dice, he is there to support us with his grace. Make no bones about it! He will be there.

4.    CONCLUSION

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 my 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 say is 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. I cannot in all truth say that I am an example of one who has continually stayed on that close walk, but I do know how gratifying it is when I do so. And I do mean that!