These quotes are taken from the essay I posted yesterday.
"Freedom can be obtained only when we strive for it; no power can give freedom to people. Challenging power is the only way to make freedom a reality. Freedom exists if the negation of political power is strong enough and the people refuse to be taken in by the idea that freedom will surely come tomorrow, if only...No, there is no tomorrow. Freedom exists today or not at all. When we shake the edifice we produce a crack, a gap in the structure, in which a human being can briefly find his freedom, which is always threatened. In order to bring this bit of play into the system, however, we must bring to it radical, total refusal. Any concession to power enables the totality of power to rush in to the small space we have opened." Jacques Ellul
"It is truly a fight...against a power that can be changed only by means which are the opposite of it's own. Jesus overcame the powers---of the state, the authorities, the rulers, the law, etc.---not by being more powerful than they but by surrendering himself even unto death." Jacques Ellul
I've had a word in my mind for a couple years now that I feel was dropped there by the spirit. MALFORMED. Just about everything (if not everything) we are told and sold by the world that surrounds us works against living free. So, it is to these things I feel the Spirit is teaching me to live malformed. You know what.....it feels so right. When I began to consider what this really meant a couple years ago it was very frightening and I couldn't help but think I had lost my mind. For awhile I couldn't help but think: What if I am wrong? It was scary because it touched such very serious things. One being security. As with many things I began to see, it would spread out like a spider web. Security touched every area of my life. Every area.
As I continued to walk out in this new way of looking at things it began to open up into something I could put my hands on, figuratively speaking. The simplicity of it all began to come into focus. Not the ease of walking it out...but as I began to see the tangled mess for what it is, being able to live differently started looking possible. I'm finding out that it is.
Security ended up being about power. My personal attempts to control things in my daily life and then all the other areas and people I looked to, to provide layer upon layer of more security. From me personally on up to the nation I live in and then on out to God. It was when God began to expose the absolute impotence of the things I was putting my trust in, that I began to understand the world's whopper lie about power. It's really not power at all. Jesus stripped the cloak off of that lie in everything he did and in the end left them exposed for all to see. The powers still stand exposed if we have the courage to really look at it for what it is.
Ellul in the quotes above uses the words "strive" and "challenge" when speaking of our responsibility when it comes to walking in freedom. I might describe it differently than he does but I get his point. The powers control us as long as we let them and there is no reason to submit to them. It comes down to; What do we believe? Or better said; Who do we believe?
When I posted the quotes from Ellul I wasn't thinking about this being the last day of the year, but as I began to think about that and a way of closing out this year here on my blog....Faithfully Dangerous....these thoughts started to emerge. To summarize what has been going on in my world, I can't think of a better way of bringing an end to blogging in 2007 than to share these thoughts with you. This is what has been going on in my life and this is what all the talk about God's love for us has been pointing towards for me. It's been about exposing the powers...the lie that keeps us from walking out from under their control so we can take up our freedom and follow Jesus.
There is one power, Jesus and the cross, and it looked like weakness. And it always chooses to die instead of resorting to other forms of power. Fear leads us to believe the false powers of the world and place our trust in them. PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT THAT FEAR. We are all loved perfectly and Father with his perfect love is speaking to us all these words. Do not be afraid.