/ / When You Long For Freedom {Proverbs 13}

When You Long For Freedom {Proverbs 13}

Many people today are looking for freedom from the confines of rules and boundaries. Here's what Proverbs teaches us about freedom. #Biblestudy #Proverbs #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Today we move into chapter 13 of Proverbs and we have a guest!  Her name is Rosilind and she is the head of Good Morning Girls International!

Rosilind profile 2Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

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Rosilind writes:

I sat in the auditorium listening to the speaker address those who were planning to enter full-time ministry. Having grown up in a pastor’s home, I was well aware of the points the speaker was making but they annoyed me; in particular the point he made –that as believers, we are held to a standard of holiness.

A higher standard.

I was so tired of hearing that. In recent years I had become envious of my friends who seemed to have a pretty good relationship with God and yet didn’t live at the “high standard” I did.

I was tired of constantly having to walk away from an activity because it included something with which our family didn’t agree.

For once, just once, I wanted to be able to relax and have fun without that voice in my head telling me that I needed to walk away.

After the session, I cornered the professor and blurted out my frustrations; which sounded more like a whiny child screaming, “It’s not fair!”

“I just want to have some freedom”, I vented.

Somehow, despite my parents careful instruction, I had begun to believe the lie that freedom is the ability to do what I want.

That’s a dangerous lie, because the Bible instructs us that our natural desire is bent on sin and destruction. Our hearts are bent toward evil. Furthermore, the Proverbs warn us over and over of the danger of being right in our own eyes; or in other words, exercising the freedom to “follow our hearts” – one of the most purported lies in the body of Christ.

I walked away that day and chose to follow my definition of freedom.

I followed my heart…right into the enemy’s trap.

What followed were two of the darkest years of my spiritual life. While continuing to acquire biblical knowledge, I daily walked in utter foolishness. In my freedom, I closed my heart to wisdom and the consequences were severe. Two years later I came to my senses, but it would take another severe blow to truly drive home the truth that freedom is not doing what I want to do, but the ability to live within the confines of godly wisdom by doing what I ought to do.

Wisdom.

Proverbs is the instruction book for the wise and in chapter 13 we see two clear contrasting images of those who choose to live wisely and those who choose to live without restraint.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)

But there’s a deeper lesson to be learned in Proverbs 13:13.

Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.

There is a great temptation in the body of Christ today to assume that anytime we speak of the law, righteousness and holiness that we lack love and grace, or that we are being judgmental and condemning.

And yet, all throughout Proverbs we see that those who fear the commandment (yes the commandment) and live righteous and holy lives –are rewarded, live in peace, and enjoy God’s blessing!

So then, how is it that the very thing that brings us peace, blessing and reward is also judgmental and void of grace and love?

It is simply not possible.

It is human nature to want to throw off the confines of God’s commands and erase the boundaries of righteous and holy living.

It is humanistic thinking that elevates our own heart above God’s Word that was given to guide and direct it, because our hearts are so prone to wander into sin.

It is deception that points the finger at those who fulfill the command to love the law, fear the commandment, walk righteously and live holy, and calls them judgmental, critical and unloving.

Why?

Because “the law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death“. (Proverbs 13:14)

Did you see that?

When we choose to to embrace true freedom – the ability to live within the confines of wisdom, choosing to do what we are commanded by Scripture to do – we find life!

Jesus said that He came to give us life. Not just life, but abundant life!

Do we want God’s favor and blessing in our lives?  We must learn to walk in wisdom; and the beginning of wisdom is learning to fear the Lord.

Today I choose freedom: Living within the confines of wisdom; not doing what I want but choosing to do what scripture commands me to do.

Rosilind

**Chime In**

Have you ever felt like Rosilind?  Restrained by God’s Word at times?  How did you find freedom?

Are you in need of freedom today?  Pursue God’s wisdom and live the abundant life!

52 Comments

  1. And after we make that choice, over and over… I love that our desires end up matching his. Things of the world aren’t as appealing or entertaining as they once were! Great post!

    1. As I read this, I thought of the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus ~ and the things on earth will grow dim as I look into His face.

  2. I have felt restrained by my church. Not by the Word of God however. Any tips on that? When your church is restraining in ways that are not in the Bible?

    1. Yes, there are times when a church seeks to restrain you in ways that you cannot find in God’s Word (ie. dresses only, don’t cut your hair, no wear makeup, etc). In this situation we need to be very careful in our approach. These are man’s rules not God’s, and are personal conviction not biblical principle. There is a tendency with some to make their own personal conviction a biblical principle, and thereby placing a burden on people that God never meant for them to bear.

      There are a few things we need to have clear in our heart before we proceed:

      1. We know what our personal convictions are. This can take some time to wade through, but knowing what our personal convictions are will help us to determine where our own boundaries are.

      2. We need to know our heart is in proper alignment with God’s Word. Have we allowed bitterness or resentment in our heart because of the actions of our church? This will taint our own actions and reactions in a way that is not pleasing to God.

