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Freedom Friday: When God Doesn’t Tell You What to do

April 26, 2013

peugeot soundI remember those days a number of years ago, locked away in a cabin on the Peugeot Sound, begging God to tell me what to do. Aching for direction I laid myself bare before him, and staring out at the silent Sound I heard nothing. In that moment of excruciating vulnerability before the great Silence a new horizon opened before me: there actually is a good reason for why God doesn’t tell us what to do in so many of life’s circumstances, He is big on freedom… I mean He set us free for Christ’s sake (Galatians 5:1).

Kierkegaard told us that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” and it is precisely this dizziness that we so relentlessly try to avoid. We avoid it because we don’t want to take responsibility for our choices. We pray from this dizziness, asking God to tell us what to do in every circumstance where there is risk involved. We read into the Scriptures this dizziness, scouring the pages of sacred writ for some holy word of advice and foolishly stuffing God’s wild and wide open Word into our crammed little circumstance. God being the freedom-nut that He is means He is going to be a minimalist when it comes to instruction and guidance. He is profoundly un-interested in micro-managing our lives, and in fact stubbornly refuses to tell us what to do when we so sincerely beg this of Him. Sure there is instruction in the Bible, and yes God does intervene in our precious little lives for the purpose of re-direction (typically called the miraculous, e.g. the new birth), but it is not His normal habit. If you go to the Bible to figure out if this girl is the “one” all you’ll probably get from him is “are you equally yoked?” If you are looking to him to tell you what career path is right for you, he’ll probably tell you “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” His instruction simply isn’t that precise because he is dead serious about your freedom and the capacity He has given you to make a responsible choice.

I mean He has already taken the blame for all your bad decisions anyway, i.e. he has taken responsibility for you, as the old catechism reminds us “we are not our own but belong… to God,” so what’s the hold up?

Speaking of dizziness…

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