Sometimes we can fall into the temptation of seeing God’s ways – His moral absolutes, rules, statutes – as obstacles that get in our way of freedom. This is especially true for us fiercely independent Americans, who value our freedom above almost anything. I offer this alternative view.
Imagine that you are a bird. A little, charming parakeet or something. You were designed to fly freely and eat whatever you happened to find in God’s wild world. Yet you live inside a small cage in a house. Imagine also that there is a cat who lives in the house, who constantly has his eye on you and paces beneath the dresser where your cage is kept. Is the cage a repression of your God-given right to fly freely? Or is it protection against an unsafe world that wants to eat you? Don’t fall into the trap of resenting the direction of the Lord, as if you invented yourself and didn’t owe your very existence to Him in the first place. The Creator and Lover of us sees everything – past, presence, and future. Trusting Him is the answer, even when we don’t want to.
As long as we see God’s Word as hindering us, and not helping us, we will always struggle with buying into resentment and sin.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand…Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:6-9)
“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:1-4)