      3. We need to come to a place where we can comfortably say, “I respect your personal conviction and vow to never pressure you to violate it, even though my convictions lie elsewhere”. There is a tendency that when one Christian feels a freedom to participate in an activity that another Christian feels God has forbidden them to do that Christian #1 begin to despise Christian #2 in their heart, calling them “holier than thou”. The right approach is to respect their convictions.

      4. We need to ask our fellow brothers and sisters to respect our convictions also. The respect should be mutual. Paul illustrated this in the passage he wrote when he said that there will be some that will feel the freedom to eat meat offered to idols, while some will find that offensive to their own personal convictions. The issue wasn’t the meat, the issue was mutual respect. Those who feel God has given them freedom to participate in activities that others cannot should not flaunt their freedom. Yet, those who have greater constraints through personal convictions should not constrain those whom God has not constrained.

      Mutual respect. Before you take this last step, you need to allow the Holy Spirit to check your heart so that you are certain that you are going in a spirit of love and openness, and not a spirit of resentment. Don’t make this last step a knee-jerk reaction, but spend time in prayer so that what you speak can be received by the hearer.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Wow, I have just discovered your self and this site and I am from the uk.
        You have taught me so much. I found you by chance with the proverbs 31 study which I am following too. The above reply to me makes so much sense.
        Its not about the meat its about having respect for others beliefs even when we are all christian. I never looked at it this way before, you kind of presume that all Christians within your church would believe the same way. But just like our personality , we all look at things differently other wise we would all be the same . Thank you

        1. Yes, when there is no biblical precedence for an action (ie. May a woman wear pants, makeup, cut her hair, etc), we need to respect each others’ convictions and show grace. Don’t you love how God addresses even these issues in His Word. His desire is that His body be unified, even when there are varying levels of maturity, conviction…and differences of opinion.

      2. Thank you that helps. Your answer was perfect. One more question; at what point do you find another church if you don’t hold the same convictions as they do about Hair, dress etc.? Thanks

        1. There really is no answer to that question. It is one that must be made with a lot of prayer and discussion between the husband and wife; and of course, I believe after every possible course of action has been taken to resolve any issue there is between them and their church home.

          1. Thanks. You are right, there is no easy answer to that question. We, as a couple have been struggling with it for a long time. We love the people there, and have lots of family. Yet we don’t follow their ‘rules’ any more. We have tried to be as they are in dress and actions when we are around others that we know do not allow the same freedoms.
            We are worried about how our children will be as they grow up. They see the church do and say one thing and us do and say another.
            We see and used to think the same as the people at the church, that all the things they do is what saves them. the dress, head covering, not attending ball games, etc. and that is one of the biggest things negative about the whole situation. They seem to think that is where salvation lies. Which is wrong.
            Also, in this church, the membership is very important, you leave the church you leave God. We also know that is not true either.
            Up to this point, God has told us to stay. So if that continues to be His will then we need to figure out how to be in this situation in a Christlike way. Not in anger, or bitterness, just in love. It is confusing how to teach our children.

          2. Actually, we should just tell our kids the truth. That this is how our church is, the Bible leaves those things to preference, so they are not a salvation issue. And teach them the salvation issues, Christ saves us, not our hair and dress. And teach them the heart matters. of love and grace rather than rules. Teach them the true sins of anger, lying etc. rather than as the church we are in more so says not doing things their way is the sin.
            And we need to keep being fed by the Bible and other wonderful teachings (like this WLW ministry) and others. (Because, unfortunately we are not getting fed by our church.) Thanks for your ministry and true teachings! WLW has helped me a lot in a closer walk with God!

          3. You are right, we are not saved by anything we do. If our works can save us, then salvation is no longer a gift, but a salary.

            The danger we face as believers is two-sided: on one side we believe that our works make us holy and acceptable to God. This belief negates the blood of Christ, by which we are made holy and acceptable. When we negate the blood of Christ, our faith is completely useless, because our entire faith rests of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to purchase our salvation.

            On the other side, we believe that Christ will look past our sin, thinking that “God’s grace” will cover it all. Paul addressed this in Romans 6:1-2: saying “God forbid! How shall we who are dead to sin live in it any longer.” This belief also negates the sacrifice of Christ, who was tortured for that sin we take so flippantly.

            This is why we must have balance: humble acceptance of God’s free gift of salvation and a fear of the Lord.

            I pray that the Lord will give you and your family wisdom to know what to do in this situation. And YES – teach your children truth. They definitely need that.

  3. Love the blog, I can totally relate. The title threw me off, thinking for a moment that there was a “loose” sense of freedom, but to choose compromise only invites the chains of slavery to clasps themselves around me and I’ve worked way too hard to break free.

  4. what a blessing to come across this tonight! I so needed this, thank you so much! you are a wonderful writer and this was a great post. 🙂

  5. What a powerful post. Yes, we are free to not live as slaves to sin, we are free to live holy lives, free to live in relationship with God.

  6. The unraveling of Apostle Paul’s illustration which refers to mutual respect for others as opposed to being judgmental based on one’s personal convictions gives more insight on bearing with others.

    I am inspired and pray to grow to be long suffering and gentle with my brothers and sisters and with myself as we daily grow in our journey to be Christlike.
    Thanks very much for the teaching.

