The Ultimate Risk of Freedom
Where are we going? How are we going to get there? What is our purpose and how do we fulfill it?
Let’s consider this as the sum of all we are saying: “Man does not become God, but God becomes Man.” In other words, our “destiny” is not to merge with and become the “GODHEAD”, but to become fully HUMAN (the divine in the human) eternally -- just as a tree expresses God's TOTAL GLORY simply by being what it is, which is God expressing Himself as a tree, even so we, in living out our “human” lives fully without reservation in Him, are God expressing Himself as “you and me.” (But you don't see Him, you only see ME!) ....
I was thinking about that, and it hit me that “pantheism,” a charge we are often hit with, involves an ultimate merging “back” into the “ONE,” i.e. the “GODHEAD,” where all distinctions are lost. At least so it seems to me.
“Distinctions” (i.e. separate distinct self-aware creatures) are DANGEROUS business, especially when “will” is involved (doesn't matter much for trees, but does for humans). For a “creature” (created individual self) to be given “free will,” that is, an “individual” will which is completely free, involves risk of eternal ramifications Grave risk. Because, if the will is to be “distinct,” then it must also be completely free to choose its way, or else it is a sham. There is no freedom if at bottom the will is not free.
One of Sting's songs says: “If you love somebody, set them free” ....
Is not that what the Lord God has done? He has chosen to set us completely FREE because in Love that is the only way we can be persons. Rather than force our submission by brute violence or intimidation, God has eternally chosen to woo us by His love and by the consequences of our expressed Freedom, to continually draw us into the center of Himself.
But what, paradoxically, is the result of complete nothingness before God, that Only He might be All in us, that we live in Him willing and doing of His good pleasure? Amazingly and paradoxically – we find our complete unrestricted Freedom!!!!
I can't stress this enough, I know I say it over and over, but God's plan is to populate the universe with sons who express the Life of the Father/Son/Spirit by BEING THEMSELVES! This is what Christ came for. This is what He has accomplished! Son of Man!
That is the pinnacle of God's plan as far as it has been revealed to us:
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom 8:18, 19 KJV)
Just as we are so proud of our children when they have accomplished something on their own, without dad’s and mom's help, even more so our Father in heaven is delighted in us. And He is even more delighted as we rise up into our adulthood, and realize that He is not “dictating” to us, but rather says to us, as He said to Moses: “Why do you cry unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they may go forward.” In other words, “why are you crying to me, Moses. You are sufficient in me to go forward.”
Look at Samuel's charge to Saul before he anointed him king:
“And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.” (1 Sam 10:6,7)
Samuel told Saul that once the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, to “Do as occasion served him,” in other words, “Do what you want to do,” or, “Do what seems best to you.”
Implicit in that word, of course, was that Saul continue to act in the Spirit of the Lord, because later on in the story we know he reacted out of unbelief and Saul ended up not working out as king.
But the first prototype always seems to be the failure – the negative that points to the positive. Adam/Christ, Saul/David.
Despite the fact that Saul did not work out as King, nevertheless the word to Saul is true. “Life in the Spirit” is to act according to our own desires and wills, in freedom and faith which works by love, which is the outcome of our inner unity of person and will with Christ.
Saul's fall (as well as Adam's), shows both the “danger” implicit in being given “freedom,” and the fine line between “self-will” and “Self-will.” This is the “narrow road” and the “straight gate,” which few seem to find.
We are MEANT to be “ME-expressors.” Read Jesus’ story, especially in the gospel of John. There’s Jesus, from the outside seeming like a crazy man, the ultimate “Me-expressor,” the ultimate no-holds-barred “I do what I want to do egotist.” Doesn’t this fly in the face of everything we have been taught about humility and walking in meekness?
Look at 2-yr olds -- the “terrible twos” – if there ever was a “me expressor,” it's a 2 yr old saying “NO!” On the one hand we can say, “Well, there's the devil being rebellious in that little child” -- OR -- we can say “there is God bringing about right consciousness through the NECESSARY realization of our individual selfhood, which can only come about through the confrontation of opposites.” In other words, one cannot “lose” a life, or die to it, if he has never even realized he had it. So in order to come to the place where we count everything and even ourselves as dung before God, there must be a consciousness of “I am me” inside each of us. We ARE selves and God has eternally ordained that we would be selves. And this is all part of this process whereby the Spirit raises our consciousness into Him as one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
GOD has ORDAINED terrible two's!!!! Are they not precious in His sight?
For it is through this apparent conflict between “opposing wills” that two things are accomplished. First, we realize, rightly, that we are separate, distinct individuals, with our own lives and desires to express ourselves. (That involves the very very very dangerous “game” of living in “separation” as if it is real, because we MUST KNOW our distinction from all others, including God [but do we see the “danger” implicit here, because to fool around with “separation” means we might never let it go?] )
And secondly, through that conflict of “opposing wills,” we learn the One Will which operates All and willingly join in with it as our own expressed will. For when we know we are “one” with God then we must of necessity be of “one will” with Him.
Consider the great pianists, Artur Rubenstein or Vladimir Horowitz. When Rubenstein played Chopin or Horowitz played Beethoven, who were they as they played: Chopin and Beethoven, or Rubenstein and Horowitz – or both? It was Chopin expressed as Artur Rubenstein and Ludwig Van expressed as Vladimir Horowitz. Chopin and Beethoven become newly alive, vibrant, individual and distinct in the fingers of masters. Rubenstein and Horowitz were lauded the world over not because they could play the composers' notes better than anyone else, but because when they played in their freedom on the stage, Chopin BECAME Rubenstein, and Beethoven BECAME Horowitz. They WERE the music when they were most THEMSELVES. Maybe they didn't write the music, but they played the ever-livin' HELL out of it!!!!
What does the whole creation groan for?
The MANIFESTATION of the sons of God!!!! Sons, who KNOW who they are (He as them), and who through being prodigal or by trial and error have come to know NO CONTRARY WILL in themselves. Through their sufferings, hardships and perserverance they “come to themselves” even while feeding off the crumbs which the swine left. Now they are ready to “trust themselves” and “do as occasion serves them.”
When I was a kid, I used to we wish there was a “smart-pill” that you could take, that would make you know everything, and then there would be no need for school.
Now, though, I'm glad for the experience I have under my belt. No “smart-pill” could produce that. But this happens that we might know that this current “trial of our faith” is producing nothing but gold, pure gold, precious in His sight, and in ours as well. “Be not weary in well doing, for you shall reap in due season, if thou faint not.”
Then what is our commission for today?
To stand up and “do as occasion serves thee, for God is with thee.”
Let’s get to it ....