We Were Designed For Freedom

Posted by Elaine January 20, 2016 at 12:00 AM AEDT

I’ve decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

We learn much about Australian history as we travel around this beautiful country of ours but on a recent trip to the Mildura district of New South Wales we learned some dark facts about what life was like there in the late 1800s. It is said that in the early days of settlement, Salvation Army ladies were regularly imprisoned for a week at a time in this grand looking Wentworth Gaol for sharing their christian faith on the streets.

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I understand that many countries overseas where christianity is outlawed that this is kind of treatment is normal but here in Australia, a so called christian country? It’s still hard for me to get my head around such laws that would continually imprison women for telling people how much God loves them. And who had stirred up complaints against them? It wasn’t the locals who hated what they were doing, it was the only local church in Wentworth objecting to their behaviour and complaining to authorities. Shouldn’t they have been able to work together to spread the love of God? Churches are run by people and regardless of intentions, we all know people don’t always get it right.

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Prison was harsh in the 1800’s and strict discipline reigned supreme with people imprisoned for minor offences. It wasn’t wise to disobey orders in this harsh dry place. The temperature was a very hot 38 degrees the day we visited and in the grounds of the prison, evidence still remained of the stocks and shackles prisoners endured in this hot sun at the governor’s pleasure with high surrounding walls preventing any breeze from bringing relief. But these women, understanding their fate continued to share their faith because of their love for God and those around them.

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This horrendous incarceration and laws that initiated it needed to change, but haven’t our laws become far too lenient now… and the 10 commandments designed to bring harmony and order are seen as intrusive to our free will. It’s common place for intoxicated individuals to cause injury or death to a random stranger because they felt like hitting them, or to get behind the wheel of a car and wreak havoc leaving families devastated and innocent lives lost.

Suicide bombers intentionally killing themselves and others in the mistaken belief that they are representing God, trying to rid of evil in the world, their mistaken ideology brought on by a promiscuous society that lacks modesty.

People now do what it wants, tolerate all beliefs, deciding that no matter how we live we all go to heaven. If it feels good do it, but can we do what feels good without effecting others? Police have their hands tied by courts too lenient to bring retribution so evil escalates.

I’ve lived long enough to see Godly values put aside as people no longer see God as relevant. Behaviour that was once unacceptable is now condoned and Godly values are now considered out of date, unwelcome in a world that doesn’t accept restraint. But is our world a better place?

Doing what we feel like instead of what is right will always effects others, so how do we fix the chaos that is our world today?

In the days of Moses, God gave The 10 Commandments –
These commandments were not given to wave a stick at us and keep us contained, they are the blueprint for a successful life. Living life God’s way provides harmony for us and those around us, but no matter how much we want to do the right thing, our selfish nature prevents us from successfully living up to these commands.

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But because our sinful nature prevents us from easily following these rules, He also sent us Jesus as a sacrifice, taking on Himself the sins we commit so that on accepting Jesus we can be forgiven for all we’ve done when we’ve made mistakes:

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. Romans 8:3-4

But our world is in a mess for not following God’s rules and He is the only one who can make things right again. He created us and He gave us instructions for happiness the way He planned it -

The Way of Love:
….. no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies…..

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly…. But for right now we have three things to do: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13

In Matthew 7:12 God sums it up with The Golden Rule:
“Always treat others as you would like them to treat you;"

Please share this message and help to bring light and hope to those you love!
2016 Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise / Blog