by Shannon Hutchison
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“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).
Freedom occurs when God’s visions for man comes true. Since the beginning of time, our Creator envisioned man to be “masters of all life” – all realized when we obey God’s love laws. Unfortunately, sin has instead tyrannized us as our lawlessness have separated humanity from God, destroyed lives and relationships, and sent too many people to hell. Thankfully, to fix these problems, Love sent the True Light to remove our spiritual blindness, so we can both find salvation and also be reunited with the Holy Spirit who gives surrendered lives “life and peace”. If those in darkness just open their eyes and choose God’s visions for their lives, people will experience happiness and also freedom in this world of hate.
All created things, all change, and all freedom, must begin with a vision. Without having a “mental image of what we want our future world be like”, mankind cannot progress. World history is full of men who saw a problem, had an idea to solve it, and heavily labored to make it happen. A vision of “a new nation under God” inspired Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence and the “hope of equality” gave Martin Luther King, Jr. “a dream” he wholeheartedly evangelized. Their visions gave these two men the inspiration, direction, and conviction to help break barriers that for too long has tyrannized mankind. Humanity is today better because of their efforts. Now, today as we speak, there is a hindrance to freedom we must all envision to overcome. We must show the world by our actions the dire importance of obeying God’s love laws and also reflect to them the vision of the cross before our hateful, sinful natures bring death to humanity.
“The God who gave us life . . .” (Thomas Jefferson), instilled inside us a vision for our free wills to follow. We were designed to be “masters of all life” (Genesis 1:26) which happens when we obey God’s commands of “loving thy neighbor as thyself” and “loving God with all thine heart” (Matthew 22:27-39). Love and obedience protects our freedom; doing otherwise destroys it. This is true, because “love does no wrong” (Romans 13:10), prevents stumbling amongst men (1 John 2:10), and enables us to experience and stay connected to God, the provider of all true joy and contentment. Unfortunately, today, man habitually chooses disobedience, leading to the death of too many “houses” (people) by the floodwaters of hate and disobedience.
Floodwaters of hate and disobedience are the consequences of sin that attempt to destroy the freedoms and lives of mankind. Luke 6:46-49 refers to these floodwaters as it emphasizes the dire need of building lives on a strong foundation through obedience. “So why do you call me ‘Lord’, when you won’t obey me? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching and then obeys me. It is like a person who builds a house on strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who listens and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will crumble into a heap of ruins.” For the sake of all freedom, we cannot let our “sinful nature control our minds.”
“If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death” (Romans 8:6a). In this world today, too many “deaths” of people happen – all because people choose hatred and sin over God’s vision of love and obedience. Sin separated mankind from God, creating hateful hearts that relish into destroying one anther. Without a nurturing, abiding, loving relationship with Christ, unsaved souls today experience an emptiness that no worldly, material possessions can remedy. Life struggles have also held hearts captive as the sorrows, afflictions, worries, and uncertainties of this world have led to disbelief in the hope of freedom. Worst of all, “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23) has sent too many to hell. When there is no vision of love and obedience in the eyes of mankind, “people perish”.
Whereas death results from the surrendering of hearts to sin, “life and peace occurs when the Holy Spirit controls our minds” (Romans 8:6b). Hate-filled hearts that yield in obedience to the Holy Spirit will become that of the fruit of the spirit love, joy, peace, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). If people only surrender to the Holy Spirit, the world would become less hateful and more loving like Christ, resulting into a better place for all. The joy and peace from the fruit of the spirit would empty the emptiness of the brokenhearted, giving them life anew in happiness and contentment. However, before one can surrender to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit must first be present in their soul, which first requires being a child of God (Romans 8:9).
“While there is great love, there are always miracles” (Wila Cather). Christ chose God’s vision of love and obedience by sacrificing His perfect life on the cross for our sins so we can be considered holy in the eyes of our Maker (Romans 5:12-18). Those who believe in Christ and in what He did and accept that gift of love will have eternal life and be freed from hell (John 3:16). Once saved, we are considered a child of God with the now Holy Spirit living in us. We then will have access to the fruit of the spirit and all of infinite things He does for all Christians. To His children, God promises “nothing can separate us from His love” (Romans 8:35-39) and that “He will never fail nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6) - never, even during our darkest nights of adversity. If people only just follow the vision of the cross, people can then become masters of life, just as God envisioned. Unfortunately, in order for the lost to see that vision, they must first be able to find it amidst the darkness.
In John 2:9-11, it says “He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes”. Their darkness is what holds them captive. Unless somebody does something they will never be free. “Only love and light can drive out darkness” (Martin Luther King, Jr.), in which. Jesus is “the light of the world”. If the lost only follows Christ, they “won’t be stumbling though darkness, because they will have the light that leads to life”. (John 8:12). So the lost can see the “light of the world”, we as Christians must become the lighthouse that shines God’s light to those sinking ships facing floodwaters (of hate and disobedience) before it is too late!
“The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time” (Carl F. H. Henry). Just like Paul in Acts 26:18, God wants to use us to “open the eyes” of the lost “so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God”. The Lord desires mankind to be “masters of all life”, not to be tyrannized by hell, hatred, life struggles, or emotional emptiness. Thus, God has envisioned for each of us a personal purpose to follow– a vision to create change amidst the barriers than today hinder man’s quest to be free – just like how both Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. once did in their vision of “peace and freedom among men”. If we only continuously surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, He will make more and more clearer what our unique vision is to be and then Christ will empower us to achieve that dream (Philippians 4:13). As someone once said, “We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.”
“Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us” (Keith Wright). We cannot be the lighthouse than habitually lets its lens get dirty because of sin – doing so will prevent sinking ships from seeing the Light. A stop also must be made to the tyrannizing and destroying of lives by floodwaters - we do that by showing the world God’s vision of love and obedience. If we don’t do what we are supposed to do, those in darkness will perish because they have no vision. For the sake of freedom, we must love thy neighbor as thyself before it is late!
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