Lindenville Devotional Freedom and Nothing but Freedom

Freedom and Nothing but Freedom

Even though the writers of The Constitution of the United States weren’t all strictly followers of Jesus, they set up this nation “Under God.” They understood that creating a government from a lesser ideal would lead its people back to a ruling hierarchy and common-variety tyranny. No human ideology allows total freedom. Strong statement, but think about it. It’s the truth.

However, the idea that there’s a Christian nation, a Christian business, or a Christian structure of any kind is a misapplication. Jesus Christ didn’t lay His life down for an individual nation, business, structure, what have you; Jesus died for people, the people of the world.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16,17

A stretch of land, a business, a building—each of these things can be dedicated to the ideals of Christianity, and, each can just as easily be wiped from existence. A Christian is a living soul—any time, any place, any condition—whether in great company, or all alone.

Neither the idolatry and polytheism of eastern cultures, the humanism of European nations and her colonies, the superstition and despotism of third world classes, nor the tide of relativism beating on America, can stop the indwelling Spirit of Christ in the heart of a person with an active, living faith.

“Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” C.S. Lewis

©Cami Tapley.

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Everyday FaithEveryday Faith

Living our destiny in the everyday is like driving a two lane highway. If we keep to our side of the road, drivers in the opposite lane will probably never know us personally, yet we’re a blessing to them in the brief moment we pass them by, simply because we’ve kept in our lane. There’s no feeling of inspiration to it, yet it’s more important than we’ll ever realize.

“…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

The first verse of this chapter says, “you ought to walk and to please God”—that’s walk; not run, dance, or leap. Yes, there’s a place for running and dancing and leaping—but walking is important in the everyday.

A feeling of inspiration can be good or bad—it depends entirely on whether we’re looking for it, or, if we simply meet up with it by doing our best in the everyday.

“Selah”

“When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.” C.S. Lewis

©Cami Tapley.

To Everything a TimeTo Everything a Time

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them.’” Ecclesiastes. 12:1

Time wasted is time lost. There’s a time to search, and a time to keep—but if we do neither when it’s time, can something be found if it’s never been looked for, or can something be kept after it’s already been thrown away? God equipped the heart of man to discern the appropriate time for all things. Ignoring our hearts will mean opportunities lost. No one can recover their youth when they’re old—and, no one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be unheard. God is a God of restoration. He forgives actions of ignorant or willful haste, and He sets errant and aimless feet upon level, straight pathways. The past is gone, and the future is God’s domain alone—the truth of real hope—so the present is ours to squander or to live by faith in. Make today one that isn’t bitter to recall when it becomes yesterday.

From The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis—Demon uncle, Screwtape, tutors his demon nephew, Wormwood, in how to corrupt a human:

“You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption ‘My time is my own.’ Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours…The assumption which you want him to go on making is so absurd that, if once it is questioned, even we cannot find a shred of argument in its defense. The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels*…When I speak of preserving this assumption in his mind, therefore, the last thing I mean you to do is to furnish him with arguments in its defense. There aren’t any.”

*personal property

Pain, and the SpiritPain, and the Spirit

To get through in this life, a person either needs the Holy Spirit, or something to seriously distract and/or numb the emotions. Life is just too painful and stressful without either hope, or oblivion.

When, exactly, did painful emotions become the enemy?

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.'” Genesis 3:8-13

Obviously, there are things we just can’t bear to face, much less deal with. This is why we need the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t remove our pain, He displaces our fear and dread with His own holy virtues—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues aren’t natural in us—not when we need them, that’s for sure—and they can’t be bottled or playacted. They work, and they work in spite of pain, and comfort us powerfully, indescribably, as He promises—and delivers—His own presence in our circumstances. All this, with no harmful side effects, or damaging consequences.

“As men are not able to fight against death, misery, ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy, not to think of them at all.” Blaise Pascal

*Galatians 5:22,23

©Cami Tapley.