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Bright Light In Darkened Corners

January 24, 2017


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5: 1

We are free in Christ everyone, but do we actually live like we are really free?  Far too often we trade God given freedom for religious bondage.  We are no longer under the Law.  So why do we live and act as if we were?

In Christ the only law is love.  To love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  If this is true, then why does the “church” have so many rules, laws, and regulations?  Many “churches” have by-laws and sometimes unwritten rules about how to dress, how to act, and what we can or cannot watch in movies or on television.  Then there is the whole dancing issue.  Some “churches” even forbid men to swim in the same place as women.  In the past “churches” even banned books and told people what they were and were not allowed to read.

As followers of Jesus we have the Spirit dwelling within us to guide us through our daily lives and choices.  Because we have The Holy Spirit we no longer require or need an external written code to follow.  We do not need lists of rules or regulations anymore, because we are now led by the internal witness of the Spirit.

The big question is do we trust God to lead us from within in all things or do we want things in the world that we can see and or touch to be our guides?  Do we trust the invisible God or “man” written rules and documents to show us the limits of our freedom?

I say whom the Son sets free is free indeed!  We need to trust God to internally set up the parameters of our freedom.  We are no longer under the law or rules of “men”.  “Men” and traditional religion seek to confine our freedom to religious standards.  God wants us to break free of human constraints and to serve Him freely while abounding in His love.  The only way to reach those who are on the fringe of acceptable behavior is to be free enough to live out on the edge of societies norms with them.  We are supposed to be bright light in the darkened corners.  It is impossible to lead others to freedom when those leading do not totally walk in freedom themselves.  Living inside a religious box is not freedom.  In Christ we should always be free enough to press the envelope of freedom to its outer most limits.  Freedom vs Law can be a constant tension in our lives, it is just like Relationship vs Religion.  However, when I am in the Spirit I choose freedom and relationship every time and I have never regretted it even once.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !








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  1. lila1jpw permalink

    Interesting. I just came across a verse in Romans: Blessed is the one who doesn’t condemn himself for what he approves (Rom.14:22b) Don’t second guess yourself–we live in the present in the Presence of Jesus Himself, not in the past and God gives us perseverance (Rom. 15:5)

    • That is right Lila, I choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit moment by moment.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been wondering lately: what makes people prefer bondage to freedom, and how does one convince them that freedom is better? At first, I thought that if they could just have a taste of freedom, they would want more. Now I’m not so sure that’s correct. I think that most people living in bondage will only choose freedom when they clearly see the detrimental effects of bondage. Any thoughts?

    • Most would rather stay in comfortable bondage than experience uneasy freedom Norm. Some are not willing to take that leap of faith.

  3. Sue heumann permalink

    This seems so clear to me now….for 26 years we lived in the bondage box of rules and mans tradition and regulations……what would I have said or thought if someone would have spoken these true words back then? I only know God has led us on this journey and I’m ever so thankful for knowing true freedom now. There is so much truth in these words Cap’n! Every church’s rules are different! I’d rather be led by the Spirit of truth and love….may He always be THE ONE to follow !!

    • Right Sue, HE is THE ONE to follow! Remember, all things are in HIS timing NOT ours. All we can do is build relationships along the way.

  4. Sue heumann permalink

    Norm, I’m afraid most folks in bondage are NOT aware they are in it. We used to talk of others that were legalistic, never seeing that we were in bondage ourselves! One thinks he is just ‘pleasing GOD’ when under rules and regulations, when in reality he is pleasing the pastor or leader of the institution. God wanted us to follow his Spirit in pleasing him, not a person. He was pleased to free us…..!

    • Great comment Sue! Far too often we try to remove the splinter in another’s eye while we have a log in our own. Thank God for Grace as we journey deeper into the ways of Christ.

    • "BK" permalink

      This is SO TRUE, Sue! The group I was in felt we were already free and outside the box of organized religion. So when people told me back in the day ‘you guys are SO BOUND’ I just smiled and thought, “Oh, you just don’t understand what freedom reeeeally is!”. I am so thankful for the seeds people planted in me back because they sprouted. When they (the seeds) first began to pop up I now jokingly say I would say, “Get behind me, satan!” and God would dutifully go behind me and call, “It’s not satan! It’s Meeeeeee……God!” Grin. Like you I am so thankful to walk more and more into freedom. I so appreciate all your posts. Love, “BK”

  5. Winslow permalink

    Hi Christopher

    Do you think there are layers of freedom? In my experience, it seems like I have had a number of times when a new layer is peeled away. For example, the first layer was that of freedom from the dominion of the specific sin in my life. The next was being released from the denominational bonds in which I was steeped. Later each new revelation of Jesus seemed to open a new view of His freedom.

    So, is this a common thread among all believers-does He reveal Himself and His marvelous freedom in this way or is it a once-for-all experience?



    • Win, I feel that Jesus works personally with each individual’s life and circumstances to set them free along the way. There is no cookie cutter method that HE uses. It is awesome that HE deals with each one of us personally.

