Three ways to “Live Free”: Open heart, open eyes, open hands.
I’ve spent a lot of time in conversation with God this week.
I don’t want to say I’ve spent a lot of “quiet time” with Him. Why? Because our chats have become rather continuous throughout the day and, well, when you’re talking to God while braving NYC traffic, that’s not usually quiet. It’s far beyond “devotionals” and it isn’t always “study” in the truest sense of the word — it’s really been a back-and-forth dialogue with the King.
It’s taught me even more how to invite Him into my everyday.
Brother Lawrence, a 17th century monk who worked in his monastery’s kitchen, started his prayers with, “Lord of pots and pans and things…(The Practice of the Presence of God).”
In the last few weeks, Brother Lawrence’s prayer has triggered a profound revelation in my life. My God is not just the God of the big things or the immediate crises, but rather, He’s also the God of taxis and subways and things, of meetings and coffee and views and Pilates and air conditioning and oh so much more.
One of the most frequent mistakes we make as Christians isn’t something we’ve committed-rather, it’s something we’ve omitted: we forget to invite God to infuse our natural with His supernatural and make our ordinary, extraordinary.
How do we live life with this Kingdom perspective? Here’s the checklist He’s been revealing to me:
1. Open your heart to God’s plans for you.
We serve a God who despises “religion” and desperately desires relationship. He offers us the opportunity to live a life of freedom and joy, knowing that our soul craves connection with its Creator — and that He’s created us to fulfill and be fulfilled by a customized purpose in His Kingdom. It’s all there, in Matthew 11:28–30: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (MSG).”
2. Open your eyes, to see and steward His blessings.
God has given us the gift of wisdom and discernment, and living life in freedom does not mean living a life that squanders what He has given to us. This discernment is a tool to navigate the Christian life. In Philippians 1:9–10, Paul says, “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so you may approve what is excellent and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (ESV).”
3. Open your hands to live freely and lightly.
We are stewards of God’s resources, not owners (Hebrews 2:10, “Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by His power [CEV].”). These resources include our money, our apartments, our cars, our relationships — everything we’ve been given is a gift. And, if we open our hands to give these resources back to Him, He has promised to withhold no good thing (Psalm 84:11). Just look at the story of Job, who God blessed with twice as much because Job understood the steward / owner relationship. Isn’t that great news? We serve a God who desires relationship with us, wants to show us how to live freely, and who we can trust will not withhold any good thing from His children!
Hopefully this is an inspiration to you, too, as you start this week.
Grace and peace, friends!