In my travels throughout much of the world, I’ve seen that the more authority and freedom people give to government, the less there remains. That’s pretty simple. In other words, the bigger the government, the smaller the people. I do not believe it can be otherwise. That’s how the kingdoms of this world work.
However, only with Jesus is the opposite true. That took a while for me to figure out.
I didn’t want anything to do with Jesus when I was in my late teens and early twenties because I knew what giving away authority and freedom meant. I’d seen it and studied it, and found that history shows the surrender of authority and freedom in the hope of gain is a terribly false hope with tragic consequences. Frankly, we’re on that path in America—I can see it. Naturally, I thought that giving Jesus authority in my life meant the same, only cosmic. BIGGER equals WORSE. So I avoided Jesus . . . until I couldn’t. More accurately, until I didn’t want to anymore.
In sum, Jesus is The Great Contradiction to what I’ve found true in this world that competes for authority and freedom. Jesus has never taken mine away. Never. Not once. Instead, He has given me all of his.
I have never felt that Jesus was trying to over-rule me or dominate me or take away what I am. From the day I received Him, my days have been all about discovering what I had received instead of what I’d lost. Here’s what I’ve found. Jesus actually IS freedom, and He exercises His authority to make sure that I have it and enjoy it. Anything less than freedom is not the Jesus I know. I love Him for it! All that He is to me and all that He has for me is the antithesis and the antidote for what passes for authority and freedom in this world. That’s why I hope and work for you to find the same.
I think when people look to a national or worldly government to find this, or to the government in their church gathering, the government over their employment, the government in the clubs and organizations they join, they’re lost—and act like it—because they’re maddeningly searching in the wrong place. It will always be terribly painful and disillusioning. Fortunately, Jesus offers Himself as the end of the search:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.
Right now when many of us are focused upon the kind of leadership and government we want for ourselves, Jesus says and proves, “I Am.” And I can tell you, He is.