  7. Wow…your post shows such wisdom..you are truly wise beyond your years…you have taught this “mature” lady a thing or two…thank you!

  8. So well said. I, too, have longed for my freedom, and it cost me dearly. Looking back, I can’t imagine how gullible I was to the seduction of this “freedom.” Even having grown up in the church, with Godly parents and grandparents, I thought surely I was missing something fabulous out there. Thankfully, God has put my life back together after this ridiculous detour, but how I wish I’d never taken it. And how I wish I could tell my younger self that true peace, true freedom, is only found when we align our desires with His.

    1. The blessing is when God turns our history into HIS story = a testimony…and redeems our past by opening the way for us to teach others how to walk in freedom from the mistakes we’ve made. That’s amazing grace!!

  9. Waoh that was an awakening that i need to do something about my life im 100 x wiser today asante

  10. Embrace-True Freedom, Thank You for todays word forever in my heart!
    EMBRACE-When we embrace our focus, our vision becomes clear, and evidence in our hearts. t.

  11. Hello, this is an encouraging site and blog series. It’s nice to read.
    I have had a different struggle. I have come from the world and have sought to be more and more given over to God. Rather than a percieved lack of freedom frustrating me, I am infuriated by my own flesh which constantly seeks its own way. This has been a tie and a snare and I have sought freedom from this. Lately, reading Galatians has been a great encouragement to me by reminding me to walk by the Spirit. I find no greater joy than being free to pursue God by actively following after Him rather than being distracted or taken with the things of the world.

    1. Galatians is an excellent book for that struggle. And, take courage, you’re in good company. Even Paul got frustrated with himself for that very reason! Romans 7. But you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. So keep walking in that truth. Blessing!

  12. Oh, my, yes. Your story really struck a cord. Several times I have felt just that. Now that I am almost 50 years old, I can see how wanting to do what I want to do was just wrong thinking! I guess I have been a slow learner, but thank God for his mercy and grace.
    Thank you for this today. :))

  13. Thank you for this. My oldest child moved out to have freedom. I realize this was not just freedom from us but from some of the Word as well. She’s still a believer but is walking with the world in some parts of her life. I pray for her every day to see that she is becoming enslaved by her fleshly freedom.
    Thanks for a little more clarity and for a new direction in my prayers for her.

    1. I’m so glad that this post could help you in that area. Take courage – my siblings and I all “felt our oats” at one point or another, but the foundation that was laid in our hearts never allowed us to fully walk away from the Lord and now we’re all 3 in full-time ministry. I hope that encourages you. It can be disheartening in the moment, but keep praying, interceding and believing that the Lord will strengthen the weak areas.

  14. After reading today’s chapter, the importance of diligence in obeying Gods word and raising our children had stood out to me. Diligence was a continuing echo in my head. The definition of diligence is characterized by steady and energetic effort. Somewhere along the way I lost the energy to be steady and consistent in obedience and in raising my children. So, my study became how do I find that strength and the ability to keep moving forward? Of course Tha thelp comes from God who understands my frail humanity and is willing to bear it with me and help me succeed as a parent and in accomplishing what He has called me to do. I found a scripture in Isa. 57:10 “You were tired because your road was so long, yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’ You found new strength, so you did not become weak.”

    I am finding that strength in Him. Because He is diligent faithful and steady I can look to Him and find the strength to do the same!

  15. Love this, Rosilind! You are such a gifted writer. It’s sad that what the world sees as freedom goes against everything that God says. It’s only His truth that will set us free. I pray for others who need to find true freedom in Christ and that we would continue to walk on the path of freedom until Christ returns for us.

    Sweet blessings to you friend!

  16. Good morning! I just came across your website. I am a fairly new Christian, trying to learn my way through God’s word. I watched your videos. My question is where do I begin? I have my bible, but how do I start to learn and understand God’s word. I have set time aside every morning to read my daily devotional Jesus Calling, but have not started reading and studying the Bible. Excited to learn more….

    Karen

    1. Hi Karen! You’re at the right place! Women Living Well is also the home to Good Morning Girls, which is an online Bible study! Currently we’re reading the Bible all the way through one chapter a day. We have Facebook and email groups that you can join where you’ll find women who can encourage you in your daily Bible reading and prayer.

      You can find the resources here. It’s all 100% free. https://womenlivingwell.org/good-morning-girls-resources/

  17. Hi, I am catching up on the proverbs study, I got behind , I just reached ch. 13.
    I really like your post. and I followed you on pinterest just now. I want to say your exactly right in how when we do what we want and think we have freedom, its just a longer road that is hard too and has lasting bad emotions, we always get hurt. but when we do turn to God and listen and follow his word and commandments , we always come out best and not hurt but better and not only are we happier but so is everyone else. its great to meet you and thanks for you sharing this.

  18. Hi, Rosilind! 🙂 Stopping by from Grace and Truth and I’m happy to read these words tonight. I wrote last week on freedom as well. Interesting isn’t it, how we have allowed society to re-define it! Thank you for speaking truth in a time when truth has become woefully unpopular!
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

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