Romans 12.1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (emphasis mine)
We live in an age and a country where freedom has been redefined as personal rights, the right to do whatever we want. True freedom is freedom from the bondage of sin.
A tortured prisoner in a cold, dark, rat-infested cell
in a godless country suffering for Christ’s name is
infinitely freer than the average American who
enjoys an unhindered life of sin.
In the past 50 years, freedom has been devilishly redefined as “freedom to do whatever you want free of judgment”. The cry can be heard across the land that “its my right!” and sadly even professing Christians have been conditioned to believe they are owed many things simply because they were born.
Originally our country was founded on a wholesome set of personal rights: freedom to worship God; freedom to speak the truth; freedom to oppose tyranny.
A poll of Americans today will quickly reveal a common mindset that it is our right to have (NO! to be given!) a comfortable life, a good job, a nice home, a life free of tragedy and suffering, a life of security and peace. There is the general mindset, that simply because of the fact that we were born, we are owed all of this.
Make no mistake, if the Lord tarries, at some point in the not too distant future (our lifetime? Our kids?), prosperity, peace and freedom will end in America. It is as sure as the sun rising. God have mercy on us when that day arrives for it will be a terrible time. Are you prepared spiritually for that day? Are you preparing your children and grandchildren? Or they being allowed to live under the false security that things will never change? History has never allowed a society to escape this conclusion. Drive God out – lose His blessing and protection. Should we be foolish enough to think America will be the first?
Drive God out –
lose His blessing and protection.
We have “Christian” teaching about our right to prosperity, our right to luxury and comfort, our right to abundant blessing (material of course), our right to the life of our choice, our right to choose, our right to live to by our own self determined standards. We have put a Christian spin on this plague of personal rights.
It is my custom to try each day to read about life of the missionaries and martyrs. Why? Because keeping their life, their sufferings, their sacrifices and their devotion fresh in our mind helps keep us from slipping into a mindset that we have a “right” to live a comfortable, trouble-free life. Jesus, of course, is our greatest example.
God may very well grant us a comfortable life,
but we do well to appreciate it instead of expect it.
Concern for our “rights” very easily expands into a selfish way of life:
- Its our right to spend our money any way we want
- Its our right to a better job, better pay, less work, bigger house, nicer cars, blah, blah, blah
- Its our right to hear a good preacher every Sunday, to be treated to a good worship service
- Its our right to have our opinions heard
- Its our right to live where we want and how we want
- Its our right to follow the plan for my life as I have carefully laid it out
Our so-called rights are a ruthless taskmaster constantly inflaming our sense of being wronged, overlooked, slighted or ignored by God and other people. It drives us into constant battle to correct affronts to our rights, why? Because it is our right!
What rights do Christians have? None. Slaves have no rights except that of their Master (Matt 20.26-28). The “sacrificed” don’t have rights (Rom 12.1-2). Those who have “forsaken all” retain no rights (Luke 14.33).
So then are we doomed to a gloomy life of bondage while those around us “enjoy” their freedom? No, exactly the opposite! What freedom to be loosed from the burden of “my rights”!
- We no longer have to be offended when our “rights” are violated.
- We no longer need to be bitter because our right to prosperity and comfort are unrealized.
- We no longer need to worry and distress that our “rights” as Americans are ignored
- We don’t have to be apart of strife, gossip or contention in the church when our “right” to be heard, or considered, or responded has been overlooked
It is the greatest of freedom to be released from the bondage and tyranny of my personal rights in exchange for slavery to Christ; for there can be a no more blessed life than to surrender our rights to the loving, caring, providing, comforting Master.
What blessed freedom to be truly free of concern for my own rights when the Creator of the Universe has promised a better way. He will make all wrongs right. He will avenge all injustice. He will judge perfectly in both punishment and reward. He will set all things straight.
My only true, lasting, profitable right is to love the Lord my God with all my heart and serve Him all of my days. That is the one true right we can cling to, and the only right we should be concerned with. God is quite capable of handling the rest for us.
Lord, help us today to give up the fruitless concern of personal rights. They are a never-ending source of bitterness and stress. May we strive today to be concerned with only one right: the right to obey you and love you, despite our circumstances, which no man or society can ever take away. Let our freedom be in our devotion and trust in You. Let my only personal right be to love and serve You. Amen.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?