Monday, April 15, 2013

Freedom Seeds

 There is a line from a song that won’t stop running through my head: “Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender.” The song is called “Dawn to Dusk,” and it was written by All Sons and Daughters, a band I can’t get enough of these days. A number of their songs speak to me; but this line in particular has burrowed deep, and I find myself meditating on its truth over and over again.

It isn’t just the lyric’s message, you know. Scripture shouts freedom as well:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17

“For freedom Christ has set us free …”
Galatians 5:1

“For you were called to freedom, brothers …”
Galatians 5:13

Ah, sweet freedom. Who doesn’t want it? It’s the part that comes before that makes freedom seem so elusive: the surrender. The unclenching of the fists. The deep sigh and the nodding head and
utterance of the words “okay, I’ll obey.” Why do I always seem to think that I am being somehow
heroic when I choose to let God have control in an area of my life? Why do I ever believe the lie that life will be better if I just lean on my own understanding or follow my heart?

Another phrase that has been meandering through my mind for a couple of months now is “the law of the harvest.” Basically, you reap what you sow—if you diligently worked a field and planted
generously, your harvest would be much greater than if you neglected the field and were stingy with your seeds. We are always sowing, you know? Always planting, building, investing—however you want to view it. The energy I spend today is going toward something that will come to fruition later.

So I keep asking myself, are my decisions and practices today going to yield what I hope for
tomorrow? More importantly, what is the long-term trajectory of my daily habits? Choosing to live in worry or fear, prioritizing comfort over obedience, pretending that I am in control … these practices will bring me a harvest of bondage and anxiety. On the other hand, surrender today is tomorrow’s freedom. A difficult apology and the hard work of restoring a relationship today will yield greater freedom in my heart and relationships tomorrow. Surrendering my desire to spend money any way I see fit today will bring greater freedom in giving and greater freedom from being ruled by my possessions
tomorrow. Saying yes when God gives me a task that seems intimidating today will birth new freedom in my life tomorrow as I remember that I’m here for His glory, not mine.

Surrender can feel like stepping off a cliff—scary, unnecessary, even foolish at times—but “underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27, NIV). When I try to control my life, I am imagining that I can see what the future holds and that I know what will work best. When I surrender, I am forced to acknowledge that I don’t know what is coming; but the One who does know is trustworthy and good.

Jesus, please help me to sow the seeds of surrender today so that tomorrow I can dance in the abundant fields of Your freedom.

(For some reflection questions related to these thoughts, see the Fellowship Women's Ministry blog this week).

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