My dream car is a four-door, bright blue, Mini Cooper with a white hood. Preference for the little checkered rearview mirror backs, too. It’s a fairly undemanding dream, right? If someone handed me the keys to that car and told me, “Take it. it’s yours. Go anywhere you like, explore all the places you want to go, just follow the rules of the road,” is that restriction? Or freedom?
God gives us the keys to our dream life and says, “Go. Explore. Grow. Learn. Have fun. Just follow the rules so you stay on the road.”
Set Free for What?
As we continue the discussion I started last week of truth and what it means, we need to grapple with the idea of what the truth sets us free for. One of the reasons many people see talk of truth and freedom and sin as restricting is the narrow insistence that our freedoms are only from sin. It’s that word ‘from’ that sticks. They know, instinctively, that freedom isn’t free it it’s only away from something. It has to also be toward something.
I have a friend who got out of jail recently. He is free from his cell. But he is not free. Because of his record, he can’t get a job. He can’t find housing. He lives in the woods scrambling for food and praying for a break. (This too-common situation, by the way, is the real reason for the recidivism rate.) This is not freedom. There is no toward.
There is a whole lot more than freedom from sin—there is freedom toward the Kingdom.
Our gospel has been too small to accommodate that reality.
If we believe the Son has set us free from our sinful lives, what are we supposed to do with those lives? If we believe that “The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death,” (Romans 8.2), what will we do with that life-giving power?
If we believe that we have been given the keys—not of a shiny blue Mini Cooper but of the kingdom of God—what are we opening the gates to? If we believe the church was destined to destroy the gates of hell, what are we waiting for?
Logically, that last part is not going to happen after we all fly away to heaven.
What Are Your Keys?
If you believe you have been given keys—keys to use your gifts toward something—where are you going to drive? Have you spent more time trying to avoid evil things than trying to create good? Not that the former isn’t a worthy goal. But if I’m going to act like the image of God in this world, I need to remember that God is a creator. His first order of business was to create life—life that he then called good. Shouldn’t I consider that a priority for me, then, as well?
The great thing is, when we start to create good around us? The evil we were afraid of usually has to back off. There isn’t room for it anymore. There is just too darn much good going on.
Is God giving you the keys to move toward life? Real, heart-pulsing, gate-bashing, meaningful life? Then what’s stopping you from driving off the lot with them?
Today, let’s create good. Let me know what you create. I’ll work on it over here.