    • "BK" permalink

      Layers of freedom…..amen, Win! And for sure we don’t just pop out of heaven one day saying, “I have ARRIVED!” I like how Isaiah said it’s line upon line; precept upon precept. 🙂 That’s certainly how it has been for me! Love, “BK”

      • And HIS mercies are new every morning. So we get a fresh start with new life and revelation every day.

  6. James permalink

    In Christ we are free from sin and free to live a holy Life In Love following God in faith. A true follower will not Walk In the Flesh in sin but will walk in the spirit and therefore without even trying keep the laws of God! Good post Chris, glad to see you are still seeking Jesus everyday and trying to be a disciple, that is my goal is well.

    • Thanks for sharing Jim, may we all seek to follow in Christ’s footprints of LOve, Grace, Truth and mercy.

  7. Mercy fulgencio permalink

    Church rules modify behaviors somehow but this is not transformation …

    • Great point Mercy! Transformation comes by the wind of the Spirit, not the arm of the flesh or cells of the brain.

  8. "BK" permalink

    Ephesians 3:[14] For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    [15] Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
    [16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
    [17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
    [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
    [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Strengthened by His SPIRIT; rooted and grounded IN LOVE makes us able to comprehend with ALL the saints…..the love of Christ PASSES knowledge. Wow, even Paul gives you a big amen in his letter to the Ephesians. Was just reading this the other evening. Love all the comments, “BK”

  9. "BK" permalink

    So here’s something that maybe can be shared here…..I would welcome thoughts on it. As Ken & I read and contemplate the book of Revelation as an unveiling of Christ WITHIN US instead of endtime tragedies I saw something as he read the other evening I had never considered and it kind of set me back on my heels. Especially living here in the environment of organized religion (loosely as it may be)….i.e. ‘Babylon’ in my eyes.

    He was reading in chapter 1 where John heard the voice behind him and turned and what did he see? THE SEVEN CANDLESTICKS….which is later identified as the the seven churches (or ecclesias)…not Babylon as described in chapter 17. As I pondered this my thoughts wandered into chapters 2 and 3. Where in a few instances He speaks of suffering the woman Jezebel to teach her fornication; some held to the teachings of the Nicolaitans (clergy over laity) and of Balaam who taught fornication to the people as a way to subdue them. So, usually when I see these things my heart instantly recognizes ‘Babylon’…..but wait! This WASN’T Babylon, this was THE ECCLESIA! What?????

    This has created a bit of an internal adjustment for me and my perception of God’s people. Every time I see the spirit of Babylon doesn’t mean I’m IN it. Those ecclesias mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 were THE CALLED OUT ONES. He didn’t only have reproof for them, but also recognized their positive characteristics and then called for overcoming in those who still were trying to have rule & dominion.

    Thinking about it at this point I have to say the difference I see between the great whore of organized religion and those who are troubled with her aspects of whoredom and dominion is that some do it in ignorance along their journey; and some walk in bold faced spiritual whoredom. Even the disciples of Jesus when He told them of His pending crucifixion communed over and over among themselves ‘who’s going to be number one when He’s gone?” and He reproved and instructed them. I am reminded when I was a ‘pastor’ ‘over’ a church my heart was true and I believed HE put me there….even told me to do it. When He started dealing otherwise with me it still took some time and consideration to realize these really was steps He wanted me to take OUT of that ‘position’. When I was sure it was Him I followed Him in it.

    As I read again the stories of Jesus eating dinner with varied Scribes and Pharisees I have to consider He probably did that ALOT and perhaps wasn’t always rebuking them; but planting seed in those whose hearts were hungry and sincere. They would be the ones in Acts where it says ‘many of the Pharisees believed on Him’.

    Hoping this makes some sort of sense. Be assured, I still have a HATRED for a system of position and hierarchy that steals liberty from God’s people and cause them to commit spiritual fornication. It’s not a broad stroke to be painted, it’s a step by step leading of His Spirit in every situation and heart. Love, “BK”

    • Interesting BK. I see Babylon mixing truth with the traditions of “men”. Babylon is the false “church” system reigning over people, but it is comprised of individuals, who I call captives. I hate Babylon, but Love the people trapped in it. We need the step by step leading of the Spirit in how we personally interact with individuals in or out of the system. So we can broad stroke Babylon, but need to personalize and approach each person with great care and percision.

      • "BK" permalink

        Agreed. It’s certainly that way when walking ‘behind the lines’….each person is different and in a different place. Thanks! Love, “BK”

      • Love you BK! Praying for you while you are behind the lines. May Christ equip you with the precision to positively affect lives there.

  10. Amy j permalink

    Great article, a reminder to all of His presence that dwells in us. All the rules are honestly a distraction of Christ Himself. Think of a wheel, & on the wheel there are spokes & a hub. If one makes the hub “anything other than Christ” the life will be squeezed out. Thanks for your devotion & sharing your heart!

    • Thank you for that affirmation and encouragement Amy. Christ is the central theme of healthy individual and Body life. If Jesus isn’t the hub you get a big ole train wreck for sure.

  11. CatherineS permalink

    I so appreciate your desire to see our brothers and sisters in Christ set free from their bondage in the religious system, as well as your willingness to make yourself vulnerable by openly sharing your heart.

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