April 2, 2011

Bondage Or Liberty? This IS The Question! – Part II

“Every man is an inlet, and may become the outlet, of all there is in God.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Writer 

A somewhat famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson states: “Every man is the inlet and may become the outlet for all there is in God.” I added the italic emphasis on the word “may” to emphasize that becoming an “outlet” is a choice that we make. It does not happen automatically. God is already “in” us, but whether we become an “outlet” for “all there is in God” is our choice. This brings us full circle back to the original question: bondage or liberty? In bondage, we are only an “inlet.” In liberty, we demonstrate God as an “outlet of all there is in God.”

We are choosing one or the other all the time, in the same way we are choosing between love and fear all the time. When we begin to make our “liberty” our priority, rather than our “bondage,” we begin healing our sense of unworthiness and it dawns in our awareness that “we are not servants, but children” of God, and “if children, then heirs.” [Romans 8:17]

The typical expectation of an “heir” is to inherit from the parent. From our identification with the “flesh” we may seek God’s blessing in a material or physical form, a form of the world, a form intended to satisfy the flesh. However, in spiritual maturity, we “come to a place now where our search for Truth must no longer be for the rewards” at least not in the physical or material sense of reward. Cady goes further to say that the “search for Truth” itself can not even be dependent upon “seeking a creed to follow,” but rather solely for the reward of “living a life.” Such a “life” must surely be one characterized by liberty and freedom in God, rather than bondage to the flesh.

So, how does one begin to implement a strategy for escaping from bondage into liberty? Here are three simple strategies to begin employing immediately, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances.

First, make time for silent meditation to “practice the presence of God.” To be successful at this, one simple truth must be accepted without equivocation: there is no substitute for silent meditation to practice the presence of God! Time in the silence is the only method to know God’s omnipresence. It costs nothing. You do not need a guru. You can do it anywhere. The only thing required is your willingness to sit still in the silence and wait for the voice of God. It is present. It will speak. It will not fail to guide you to the truth. However, you must consciously make time for the silence, not to invite God in, but to quiet and still your mind so that you may hear God speaking.

Second, actively practice forgiveness and do it with resolve. This is also a non-negotiable spiritual requirement in order to transform an experience of bondage into an experience of liberty. We will not feel differently in our experience, unless we actively practice forgiveness with an unwavering commitment, both with others and especially so with ourselves. For me it is helpful to remind myself that if I hold someone prisoner to my grievance and unforgiveness, then I am their jailer. The jailer must remain on guard at the prison to make sure the prisoner does not escape. In this way, my unforgiveness keeps me in bondage right there along with my prisoner. Unless I forgive and do it with conviction and resolve, I will experience bondage and not liberty. As I said above, non-negotiable!

After cultivating the habits of silent meditation and active forgiveness, we must develop a third habit critical to our liberty: we must become willing to seek guidance only from within and depend on nothing or no one but God! Emerson echoes this same truth in his essay, Self Reliance. In fact, for Emerson, this is the essence of what he means by “self reliance.” Learning to truly trust one’s inner guidance is the mark of spiritual wisdom and maturity.

Bondage or liberty? That is the primary question.  We will remain in bondage to false beliefs, appearances or life circumstances, each of which turns us into apparent victims. This is not the truth of us. We were not born to be in bondage, but rather the free and liberated children of God, heirs to all that God is and will ever be. The key to escaping our fleshly bondage is to accept and know the truth that God is and always has been in everything, every circumstance in our lives. There is no “second cause.” There is only God!

“God is my defense and deliverance.”

Practice this affirmation actively all the time, in all circumstances. As Emilie Cady points out, doing so, will deliver you out of even the keenest arguments delivered by the most skilled attorney. Now, that is a liberty that interests me! Peace.

Stay Tuned In…

Posted By

Souldiver

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