July 20, 2015

Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

It is one of the paradoxes of the Kingdom of God that submission to God’s rules brings liberty. Every English translation I checked says “freedom” or “liberty,” and the Japanese translation I use says “unrestrained.” The flesh reacts to God’s laws as bondage, the opposite of freedom, but an objective observation of mankind will show that is not the case. Rather, it is those who reject God’s law who are in bondage to all sorts of things, most of which could be described as lusts. Addictions of all sorts aren’t pretty. It is only by submission to Christ and reception of His gracious atonement that we are “rescued from this body of death,” as Paul put it in Romans 7:24. Any parent knows the routine. From around age 2 children are constantly testing their boundaries, and if not reined in become destructive to themselves and others. Unrestrained children become terribly insecure, uncertain of everything, including their parents’ love. God provides the boundaries we need, but we have to choose to accept them, or else they become the equivalent of electric fences, terribly painful when we ignore them. It is when we seek out God’s laws to be obedient to them that we can walk boldly, knowing we aren’t about to fall into a trap.

My parents set few boundaries on me in terms of accomplishment, but they did set clear moral and ethical boundaries, and I am deeply grateful. If we set the wrong kind of boundaries for our children they have trouble fulfilling even a fraction of their potential, and they may even become evil in the process. Parents have the privilege and the responsibility to represent God to their children. No parent does it perfectly, so we need to seek our Heavenly Father’s guidance and wisdom at every step. All adults need to stop acting like 2-year-olds, rebelling at every suggestion of our Father. As a pastor I represent Father God to many, both in this church and out of it. It is only as my heart is submitted to Him that I don’t have to be worried about what I am doing, whether it’s the right thing or not. If my heart is “seeking out His precepts,” then I don’t have to be anxious about a thing.

Father, thank You for yesterday and all it held. There were unexpected things and there were frustrations, but You were in it all. Thank You for today. The weather has already rearranged my plans, but I can see that Your plan is better. Help me be Your agent each moment of today, “walking unrestrained” because I am doing Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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