Echoes From the Campfire

Money is not always the only consideration.  Out here we place emphasis upon the basic virtues, and I have noticed that the more organized our lives become the less attention we pay to such things as courage and loyalty.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (North to the Rails)

    “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
              –Jeremiah 17:10 (NLT)
              “Jesus is the One, yes He’s the only One,
               Let Him have His way until the day is done,
               When He speaks you know, the clouds will have to go
               Just because He loves you so.”

We used to sing that chorus way back when I was a teenager in our youth group.  That cannot be true until we realize that God is in charge.  We are continually bound by our desires, we are bombarded by our fears and worries until we realize that God is truly in charge.
    People clamor and scream today for their rights.  Even in the church there are songs now proclaiming our freedom.  Freedom from what, I might ask?  “There is a direct correlation between freedom and the nature of those in authority.” (Brown)  If we truly surrender ourselves to God, we are free from sin and the yoke of the law.  This freedom actually means that we freely obey God’s commands.
         “[Biblical Freedom] is that state in which a child of God is accepted by God forever on the sole basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross.  It is always accompanied by God’s Spirit inn the life of the child of God, whereby the fear of failure is gradually replaced by the desire to succeed in the obedient, godly life.”  –Stephen Brown
    There are several things from which we are free.
         1)  We are free from fear — “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4, NKJV)
                 It is important to notice that God did not deliver him from things that made him afraid, but from his fears.  Fear is a reality.  Many time we bring it on ourselves; many times we over-exaggerate it, but there is such a thing as fear.  However, it is imperative that we understand that God is a greater reality than any of our fears.  
                 Fear of the unknown is said to be the greatest fear, and along with that is death.  We are all going to die, so why are we so afraid of it?  If God is in charge, when and how I die is not my responsibility, but God’s.
         2)  We are free from guilt — “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’  Says your God.  ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.'”  (Isaiah 40:1-2, NKJV)
                 Some people are on a continual guilt trip.  That is one of the favorite devices of the devil.  Some are still asking forgiveness for sins committed thirty years ago.  God must shake His head.  He forgave those sins thirty years ago; you received a pardon; that means the sin is erased from the books.  If God forgives, why do we continually beat ourselves up with guilt?  
         3)  We are free from the responsibility for the world.
                 This is something to really ponder–only a fool accepts responsibility without authority.  The world loves to play on our guilt.  Too many Christians still want to pay penance.  The world has no authority over you, so why continue to bow to the wishes of the world?  God is in charge and His authority is absolute; therefore, His responsibility is absolute.  We are then to be responsible where God put us.  We act out of obedience and love, but not to pay penance because of guilt.