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John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Choosing Christ is choosing freedom, freedom from the bondage of sin and satan. Choosing self is the same as choosing satan. Many desire the freedom to do as they please without restriction, they do not realize that they are actually choosing to do what satan wants them to do. Self cannot be on the throne of the heart - It’s the “I” complex expressed by satan in Ezekiel 28. ‘I can decide and do what I want.’ This generation has been fooled by the arch-deceiver into thinking that sufficient money earned, gives them the right to do as they please, freedom to follow their wishes and desires - to eat what they can afford to eat, to wear what they can afford to buy, to go anywhere their money can take them, to
live as pleases them. Such is folly and vexation of spirit, for the wealthy diet only gives you wealthy diseases, the fancy brands of clothing only gives you pride, and the abundance of money cannot buy you out of death.

So, can man be free? Man has always been created a free moral agent. He is free to choose who he will serve. Romans 6:16. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” On the throne of the soul temple sits either Christ or Satan. While we may flatter ourselves to think that we are in control of our lives, we are not. The real war is between two entities - good and evil - Christ and satan. We get to choose which side we will be fighting on. Our daily decisions show which side of the battlefield we are on.

In obedience to Christ, true freedom is found. The pandemic highlighted this in a
practical way for me. On our small tropical island, in an attempt to curb the rising deaths Freedom from the pandemic a number of measures were put in place curtailing the freedom of movement of individuals. Those who lived in the more developed areas were however affected in a different way. Normal life became difficult, if not near impossible. However, we found that life in our county space moved on at the usual pace, the only time we felt the effects of the restrictions was when we ventured out in the direction of the more developed areas, where mask wearing was compulsory and police check on the road was experienced.

When the country living message was first preached in our island years ago, many opposed it, one even claiming that the entire island is country...therefore there was no need to move anywhere. During this pandemic however, many are rethinking their concept of country living as their freedoms are curtailed in the city-like areas in which they live. A lady shared with us the impossibility of taking exercise on the roadway, as customary, as the law prohibited it and the police were diligently enforcing the law in her area. The Lord warns us early, (Jeremiah 25:4) giving us time to escape many a future trials. He gives us simple commands, without detailing much of the benefits of obedience or the repercussions of disobedience. Much like Eve, who was simply told not to eat of
the tree on the penalty of death. A simple command, yet bound up in it was a protective message that would have spared her much agony and pain for hundreds of years to come. Obedience to God should not come because we have calculated it as the best choice given our circumstances, obedience should be because our faith in God has given us the assurance that obedience to His way is always best, even if we cannot reason out the whys of the situation. This ensure perfect freedom. Full reliance and dependence on Someone who is never wrong, who has our salvation at heart, who knows the future and
who loves us.

The commitment to such freedom must be wholistic however, since many enjoy truth, buffet style. Many would accept a convenient truth but when the requirements of the message cuts across the grain of personal desires, the response is not the same. We then become ensnare in Satan’s net and there is no freedom with him. Obedience to the country living message at the time it was given has proved a protection during this crisis time. As with all of the commands of God, in obedience we find protection, like a hedge about a garden or a railing on a balcony. May we abide in His protective care as we await His return.

Written by: Nicole Belfast


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