It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Gal.5:1)
This is the second descriptor for the Living with God core value:
There are common spiritual disciplines that benefit us all, such as prayer, meditating on Scripture, sitting quietly before God, corporate worship, and more. But because God has made us all different, we also value the fact that we can each connect with God in diverse ways. It could be walking or cycling in God’s beautiful creation, singing and music, study and reading, painting and many more. It is good to find what makes us feel alive and closer to God. Eric Liddell was an Olympic gold medallist runner in the 1920s, and a committed Christian. In the 1980s film, Chariots of Fire, he is quoted as saying ‘God made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure’. Find out what it is that you do when you most feel the Father’s pleasure and delight. We want to grow a culture where we value and celebrate this boundless diversity.
We need the freedom to discover how God wants us to grow, for his design will not look the same for everyone.JOhn Ortberg
Life in the Spirit has a beautiful freedom and creativity to it. We embrace the spiritual disciplines that paradoxically enable greater freedom (like someone who practised the piano regularly is now free to play beautiful sonatas). But we must never let them become dull, life-killing, legalistic routines. We may have to work at a discipline before it becomes a delight, but connecting with God in regular prayer is not to become a chore. It’s a way of releasing us to enjoy our relationship with him more. We also value an openness to the Spirit leading us into a newer and deeper understanding of the Bible. That’s not to say we can make it mean whatever we want it to mean, but it does involve realising that we have not got our understanding of it all nailed down. We stay open. That way we can experience the Scriptures not as the letter that kills but as spirit that gives life (2 Cor. 3:6). And through them we encounter Jesus and receive his life (John 5:39-40).
Thank you Holy Spirit that life in you is beautifully free, creative and open. You have not come to squeeze us into some religious straitjacket but you have come to give us life in its fullness. Help us to discover more of this freedom and to find those ways in which we feel your pleasure. Amen