freedom of God

freedomofGod

What you believe about God is the most important thing about you. Or as Tozer says it ‘What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’

There are many things that we know about God from His Word. He is holy. He is all powerful. He is present everywhere. He is holy and loving. He is merciful and righteous and wise and He is a God of wrath. And He’s also free. I love that word to describe God. He is absolutely sovereign over all things, and when I say all things, I mean all things.

He was sovereign over the most horrific experience that Job went through, something we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. Job was the guy who had it all going for him but within a short time, he lost it all. He lost his crops, his cattle, and his kids…and later he lost his health. The only thing that he had left was his God, and He was silent until the end…his wife, who told him to curse God and die…and three comforters, who jabbed and stabbed Job with their half-truths.

But one of the beauties of the book of Job is that we see the sovereignty of God…or to say it another way, His freedom. Satan had to ask for God’s permission, on two occasions, to put the hurt on Job.

But there’s an all-telling verse that can easily get skipped over near the end of the book:

[11] Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him…(Job 42:11 ESV)

Did you notice the highlight? …that the LORD had brought upon him…  But at the beginning of the book it said that Satan had Job’s head in a vice. The short answer is that God has Satan on a short lease. He is God’s lackey. They are not equal forces battling it out like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. It’s the Creator’s power over the power of the created.

I like the word ‘free’ to describe God and I can’t think of a better word. He is absolutely free. He does as He pleases but He never goes against His character. He is a loving and good but also a God who is Judge.

Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
(Psalm 115:3 ESV)

And then there’s us. We may have some freedom but we’re not as free as we think we are. I can’t dance like Michael Jackson used to. I can’t fly like Peter Pan. I sometimes have a hard time understanding difficult concepts when it comes to certain board games! I am limited. I can’t go for days without sleep. I can’t skate very fast. I will get older and one day I will die. I am limited. I am somewhat free but not as free as I’d like to be.

And when it comes to being spiritually free, all of us, before God got our attention, we couldn’t move a muscle to get to God because we are born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1).

So I’ve spent a few moments on God’s absolute freedom and on our somewhat limited freedom. Why is believing about the freedom of God so vital? Why is believing in our depravity so important? There are many reasons why this is important but I will leave you with two to chew on.

1. Because when we think of our salvation, the last thing we should be thinking about is what we did because everything that we did was prodded on by God (John 3:8). He drew us to Himself. He came looking for His own and His own were found. When it comes to our salvation the temptation is to want to be on the platform getting the silver while God gets the gold. The temptation is to marvel in our prayer and get wrapped up in what we did. Don’t. We don’t belong on the platform. We should be in the stands applauding God for His mercy and His grace and His love for tapping us on the shoulder to come to faith. He initiated that death to life experience. We bow with gratitude in humble reverence. Undeserved. Unearned. Sweet salvation.

2. When it comes to evangelism, we don’t have to get fancy. We don’t need a lot of fireworks and technique and laser light shows because they are unimportant. All we need are the simple words of the gospel. God is holy. Man is sinful. We are born Grand Canyon’s apart from God and Jesus is the only way to get us there. Christ lived the perfect life, died a sinner’s death, and on the cross, took the punishment that was meant for us because of our sin and He rose on the third day. Respond is what we’re to call people to do. Repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). Some will and some won’t but that’s not up to us. If we explain it in it’s purity and simplicity, faithfully, some will. God has that worked out and it’s not for us to worry about. We just need to get the gospel right and leave the results to our totally free God.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV)

 

 

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